In 2001 and 2002 the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA)
reintroduced a total of 40 fishers (20 each year) to the Catoosa WMA in Morgan and Cumberland Counties.
selected as the release site because of its large size – about
80,000 acres – and abundant mature timber. This area (Cumberland
County) is also one of the last areas in the state to have a
documented fisher population. In 2001, 10 fishers (5 male, 5
female) were radio collared and tracked.
2002, 10 fishers (4 male, 6 female) were radio collared and
Currently, all radio-collars are non-functional and radio tracking
has ceased. Following release, most of the fishers rapidly
dispersed. The fishers seemed to prefer areas near streams,
especially where second growth timber was thick. Most of the
fishers eventually established home-ranges and are presumed to be
doing well. To date, despite trapping efforts, successful
reproduction has not been documented.
Since the first release in 2001, only 5 fishers are known to have
1 (female) killed by car
3 (2 male, 1 female) misidentified and killed by raccoon hunters
1 (female) died after being recaptured in a live trap
As of 2011 the TWRA has discontinued fisher population monitoring. We
still receive several reliable reports of fisher sightings annually
- based on these reports we still believe that we have a small
fisher population within the release area. Unfortunately, the
viability of that population may be tenuous at best.