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Catoosa WMA Fisher Reintroduction

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.

Catoosa was 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.

In 2002, 10 fishers (4 male, 6 female) were radio collared and tracked.

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 died.

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.



Related Links & Resources
American Whitewater Seeks Catoosa Road Access
Catoosa Boar Hunting Harvest Summary - 2006
Tick-Borne Disease Model
1997 & 1998 Tennessee WMA Harvest Report
Cumberland Trail



If you have a questions about hunting, hiking or other activities on one of Tennessee's Wildlife Management Areas post them in our discussion forum.

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