Main Street Nashville

Larry Woody: Toxic spill takes a heavy toll on wildlife

Spilled toxins take toll on fish, wildlife. PHOTO BY LARRY WOODY

So far over 43,000 aquatic animals have been confirmed killed by the Ohio train derailment that released loads of toxic chemicals into a stream.

The actual number of fish, frogs and crayfish killed can’t be determined because many sink to the bottom and can’t be counted in the seven-and-a-half-mile stretch of impacted water that runs through the small town of East Palestine, Ohio.

There is concern that the poisoned animals will be eaten by scavengers, entering the food chain and impacting other species.

The effect of the escaped chemicals on the people living in the area also remains unknown.

The Department of Transportation has been criticized for lax train-safety and hazardous-materials monitoring, and the Environmental Protection Agency under fire for its slow response to the environmental disaster.

Bassmasters pros cast off: Some of the country’s top tournament fishermen will converge on Knoxville March 24-26 for the annual Bassmasters Classic.

It marks the second time in the past seven years Knoxville has hosted the prestigious event, which will be fished on Fort Loudon Lake and Tellico Lake. Daily weigh-ins will be held at UT’s Thompson-Boling Arena.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will assist the tournament with fish care and release and water risk management.

Knoxville hosted the event in 2019, during which it drew a tournament-record 153,809 spectators. Tourism officials estimated the tournament’s economic impact at $32.2 million for the city and surrounding area, making it one of the state’s premier sports events.

Greenville, South Carolina will host next year’s tournament.

Elk tag winners: Winners of this year’s elk-tag computer draw will be announced soon.

The East Tennessee hunt will be held in October but the drawing for tags was moved up this year to give the selected hunters more time to plan and prepare.

Fourteen tags will be issued for the gun, archery and youth hunts, including one to be raffled off by the Tennessee Wildlife Foundation as a fundraiser.

Squirrel season ends: The first extended squirrel season ended March 15; in the past it closed at the end of February along with rabbit and quail seasons.

The spring squirrel season will run May 13-June 11.

License renewals: Hunters and fishermen are reminded licenses no longer expired at the end of February, as in the past, but on the date they were issued in 2022. They are good for 365 days from date of issue.

Contact information: Please submit your information for publication to Please include your telephone number for verification purposes.