SEAFWA Journal Volume 9, March 2022

SEAFWA Journal Cover - Volume 9, March 2022

The Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is composed of governmental fish and wildlife agencies in the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia and the territories of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Southeastern Association is one of four such regional fish and wildlife associations. While the regional associations are autonomous, they work very closely with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, of which all southeastern states are also members. Only state wildlife agencies in the 15 southeastern states and territories are members of the SEAFWA.

Its objectives are to protect the right of jurisdiction of the member states over their wildlife resources on public and private lands; to carefully scrutinize state and federal wildlife legislation and regulations and to offer support or opposition to legislative proposals or federal regulations in accordance with the best interests of the member states; to consult with and make recommendations to the federal wildlife and public land agencies in order that federal management programs and programs involving federal aid to member states shall be so conducted as to be in the best interests of the member states; and to serve as a clearinghouse for the exchange of ideas concerning wildlife and fisheries management, research techniques, wildlife law enforcement, hunting and outdoor safety, and information and educations programs. The Association participates with the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies, other regional associations, other governmental agencies and citizens’ organizations in pursuing mutual goals benefiting fish and wildlife resources; maintains a variety of committees consisting of fish and wildlife professionals who explore and analyze a wide range of issues and factors affecting fish and wildlife resources and makes recommendations as appropriate; sponsors cooperative fish and wildlife programs among member states and other entities to address issues of mutual interest and to benefit to fish and wildlife resources; provides effective, efficient and allied representation for member states regarding natural resource matters, particularly for issues which are beyond the capability of one agency to address or which may unduly tax the ability of individual states.

The Association’s annual meeting and conference is held every year, usually in October. The annual meeting and conference are on a rotational basis with each state having its turn as host. Officers are elected at a spring meeting, usually held in May, with the host state normally being that of the incoming President. These meetings promote exchanges of ideas and philosophy between administrators and the professional fish and wildlife biologists, managers, enforcement, information and education, and technical workers in related fields.

Organized March 14, 1938, at a meeting of state officials at Jacksonville, Florida, the Association has played a major role in the evolution of state, regional and national conservation affairs. Its officers and member have included many of the nation’s conservation leaders. The Clarence W. Watson Award is the most prestigious award given in the Southeast and is presented annually to the career individual who, in the opinion of the Award Committee, has made the greatest contribution to wildlife or fish conservation during the previous year or years.

Editors and officers

Managing Editor

Robert A. Gitzen, Ph.D.

College of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Auburn University, Alabama

Associate Editor-Fisheries

Steven M. Sammons, Ph.D.

School of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquatic Sciences Auburn University, Alabama

Southern Division, American Fisheries Society

Associate Editor-Wildlife

Daniel U. Greene, Ph.D. Environmental Research South Weyerhaeuser Company Columbus, Mississippi

Technical Editor

Ms. Kathi Wong Richmond, Virginia

SEAFWA Officers—2021

President— Paul Johansen, Chief, Wildlife Resources Section, West Virginia Department of Natural Resources

Vice President—Eric Sutton, Executive Director, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

Secretary-Treasurer—Robert H. Boyles, Director, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

Past President—Charles F. “Chuck” Sykes, Director, Wildlife and Fisheries Division, Alabama Department of Conservation & Natural Resources

At-large Board Member—Jack Montoucet, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

At-large Board Member—Ryan Brown, Executive Director, Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources

Executive Secretary—Curtis Hopkins, Ph.D.


The Journal of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies is published annually. All manuscripts are subject to peer review by members of the Southeastern Section of the Wildlife Society and the Southern Division of the American Fisheries Society. Listed below are the referees that have provided reviews for the Journal. The Association and the editorial office are indebted to these individuals for their valuable services.


Brandon Baker, Sarah Baker, Carolyn Belcher, Jason Bettinger, Phillip Bettoli, Craig Bonds, Timothy Bonvechio, Eric Brittle, Lawrence Dorsey, Michael Eggleton, Christy Graham, Hunter Hatcher, Brent Hess,  Mike Holley, Travis Ingram, John Jackson, Rebecca Krogman, Kevin Kubach, Timothy Lane, Matthew Lewis, Steve Lochmann, Dijar Lutz-Carrillo, Sean Lynott, Matthew Marshall, Christopher Middaugh,  Wes Neal, Ben Neely, John Odenkirk, Patrick O’Rouke, Clint Peacock, Eric Peatman, Mark Pegg, Jeff Powell, Michael Quist, Jake Rash, Peter Sakaris, Jason Schooley, Nathan Smith, Nick Trippell, Jason Wisniewski, Melissa Wuellner


Wesley Boone, Ronald Bielefeld, Michael Brasher, Adam Butler, Steven Castleberry, Michael Chamberlain, Colter Chitwood, Christopher Chizinski, Brian Davis, Michael Eichholz, Blake Grisham, John Gruchy, Heath Hagy, Houston Havens, Steve Hayslette, Raymond Iglay, Richard Kaminski, Joe Lancaster, Tiffany Lane, Elijah Lee, JT Pynne, Scott Rush, Chris Serenari, Michael Small, Mark Smith, Richard Stevens, James Whitaker

Distribution Probability of the Virginia Northern Flying Squirrel in the High Allegheny Mountains

SEAFWA Journal Volume 9, March 2022

In the central Appalachians of Virginia and West Virginia, the Virginia northern flying squirrel (Glaucomys sabrinus fuscus; VNFS) is a subspecies of northern flying squirrel generally associated with red spruce (Picea rubens)-dominated forests at high elevations. Listed as endangered by the

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service from 1985 to 2013, the VNFS currently is the subject of a 10-year post-delisting assessment. Still considered a state-listed species in Virginia and a species of greatest conservation need in West Virginia, the VNFS serves as a focal target for...

Northern Long-eared Bats in the Central Appalachians Following White-nose Syndrome: Failed Maternity Colonies?

SEAFWA Journal Volume 9, March 2022

Northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) populations have experienced severe declines in eastern North America from white-nose syndrome (WNS), yet potential secondary effects on maternity roosting and recruitment remain largely unknown. We documented female day- roosting at two locations in the central Appalachians of Virginia, Back Creek Mountain (BCM) and Rapidan Camp (RC), during 2015 and 2016, ap- proximately six years after the regional onset of WNS. We compared roost characteristics with available trees and roosts recorded prior to WNS at the Fernow Experimental...

Attitudes and Behavior of Deer Hunting Club Members Following Discovery of Chronic Wasting Disease

SEAFWA Journal Volume 9, March 2022

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal neurological disease that affects cervid species including white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus).  As of 2021, it occurs in seven southeastern states, and more discoveries in the region are likely to occur. Hunter education regarding CWD is critical to obtain support for disease management actions that rely on hunter participation but potentially are in opposition to typical hunter objectives. In August 2018, we provided educational programming on CWD to 84 members of a deer hunting club in west Tennessee. After CWD was discovered...

Nest-site Selection and Survival of Wild Turkeys in Tennessee

SEAFWA Journal Volume 9, March 2022

Spring harvest of wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo silvestris) has declined in many eastern states since 2010. In Tennessee, spring harvest de-clines of 30%–50% in south-central counties from 2005–2015 caused concern among hunters and managers. To determine how turkey productivity might be related to the perceived population decline, we radio-tagged and tracked 152 females with VHF transmitters throughout the 2017–2018 nest- ing seasons. We documented nest-site selection, nesting rate, clutch size, hatching rate, renesting rate, and daily nest survival. We used conditional lo-...

Harvest Parameters of Mourning Doves in the Chenier Plain of Southwestern Louisiana

SEAFWA Journal Volume 9, March 2022

Mourning doves (Zenaida macroura) are an important webless migratory game bird in North America, with more doves harvested than all other game birds combined. To understand mourning dove population status and inform harvest and land management decisions at local and regional scales, there is a need to evaluate annual survival and changes in population size. To provide estimates of dove survival and associated harvest parame- ters at our study area in Cameron Parish Louisiana, a popular area for dove hunting, we initiated a banding study at two sites on and near the Rockefel-...

Duck Non-Breeding Body Condition Differs by Sex, Age, and Year on the Texas Mid-Coast

SEAFWA Journal Volume 9, March 2022

Waterfowl are of significant cultural, economic, and conservation importance along the Texas Gulf Coast. Millions of ducks utilize this region as they move along the Central Flyway each winter. Understanding body condition patterns for these birds has important implications for overwinter survival, breeding success, and population regulation. This is especially true for females, which are typically the limiting sex in ducks. Herein, we an- alyze sex- and age-specific differences in body condition of non-breeding dabbling ducks over the winter hunting season in coastal Texas. We collab...

Daily Weather Affects Body Condition, Sex, and Age Ratios of Harvested Dabbling Ducks in Texas

SEAFWA Journal Volume 9, March 2022

Duck activity patterns have anecdotally been associated with weather for thousands of years. However, these relationships have rarely been tested scientifically. We hypothesized that characteristics of wintering ducks harvested by hunters would be associated with daily weather conditions (precipitation, temperature, and wind speed), and specifically, that smaller-bodied ducks and those with poor body condition would be harvested less frequently in adverse weather conditions relative to 30-year daily normals. We evaluated these hypotheses using beta regression modeling and general...

Wintering Waterfowl Use of Wetlands in Delta National Forest, Mississippi

SEAFWA Journal Volume 9, March 2022

Bottomland hardwood forests in the southeastern United States provide important food and other socio-physiological resources for several wintering duck species. Duck presence and abundance in these wetlands can be influenced by periodicity and extent of flooding, disturbance from anthropogenic activities, and availability and coverage of certain vegetative communities. We tested if presence of flooding, anthropogenic disturbance, and certain vegetation types influenced wintering duck presence and abundance in Delta National Forest (DNF; Mississippi), the only National Forest which is...

Evaluation of Growth and Survival of Three Freshwater Mussel Species at Sites Targeted for Population Restoration in a North Carolina River

SEAFWA Journal Volume 9, March 2022

In North Carolina, wavyrayed lampmussels (Lampsilis fasciola) and spike (Eurynia dilatata) currently are state species of special concern, and rainbow mussels (Villosa iris) are state threatened. As a result of extensive conservation and management efforts, recovery of suitable habitat and im- provements in water quality have made mussel restoration a possibility in the Oconaluftee River within lands owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. As part of restoration efforts, we introduced propagated or translocated individuals of these...

Box-nesting Wood Ducks and Black-bellied Whistling Ducks in Coastal South Carolina

SEAFWA Journal Volume 9, March 2022

Installation and maintenance of artificial nesting structures are established practices for increasing production of secondary cavity nesting waterfowl, especially wood ducks (Aix sponsa). In South Carolina, tens of thousands of nest boxes have been erected on public and private lands. Ad- ditionally, since the early 2000s, black-bellied whistling ducks (Dendrocygna autumnalis) have expanded their range into South Carolina and now are nesting sympatric with wood ducks in boxes. We conducted a survey of 364 and 354 nest boxes in 2016 and 2017,...