Tennessee’s Bill Dance Signature Lakes Initiative Announced | Sports

Nashville – Governor Bill Lee and fishing icon Bill Dance announced a new initiative to improve and enhance Tennessee lakes, increase visitor numbers and honor Dance’s legacy with the creation of Bill Dance Signature Lakes.

TWRA and the State of Tennessee will invest $ 15 million in above and below water improvements in 18 lakes that bear the Dance fishing legend’s seal of approval.

Residents of Tennessee will benefit from increased stocking, habitat management and fisheries, as well as improved access for fishing and boating.

Collaborative effort between the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Tennessee State Parks and the Tennessee Department of Tourism Development aims to consolidate Tennessee as the heart of Southeast fishing and boost activity economic throughout the state.

Tennessee is home to half a million acres of lakes and 1.7 million people who fish according to the American Sportfishing Association.

Bill Dance Signature Lakes reaches 39 counties, 22 of which are at risk or in economic difficulty, and is an important step in helping these communities create new sources of income through increased visits. Fishing generates an economic impact of $ 1.2 billion per year and supports 7,480 jobs statewide.

This initiative to improve public facilities and habitat in Tennessee’s lakes comes at an important time as many riverside communities across the state were devastated by inclement weather over the weekend.

“Bill Dance is a tremendous advocate for our rural Tennessee communities and we are delighted to partner with him,” Governor Lee said. “Bill Dance Signature Lakes underscore the importance of lakeside tourism with premier fishing opportunities and we believe this project is particularly important as communities recover from recent storms. “

“I am incredibly touched and thrilled to be part of such a worthwhile project that will benefit so many people and our natural resources in my great home state of Tennessee,” said Bill Dance.

“You can bet your favorite lure, this project will definitely have a ripple effect for a very long time, providing not only the weekend angler but also tournament anglers wonderful fishing, thanks to the great condition. from Tennessee and my friends at TWRA. “

Bill Dance Signature Lakes includes nine large tanks with a proven track record of quality fishing for a variety of fish. In partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority, the reservoirs will receive new or improved top quality ramps to improve public access for recreational and tournament anglers.

Each of the 18 lakes will see above-water improvements such as courtesy docks, ample parking, additional access points, fishing docks, and signage, to name a few. Several smaller lakes, many of which are located in Tennessee State Parks, will be intensively managed by TWRA for Bill Dance-approved family fishing with regular socks to ensure the best chance of success.

Each lake has been selected by partner agencies and Bill Dance for its ability to be a destination fishing spot and to offer quality fishing pleasure to avid anglers as well as families. Approved by Bill Dance Outdoors, projects are slated to begin in 2022 and be nearing completion by fall 2024.

The Bill Dance Signature Lakes at launch are as follows:

1000 Acre Lake, Huntington, Tennessee (Carroll County)

Brown’s Creek Lake, Natchez Trace (Henderson County)

Chickamauga Lake, Harrison Bay State Park and Chester Frost Park (Hamilton, Rhea, Meigs, McMinn and Bradley counties)

Dale Hollow Lake, North Central TN (Clay, Pickett, Fentress and Overton counties)

Douglas Lake, East TN (Jefferson, Sevier and Cocke counties)

Fall Creek Falls Lake, Fall Creek Falls State Park (Van Buren County)

Herb Parsons Lake (Fayette County)

Kentucky Lake, Paris Landing State Park (Henry, Stewart, Houston, Benton, Decatur, Perry and Humphreys counties)

Lake Acorn, Montgomery Bell State Park (Dickson County)

Woodhaven Lake, Montgomery Bell State Park (Dickson County)

Norris Lake, Northeast TN (Anderson, Campbell, Claiborne, Grainger and Union counties)

Old Hickory Lake, Middle TN (Sumner and Davidson counties)

Pickwick Lake, Pickwick Landing State Park (Hardin County)

Pin Oak Lake, Natchez Trace State Park (Henderson County)

Reelfoot Lake, Reelfoot Lake State Park (Lake and Obion counties)

Tim’s Ford Lake, Tim’s Ford State Park (Franklin and Moore counties)

Travis McNatt Lake, Big Hill Pond State Park (McNairy County)

Watauga Lake, northeastern Tennessee (Johnson and Carter counties)

Dance, the first professional bass fishing superstar, has taught generations to fish. Dance began to participate – and win – in bass tournaments in the early 1960s.

With over 2,000 shows to his name since 1968, he has trained millions of fishing enthusiasts as the host and producer of “Bill Dance Outdoors” and “Bill Dance Saltwater, which air on the Outdoor Channel and Sportsman Channel respectively.

From its production studio in Collierville, Tenn., Dance oversees a fishing empire that includes its TV shows, gear recommendations, hands-on seminars and a series of popular “bloopers” videos. Dance has written seven books and her articles have appeared in Sports Afield, Field & Stream, Bassmasters, Outdoor Life and more.

Dance’s accomplishments, techniques and fishing flair have been recognized with countless awards, including 23 national BASS titles, three-time BASS Angler of the Year, 40 top ten and eight-time Bassmaster Classic Qualifier.

In 2021, Dance received her honorary doctorate from the University of Tennessee for her outstanding contributions to sport. Country superstar Luke Bryan also celebrated fishing legend in 2021 with the release of an ode titled “Bill Dance”.

For more than five decades, Bill Dance served as Ambassador to the State of Tennessee, always filmed or photographed wearing his orange and white University of Tennessee cap.

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