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Comment period open on fishing regulation proposals and rule changes

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The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Fisheries Division presented its proposed 2023 fishing regulation proposals during the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission’s most recent meeting held at Fall Creek Falls State Park.
The public is invited to provide comments on the proposed regulation changes.
The deadline for sport fishing comments is Nov. 15. To provide comments, email TWRA at [email protected], or write to TWRA Fisheries Division, 5107 Edmondson Pike, Nashville, TN 37211.
The TFWC will vote on the commercial and sport sportfish regulations at its Dec. 1-2 meeting to be held in Memphis at the Ducks Unlimited Headquarters. If approved, the sport fishing changes would become effective March 1, 2023.
Fishing Proclamation Proposals Proposed Commercial Fishing Regulation Changes
Allow the use of boat ramps and navigable waters of the Mississippi River from above I-40 Bridge at MS RM 735 upstream to MS RM 745 for navigation only to and from waters open to commercial fishing.
Statewide (waters currently open to roe harvest)- Restrict harvest of paddlefish to females only over 38 inches (eye fork length) that have eggs. Mississippi River (waters currently open to roe harvest)- Restrict harvest of paddlefish to females only over 34 inches (eye fork length) that have eggs. This regulation would be limited to portions of the Mississippi River currently open to paddlefish harvest.
Designate waters that are open to roe harvest under the new regional Roe Fish Permit-Supplemental system.
Resident or Nonresident Mississippi River Roe Fish Permit-Supplement holder can only commercially fish the Mississippi River, Reelfoot Lake, Forked Dear River, Hatchie River, Obion River portions that are open to the commercial harvest of paddlefish.
Resident or Nonresident West/Middle Tennessee Roe Fish Permit- Supplemental holder can only commercially fish Kentucky Reservoir, Pickwick Reservoir, Barkley Reservoir, Cheatham Reservoir, Old Hickory Reservoir, Red River, Harpeth River, Duck River and Beech River portions that are open to the commercial harvest of paddlefish.
Resident or Nonresident East Tennessee Roe Fish Permit, Supplement holder can only fish Guntersville Reservoir, Nickajack Reservoir, Chickamauga Reservoir, Fort Loudoun Reservoir, Douglas Reservoir, Davy Crocket Reservoir, Nolichucky River, French Broad River, Hiwassee River, and Holston River portions that are open to the commercial harvest of paddlefish.
Proposed Sportfishing Regulation Changes
Douglas Lake- Establish a seasonal regulation for Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass.
Largemouth/Smallmouth/Spotted Bass: 5 fish per day in combination year around.
Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass: June 1 – Sept 30: 5 per day, only one (1) fish may be a Largemouth or Smallmouth over 16 inches.
Oct. 1 – May 31: 5 per day, 12-inch minimum length limit Spotted Bass: no minimum length limit.
Remove Pallid and Lake Sturgeon from the Sport Fishing proclamation due to status as threatened or endangered species.
Trotlines used for sportfishing must be checked at least once every twenty-four hour period and cannot extend more than three-quarters (0.75) across any stream, river, chute, or embayment.
Further defined the boundaries of reservoirs as the reservoir full pool elevation is the boundary between reservoir and tributary streams or rivers.
As well as providing designated boundaries for reservoirs on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers.
Reservoirs on Tennessee River: Kentucky Reservoir includes the Tennessee River from the Tennessee/Kentucky State line upstream to Pickwick Dam. Pickwick Reservoir includes the Tennessee River from Pickwick Dam upstream to the Tennessee/Mississippi/Alabama state line.
Guntersville Lake includes the Tennessee River from the Tennessee/Alabama State line upstream to Nickajack Dam.
Nickajack Reservoir includes the Tennessee River from Nickajack Dam to Chickamauga Dam. Chickamauga Reservoir includes the Tennessee River from Chickamauga Dam to Watts Bar Dam. Watts Bar Reservoir includes the Tennessee River from Watts Bar Dam upstream to Fort Loudoun Dam and Melton Hill Dam on the Clinch River. Fort Loudoun Reservoir includes the Tennessee River upstream of Fort Loudoun Dam to the I-40 Bridge on the Holston River and the Hwy 168 Bridge on the French Broad River.
Reservoirs on the Cumberland River: Barkley Reservoir includes the Cumberland River from the Tennessee/Kentucky State line upstream to Cheatham Dam.
Cheatham Reservoir includes the Cumberland River from Cheatham Dam upstream to Old Hickory Dam and J. Percy Priest Dam on the Stones River.
Old Hickory Reservoir includes the Cumberland River from Old Hickory Dam upstream to Cordell Hull Dam to Center Hill Dam on the Caney Fork River.
Cordell Hull Reservoir includes the Cumberland River form Cordell Hull Dam upstream to the Tennessee/Kentucky State line and Dale Hollow Dam on the Obey River.
Proposed Regulation Changes to TWRA Fishing lakes and State Park lakes
Browns Creek Lake (Carroll Co.) – Increase the Bass daily creel limit from 5 to 10 fish/day. Increase the Protective Length Range (PLR) from 18” to 24” PLR to 18” to 25” PLR, only 1 per day over 25 inches allowed.
Reduce the Bluegill/Redear daily creel limit to 10 fish/day. Remove daily creel and length limits on crappie.
Lake Halford (Carroll Co.) – Increase the Bass daily creel limit from 5 to 10 fish/day. Allow only 2 Bass per day over 18 inches. Reduce the Bluegill/Redear daily creel limit to 10 fish/day. Remove daily creel and length limits on crappie.
Establish a Blue/Channel Catfish minimum size limit of 16 inches.
Herb Parsons Lake (Shelby Co.) – Increase the Bass daily creel limit from 5 to 10 fish/day.
Increase the Protective Length Range (PLR) from 14” to 18” PLR to 16” to 20” PLR, only 1 per day over 20 inches allowed.
Reduce the Bluegill/Redear daily creel limit to 10 fish/day.
Remove daily creel and length limits on Crappie. Establish a Blue/Channel Catfish minimum size limit of 16 inches.
Acorn Lake (Montgomery Bell SP) – Increase the Bass daily creel limit from 5 to 10 fish/day and remove the 15-inch minimum length limit. Reduce the Bluegill/Redear daily creel limit to 10 fish/day. Remove daily creel and length limits on Crappie. Establish a Blue/ Channel Catfish minimum size limit of 16 inches. Establish a delayed harvest season for trout with no harvest allowed from December 1 through March 31, and 5 trout per day, no length limit from April 1 through Nov. 30.
Fall Creek Falls Lake (Fall Creek Falls SP) – Increase the Bass daily creel limit from 5 to 10 fish/day. Allow only 1 Bass per day over 16 inches. Reduce the Bluegill/Redear daily creel limit to 10 fish/day. Remove daily creel and length limits on crappie. Establish a Blue/Channel catfish minimum size limit of 16 inches.
Pin Oak Lake (Natchez Trace State Park) –Increase the Protective Length Range (PLR) from 12” to 16” PLR to 18” to 25” PLR, only 1 per day over 25 inches allowed. Reduce the Bluegill/Redear daily creel
limit to 10 fish/day. Remove daily creel and length limits on crappie.
Travis McNatt Lake (Big Hill Pond State Park) – Remove the Bass daily creel limit and allow only 1 Bass per day over 16 inches. Reduce the Bluegill/Redear daily creel limit to 10 fish/day. Remove daily creel and length limits on crappie.
Establish a Blue/Channel catfish minimum size limit of 16 inches.
Woodhaven Lake (Montgomery Bell SP) – Increase the Bass daily creel limit from 5 to 10 fish/day. Establish a Protective Length Range (PLR) of 18” to 25” PLR, only 1 per day over 25 inches allowed.
Reduce the Bluegill/Redear daily creel limit to 10 fish/day.
Remove daily creel and length limits on crappie. Establish a Blue/Channel catfish minimum size limit of 16 inches.
Poplar Tree Lake (Meeman- Shelby Forest State Park) – Increase the Bass daily creel limit to 10 fish/day, only one bass over 16 inches may be harvested per day.
Proposed Rule Changes
The TFWC will also be holding a rule hearing on changes made to rules 1660-01-05, 1660-01-25, and 1660-01-30 as well as a new rule created to establish Lake Halford under TWRA authority at its Dec. 2 meeting.
These proposed rules can be viewed at https://www.tn.gov/content/tn/twra/public-notice.html.

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