Comment Period Open on 2022-24 Fishing Regulation Proposals
NASHVILLE --- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Fisheries Division presented its 2022-24 fishing regulation proposals during the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission’s August meeting held in Cookeville.
The public is invited to provide comments on the proposals. The deadline for comments on proposed fishing regulation changes is Sept. 14. To provide comments, email TWRA at firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to TWRA Fisheries Division, 5107 Edmondson Pike, Nashville, TN 37211.
The TFWC will vote on the commercial regulations at its Sept. 16-17 meeting to be held in Kingsport and bait and sportfish regulations at its Oct. 21-22 meeting to be held in Bolivar at Lone Oak Farms. If approved, the bait and sport fishing changes would become effective March 1, 2022.
Fishing Proclamation Proposals
Proposed Commercial Fishing Regulation Changes
· Allow one gillnet that exceeds 300 yards up to 600 yards to be used by commercial fisherman for the harvest of bighead, black, grass, and silver carp in Kentucky, Pickwick, Barkley, Cheatham, and Old Hickory lakes. These nets will be required to have floats at least every 50 yards and be actively fished as a whip-set.
· Allow the use of metal-framed hoop nets to be used as commercial gear. Openings of metal mesh must be 6 x 6 inches or larger. This change would allow for the use of commercially available nets.
· Increased access to Camden WMA by commercial fishermen by allowing the use of boat ramps within the WMA from April 1 through August 31. During April and May commercial gear is only permitted from one hour after sunset till 6 a.m.
· Increased access to White Oak WMA by commercial fishermen by allowing the use of boat ramps within the WMA from March 15 through August 31. During April and May commercial gear is only permitted from one hour after sunset till 6 a.m.
· Restrict harvest of paddlefish to females only over 38 inches (eye fork length) that have eggs, confirmed by syringe. This regulation would be limited to waters currently open to paddlefish harvest in TWRA Regions 3 and 4.
· Mississippi River- Change the start date for paddlefish harvest season from Nov. 14 to Nov. 1 and increase the number of nets each commercial fisherman is allowed to fish per day from 12 to 15.
Proposed Sportfishing Regulation Changes
· Barkley Lake- Reduce the crappie daily creel limit from 30 to 20 fish/day and reduce the Smallmouth minimum length limit from 18 to 15 inches. This would make these regulations for Kentucky and Barkley lakes the same in Tennessee and Kentucky sections.
· South Holston Lake- Remove the 15/day creel limit on spotted bass. This change is to be in agreement with VADWR on reciprocal regulations and to support the efforts to limit the invasive effects of Alabama bass on native bass populations.
· Chilhowee and Parksville lakes- Reduce the yellow perch daily creel limit to 15/day to sustain the quality yellow perch fisheries that have developed on these two lakes.
· Allow gigging of nongame fish in Bedford, Lawrence, Maury, Giles, Lewis, Wayne, Hickman, and Marshall counties.
Proposed Regulation Changes to TWRA Fishing lakes, Community Fishing lakes, and State Park lakes
· Laurel Hill Lake (Lawrence Co.) - Reduce bass creel limit from 10 to 5 bass/day. Keeping existing PRL 13-18 inches, allowing only one bass over 18 inches.
· Maples Creek (Carroll Co.) and Whiteville (Hardeman Co.) lakes - Remove daily creel limit on bass less than 18 inches, only 1 per day over 18 inches allowed. Remove daily creel and length limits on crappie.
· Browns Creek (Carroll Co.) and Glenn Springs (Tipton Co.) lakes - Remove the daily creel and minimum size limit on crappie.
· Byrd Lake (Cumberland Mountain SP) and Kelly Lake (Standing Stone SP) - Remove the 15-inch minimum length limit for bass.
· Kelly Lake (Standing Stone SP), Grundy Lakes (South Cumberland SP), and Pickett Lake (Pickett SP) – Establish a 20/day creel limit for bluegill/redear sunfish.
· Establish Jack Dickert Pond (Chattanooga), Cedar Hill Pond (Nashville), Greenbelt Lake and Pistol Creek (Maryville), Fountain City Lake (Knoxville), and Cameron Brown Park Pond (Germantown) as TWRA Community fishing lakes. Establish daily creel limits for black bass- 1 fish/day, bluegill/redear- 20 fish/day, catfish- 5 fish/day, crappie- 30 fish/day, and trout- 5 fish/day. Fishing only allowed with rods and reels, poles, and hand-held lines. Snagging, trotlines, jugs, seines, cast nets are prohibited at these locations.
Proposed Trout Fishing Regulation Changes
· Addition of Cutthroat Trout to species stocked in Tennessee and manage with the current regulations for rainbow trout.
· Addition of Rough Ridge Creek (Monroe Co.) and Little Stony Creek (Carter Co.) to the streams managed with wild trout stream regulations of 5 trout daily creel limit with no length limit. Only single-hook artificial lures are permitted.
· Addition of Big Soddy Creek (Hamilton Co.) to delayed harvest areas with a delayed harvest season of Oct. 1 through the last day of Feb., and a change to the delayed harvest season for Doe River (Carter Co.) from Nov. 1 to Oct. 1 through the last day of February.
· Redefine the boundary of the Children’s Fishing Area in Gatlinburg to the area from North Park Lane downstream to Gatlinburg Bypass Bridge to better clarify this area.
· Tellico River, Citico Creek, and Green Cove Pond- Suspend all Tellico/Citico permit requirements for the 2022 permit season (March 1- Aug. 15) due limited access during renovation of the bridge at Bald River Falls. Suspend stocking on Tellico River and Green Cove pond during this period but continue stockings on Citico Creek. Closure of Green Cove Pond beginning Fall 2021 for renovations to the pond and fishing access. Reopen Green Cove Pond after renovations to all anglers to allow for family fishing with no permit requirement and year-round stocking of trout and catfish. Establish a 5 catfish/day creel limit.
Proposed Bait Regulation Changes
· Allow harvest, use, and possession of crayfish from Mill Creek, Fortyeight Creek, Johnson Mill Branch, Chalk Creek, and Second Creek in Wayne County and Pompeys Branch, McKelvey Branch, and Holly Branch in Hardin County. This is due to the delisting of the Alabama Crayfish from Tennessee’s list of threatened and endangered species.