New Live Bait Regulations Proposed

Friday, September 18, 2009 - by Richard Simms

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission will soon be voting on changes to the laws regarding live bait.

A proposed live bait proclamation was previewed to the TWRC by TWRA’s Fisheries Division this week.

Over the past two years, TWRA biologists have worked to develop a suite of regulations pertaining to the harvest, sale, and use of live bait.

Bill Reeves, TWRA Chief of Fisheries, says the primary goal of the changes is to protect native species... specifically certain salamanders and crayfish.

The new rules directly impact commercial fishermen and bait dealers, however Reeves said there is relatively little direct impact to sport fishermen.

Bottomline... if you like to catch crawdads, bluegill or threadfin shad from the Tennessee River to use for live bait, you can continue to do that. No questions asked.

However TWRA has identified three specific "problem areas" where you cannot catch crawdads and move them to another river drainage system. Those include the French Broad River, Holston River and Clinch River.

Reeves admits it will be a difficult enforcement situation, but says the regulation protects native species by restricting, or stopping, the importation of non-native species... primarily by out-of-state bait dealers.

But bottomline, for Chattanooga-area anglers, any legal live bait you've been catching and fishing with in the past will continue to be legal.

There are other stipulations, such as the use of rainbow trout as bait. Under the new regulation, you can possess all the trout you want under 8-inches long, provided you have a receipt to show where you bought them. However if you have trout which are more than 8-inches long, you can possess no more than the legal limit (seven per person).

Click HERE to view the PowerPoint Presentation provided to Wildlife Commissioners this week.

Additional questions can be e-mailed to the TWRA Fisheries Division.

The TWRA’s recommendations will be voted upon by the commission at its Dec. 3-4 meeting. The TWRA will soon begin taking solicited comments from the public through October.

In other action, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission made an amendment to the 2009-10 waterfowl regulations. Last month's proclamation contained a minor error for the youth waterfowl hunt, stating that canvasback harvest was closed. The TWRC approve an amended proclamation that corrects this error, making the youth waterfowl hunt bag limits the same as the regular season.

The commission also heard a report from Dave Kostersky, the Grants Coordinator of Ducks Unlimited Canada. He made a presentation to the commission on waterfowl habitat conditions in Canada.

A presentation to the commission was made by Waterways Management, Inc. Waterways Management has compiled data from 2007 and it takes a look at the future of recreational boating in Tennessee up to the year 2025. The information will assist TWRA in making informed decisions concerning the future of recreational boating in Tennessee.

The commission also has set its meeting schedule for the remainder of the calendar year. The TWRC will meet Oct. 29-30 in Knoxville and Dec. 3-4 in Nashville.


TFWC September Meeting To Be Held In Nashville

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission will take action on changes in the commercial fishing proclamation among its agenda at its Sept. 18-19 meeting. The commission will hold its September meeting at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building. Committee meetings will start at 1 p.m. on Sept. 18, while formal session is Sept. 19, beginning at 9 ... (click for more)

Application Period Underway For WMA Waterfowl Hunts

The application period for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s 2014 Wildlife Management Area waterfowl hunts is now underway. The application period will be accepted until midnight (CDT) Oct. 1. A computerized drawing system will be held to selected successful applicants based on the priority drawing system. Applications will be accepted until midnight Oct. 1.   ... (click for more)

Sewell Says City, EPB "Close" On Amount Owed By Utility To City On Street Light Overbilling

City Internal Auditor Stan Sewell told City Council members on Tuesday that EPB and the city are "close" on the amount owed by the utility to the city on street light overbilling. Mr. Sewell said the city computed the amount at about $1.2 million, while he said EPB's auditing firm, Mauldin and Jenkins, has it at $1.5 million for an 89-month period that was audited. Mr. Sewell ... (click for more)

City Council Votes 5-4 On New Process For Naming IDB Members

The City Council voted Tuesday night 5-4 to set up a new process for naming members to the Industrial Development Board (IDB), which currently has four vacancies. The process includes three City Council panels: A (Districts 1, 2, 3), B (Districts 4, 5, 6), and C (Districts 7, 8, 9). Group A will fill two of the vacancies and Groups B and C one each. Agreement ... (click for more)

Dirt Decision At Camp Jordan May Come Back To Haunt East Ridge Councilmen

Wow. I thought the arrival of Bass Pro Shop would help bring East Ridge back to a position of prominence in the Chattanooga area, but the Council proved otherwise last night.  To the council - There is a reason that the developers want that dirt: It's valuable . You currently own it and the developer wants it. Bass Pro has already agreed to set up shop. They were going ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Goodbye To My Scooter

The month of August turned out to be unkind, with my dog, my favorite aunt and my magnificent mother all dying within three weeks’ time. As I finally begin to push out the three newest dents in my soul, my habit has been to write something akin to a goodbye note to those I have loved. I’m not ready for Aunt Martha and Mother yet – not by a stretch -- but I remembered Scooter with ... (click for more)