The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) Fisheries Division announced its proposed 2015-16 sport fish and commercial fishing regulation changes during the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission’s August meeting. TWRA Fisheries Division Chief Bobby Wilson made the proposals at the Aug. 28-29, meeting of the TFWC held in Jackson.
The public is invited to provide comments on the 2015-16 proposals. The comment period for the commercial fishing regulations will be until Sept. 15, 2014. The deadline for the sport fishing comments is Oct. 20, 2014. Comments may be sent to TWRA.Comment@tn.gov, or TWRA, Fisheries Division, P.O. Box 40747, Nashville, TN 37204. Please include “2015 Fish Comments” on the subject line of emailed submissions.
The TFWC will vote on the commercial fishing proposals at its Sept. 18-19, meeting in Nashville. The sport fish regulations will be voted on at the TFWC’s Oct. 29-30, meeting to be held in Greeneville. If approved, the commercial fishing changes would become effective by Nov. 15, while the sport fishing changes would become effective March 1, 2015.
2015-16 Sport Fishing Proposals:
Carroll County Lake: Largemouth Bass - 14-20 inch protected length limit (slot), creel limit 5 bass, only one bass over 20 inches.
Tellico River: The delayed harvest area will be moved upstream. The new boundaries will be from North River upstream to the Tennessee-North Carolina state line.
Green Cove Pond: Only anglers under the age of 13 and those anglers with the following license types will be allowed to fish: Type 197 Sport Fishing License for the Blind, Type189 Wheelchair Hunting and Fishing, Type 198 DAV Hunting and Fishing, Type 199 Mentally Challenged, and Type 169 Intellectual Disability Hunting and Fishing. Use of boats on Green Cover Pond is prohibited.
East Fork Obey River (headwater of Dale Hollow Reservoir): Time period of the special walleye run regulations changed to Jan. 1 through April 15. Creel limit of 5 walleye, only one walleye may be over 20 inches.
Dillard Ponds (Cherokee National Forest, Greene County). Establish a 4 trout per day creel limit, no length limit. Ponds open ½ hour before official sunrise to ½ hour after official sunset. Each angler permitted only one rod or pole.
2015-16 Commercial Fishing Proposals:
- Add Bankclimber (Plectomerus dombeyanus) with a size limit of 2 5/8 inches to the commercial list of harvestable mussels.
- Close John Tully WMA to commercial harvest of snapping turtles.
- Allow the use of slat baskets, turtle traps and trotlines in creek on reservoirs currently open to commercial fishing.
- Clarifying the existing definition of trotlines.
- Reduce the number of resident and non-resident roe fish permits sold to 55 and 5, respectively.
- Paddlefish season will be Nov. 21 through April 7, except for Mississippi River which will remain Nov. 15 through April 15.
- Six-inch netting and greater will only be allowed from Nov. 21-April 7 (prohibited April 8 through Nov. 20), except on Mississippi River. Only 12 of these nets per commercial roe fisherman will be allowed.
- Change minimum length limit for paddlefish to 38 inches (eye-fork length), except for the Mississippi River where the minimum length limit will remain 34 inches.
- Harvested paddlefish must remain whole while on the water.
- A standard head float must be used for all commercial nets. Floats will be 5-x 11- inch bullet floats.