Fishing is a favorite activity in Tennessee thanks to its many lakes, rivers, and streams full of fish. To keep fish populations healthy for everyone to enjoy, we must follow fishing rules and guidelines.
Fishing Rules in Tennessee
To enjoy a responsible and successful fishing experience in Tennessee, following key rules and regulations is essential. These guidelines are in place to ensure the protection of our natural resources and promote a sustainable fishing environment for everyone.
Anyone fishing in Tennessee needs a license. You can buy one online, at a TWRA office, from a licensed agent, or by phone. In addition, there are yearly, short-term, senior, and disabled veteran licenses for fun and business fishing.
Wildlife Management Areas
Tennessee has Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) for fishing too. WMAs are public lands for wildlife and fun managed by the TWRA. Check each WMA's rules before you go fishing there
Different fish have different fishing seasons. Check the dates before you go. Some fish can't be caught during certain times to protect them. Federal rules also protect paddlefish and sturgeon.
Bag and Size Limits
There are limits on how many fish you can keep and how big they can be. The limits depend on the fish and place. Learn the limitations and how to tell fish apart. There are no limits on invasive species like Asian carp.
Some fish, like Lake Sturgeon, Snail Darter, and Conasauga Logperch, are protected. Do not fish for these species to help save them.
Some fish or places have catch-and-release rules. You must let the fish go immediately or follow certain steps to avoid hurting them. Follow these rules to keep fish populations healthy.
Boating rules keep everyone safe while fishing in Tennessee. Boats need safety gear like life jackets and fire extinguishers. Motorboats must be registered with the TWRA.
Enforcement and Penalties
TWRA officers make sure people follow fishing rules. Breaking the rules can lead to fines, losing fishing rights, or even jail time. So know the rules to avoid trouble and protect Tennessee's fish.
Stay Updated on Fishing Rules
Fishing rules can change each year or season. Keep up with the latest regulations on the TWRA website.
Help protect Tennessee's fish by following the rules. Learn about fishing regulations before you go out and support the TWRA's conservation work.