TWRA Taking Comments on Proposed Sport-Fishing Reg Changes

Press Release from the State of Tennessee, Sept. 2, 2011: 

NASHVILLE — The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) Fisheries Division has announced its proposed 2012 fishing regulation changes that will be presented to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission (TWRC) at its October meeting.

The TWRA made its initial proposals for 2012 at the Aug. 24-25 meeting of the TWRC in Kingsport and discussed the possibility of a fishing guide license during this meeting as well.

The following are TWRA’s proposed changes for 2012:

– Increase the creel limit on largemouth bass at Gibson County Lake in West Tennessee from 5 to 10 fish per day.

– At Lake LaJoie and Lake Placid at Chickasaw State Park in West Tennessee, replace the current 15-inch minimum length limit on largemouth bass with a 14-18 inch slot limit and a creel limit of 10 fish per day, only 1 of which can be over 18 inches.

– At Ft. Patrick Henry Reservoir in East Tennessee, place an 18-inch minimum size limit on walleye with a creel limit of 5 fish per day.

– Redefine the Boone Reservoir boundary in East Tennessee for fish regulation purposes on the South Fork Holston River Arm from the Highway 11E Bridge to the Highway 37 Bridge at Bluff City.

– Establish a 16-inch minimum length limit for lake trout on Watauga Reservoir.

Guide License Proposal

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission discussed the possibility of implementing a fishing guide license at the Aug. 25 Commission meeting in Kingsport. The Commission felt that a guide license is needed to assist in expenses at TWRA’s state fish hatcheries due to the likely reductions in trout production at federal fish hatcheries in Tennessee, Dale Hollow and Erwin National Fish Hatcheries.

A recommendation was made to consider a fishing guide license only for the following waters: the rivers immediately below Wilbur, Watauga, South Holston, Cherokee, Norris, Appalachian, Tim’s Ford, Center Hill, Dale Hollow, and Normandy dams. The Agency was asked to recommend a proposed cost for the guide license, both resident and nonresident; any qualifications or restrictions that may be necessary; the projected cost for managing the program; and the projected revenue generated from the program. These recommendations will be presented to the TWRC on Oct. 13 at the Commission meeting in Nashville.

TWRA Soliciting Comments

The TWRA is soliciting comments for its 2012 sport fishing regulation changes and guide license proposals. This is an opportunity for the public to share ideas and concerns with the TWRA staff.

Public comments will be considered by fisheries managers and may be presented as proposals for regulation changes. Comments may be submitted by mail to: Sport Fish Comments, TWRA, Fisheries Management Division, P.O. 40747, Nashville, TN 37204 or emailed to TWRA.Comment@tn.gov. Please include “Sport Fish Comments” or “Fishing Guide License Comments” on the subject line of emailed submissions.

This comment period will be open until Friday, Oct. 7, 2011.