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Attention Anglers: Protect Hellbenders


Photos by Megan Lawson

hellbender-closeup-from-megan-lawson-lee-university_opt.pngHellbenders are harmless, nonpoisonous aquatic salamanders that live in rivers and streams throughout Tennessee. These large amphibians, 11–20 inches long, live under large flat rocks, venturing out at night to feed. Ninety percent of hellbenders’ diet is crayfish, but occasionally they feed on minnows and earthworms. Due to declines in hellbender numbers, they are protected and cannot be taken from the wild or killed. If you catch one on hook and line, release it unharmed by removing the hook or simply cutting the line. Thank you for helping to protect this unique animal, which is part of our natural heritage. Please report sightings (take a photo if possible) by calling Mark Thurman at 1-800-262-6704, ext. 1027.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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Conservation Partner Advertisements: The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency allows appropriate advertising in its annual regulation guides in print and online, in order to defray or eliminate expenses to the state, and support enhanced communications with Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Constituents. Through a unique partnership with J.F.Griffin Publishing, LLC &, ‘Conservation Partners’ have been established that pay for advertising in support of the regulations both in print and online. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency neither endorses products or services listed or claims made; nor accepts any liability arising from the use of products or services listed. Advertisers interested in the Conservation Partners program should contact J.F.Griffin/ directly at 413-884-1001,
This is not the full law. Consult the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency for further details. All persons are reminded that the statutes, code and regulations are the legal authorities.
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