Skip to Main Content Skip to Main Navigation
Join the Griffin's Guide HUNTING newsletter

Get weekly news, tips and photos from the world of hunting.
[contact-form-7 id="35884" title="GG Email"]
No Thanks!

Statewide Limits & Regulations

Brought to you by:

TWRA’s goal is to manage each species of fish with statewide creel and length limits where possible. However, many waters, because of their unique characteristics, require individual creel and length limits. These regulations improve fishing for all anglers.

Minimum Length Limits restrict the harvest of fish below a specified minimum length. For example, a 15-inch minimum length limit allows the angler to keep fish 15 inches or greater. Fish less than 15 inches cannot be harvested. In waters where length restrictions are in place, anglers may not be able to harvest quite as many fish, but they will enjoy catching more fish—as many as two to three times more.

Slot Limits or Protected Length Ranges (PLRs) allow anglers to harvest fish above and below a specified length range. For example, a 14–18″ PLR protects fish in the 14- to 18-inch length group. Anglers may harvest fish that measure less than 14 inches and they may harvest fish that measure over 18 inches. For a protected length range to be effective, anglers must harvest fish below the protected range.

Possession Limits: The total possession limit is twice the daily creel limit. You may not have more than the daily creel limit with you while afield. It is unlawful to have, while afield, any fish which has been altered so that its species and/or total body length cannot be determined.

Pole or Rod Limit: There is no limit on the number of poles, except at Center Hill and Dale Hollow Reservoirs (pages 17 and 18).

  • » Statewide Hook Restriction

multiarm

Unless otherwise restricted in this guide, anglers are restricted to a maximum of 3 hooks per rod, pole, or hand-held line. Single, double, or treble hooks each count as one hook. This restriction does not apply to the Sabiki or piscatore rigs, which are a set of small lures attached along a single line.

 

  • » Banned In Tennessee

It is unlawful to possess or transport live specimens of the following animals:

  • Silver carp
    (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix)
  • Bighead carp
    (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis)
  • Black carp
    (Hypophthalmichthys piceus)
  • Blueback herring
    (Alosa aestivalis)
  • New Zealand mud snail
    (Potamopyrgus antipodarum)
  • Round goby
    (Neogobius melanostomus)
  • Rudd
    (Scardinius erythrophthalmus)
  • Ruffe
    (Gymnocephalus cernua)
  • Snakeheads
    (all members of the Family Channidae)
  • Swamp eels
    (all members of the Family Synbranchidae)
  • Zebra mussels
    (Dreissena polymorpha)

Statewide Creel and Length Limits

The following are the creel and size limits that apply statewide. Several waters have exceptions to these limits. Refer to the pages listed in red at the bottom of this page to see exceptions to the statewide regulations. If you are fishing a location that does not have exceptions listed in this guide, then the statewide limits apply.

Species

Creel Limit

Minimum Length Limit

Black Bass
(includes Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted and Coosa)

5
No more than 5 black bass
per day in any combination
may be taken.

none

Crappie (all species combined)

15

10 inches

Region 1 Crappie Exception: unless otherwise noted for specific waters.

30

none

Rock Bass or Redeye

20

none

Striped Bass or Hybrid Striped Bass
(any combination)

2

15 inches

White Bass

15

none

Muskellunge

1

36 inches

Sauger or Sauger/Walleye hybrids

10

15 inches

Walleye

5

16 inches

Trout (all trout species combined)

7

none

Lake Trout

Only 2 trout may be lake trout.

Redear Sunfish or Shellcracker

20

none

Yellow Bass, Bluegill, Bream, Bullheads, Pickerel, Northern Pike,
Yellow Perch, and nongame species

no limit

none

Skipjack Herring

100

none

Catfish: Only one catfish over 34 inches may be harvested per day. No harvest limit on catfish less than 34 inches.

Paddlefish: Paddlefish may be harvested from April 24 through May 31. Daily creel limit is 2 fish per day with no size limit. Culling is prohibited. For exceptions on Center Hill and Cherokee reservoirs, see pages 17 and 21.

Sturgeon (Shovelnose, Pallid, Lake, and Hybrids): No harvest allowed. Must be returned to water immediately.

 

  • » Exceptions to the statewide limits and other regulations:
  • Reservoirs pages 1419
  • TWRA Fishing Lakes pages 2621
  • Small Impoundments page 30
  • State Park Lakes page 31
  • Streams and Rivers pages 3224
  • Trout Fisheries pages 34–27

Measuring a Fish’s Length

FISHMEAS_opt.png

Lay the fish on a flat ruler, close the
mouth, and squeeze the lobes of the tail
fin to produce the maximum length.
The mouth of the fish may not be manipulated or extended.

 

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

Return to the eregulations.com home page
Brought to you by:
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 & eRegulations.com, ‘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/eRegulations.com directly at 413-884-1001,
JF Griffin Media
J.F. Griffin Media reaches 9,000,000 sportsmen every year through our print and digital publications. We produce 30 hunting and fishing regulation guides for 15 state agencies. For advertising information, please visit: www.jfgriffin.com