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Tennessee

Fishing

Basic Laws & Definitions

  • Stocking of any fish, crayfish or salamanders into public waters is strictly prohibited.
  • Explosives, chemicals and electrical shocking devices are strictly forbidden, and their use carries heavy penalties.
  • Shooting with any type of firearm or air gun to injure or take fish or turtles is prohibited.
  • All boaters and passengers must wear a Coast Guard approved life jacket within the area designated and appropriately marked as a hazardous area below any dam and/or lock.
  • It is illegal to take any fish, crayfish, salamander, or turtle that is listed as endangered, threatened or in-need-of-management.
  • It is illegal to sell or offer to sell fish or turtles without a commercial fishing license.

Bait: Any living or dead organism, or prepared substance designed to attract fish by taste or odor. For the purpose of this proclamation bait includes, but is not limited to, fish, fish eggs, crayfish, worms, grubs, crickets, corn, cheese, bread, pork rinds, putty or paste-type products, and flavors or scents applied to or impregnated into artificial lures.

Culling: The removal of a fish from the creel limit and replacing it with another fish of the same species. The released fish must be a live, healthy specimen which should be expected to survive once it is returned to its natural environment.

Gigging: The taking of fish by means of a hand-held pole or spear with a tip consisting of a single, sharpened point or one or more sharpened barbed points. This includes, but is not limited to gear known as the Hawaiian sling.

Single hook: A hook with only one point.

Spear gun: Any device designed to propel a spear through water and is drawn or held by a mechanical device.

Notice of inspection law: It is the duty of every person participating in the privileges of taking or possessing wildlife to permit agency officers to ascertain whether the requirements of this title are being faithfully complied with, including the possession of a proper license. It is a violation of law to refuse such inspection or to interfere with an officer attempting such inspection. TCA 70-6-101(b)(1)