Skip to main content

Tennessee

Fishing

Turtles

A sport fishing license is required and only the common snapping turtle may be taken. Turtles taken by sport fishing methods may not be sold. Shooting with any type of firearm or air gun is prohibited. Common snapping turtles may be taken by all legal sport fishing methods except archery, spearguns and dipping. Daily limit is 5 with a minimum legal length of 12 inches—length is determined by measuring the upper shell in a straight line from the scute directly behind the turtle’s head (nuchal scute) to the base of the notch where the two most posterior scutes meet. Sport fishermen may also take snapping turtles by the use of up to three turtle trap nets, with minimum net size of three inches on the square in Benton, Carroll, Chester, Crockett, Decatur, Dyer, Fayette, Gibson, Hardeman, Hardin, Haywood, Henderson, Henry, Houston, Humphreys, Lake, Lauderdale, McNairy, Madison, Obion, Perry, Shelby, Stewart, Tipton, and Weakley counties. Each net must be marked with the owner’s name and address or TWRA Identification Number. Each net must be set so that a portion of the catch area is above the water. No turtle may be possessed while afield which has been altered to the extent that its species or length cannot be determined.