New Regs for 2013-2014
TFWC APPROVES FISHING 2013-14
REGULATIONS AT OCTOBER MEETING
by Lee Wilmot, TWRA
The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the 2013-14 fishing regulations at its October meeting which concluded Friday afternoon and was held near Reelfoot State Park.
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officials made the original recommendations at the TFWC’s August meeting in Nashville.
Next year’s regulations changes include umbrella/Alabama rigs, skipjack herring, wild trout streams, walleye on Cherokee Reservoir, and bass on Pickwick, Parksville and Cordell Hull reservoirs. Other new regulations limit the number of commercial fishing permits and define waters within certain wildlife management areas open to commercial fishing.
One of the most discussed topics this past year concerned Alabama rigs (fishing lures). Regulations surrounding multi-lure arrays created much confusion among anglers and TWRA staff this past year.
“The 3-hook changes is much simpler to interpret and offers a compromise between anglers that wish to fish five hooks with those that feel only one hook should be used on multi-lure arrays,” said Bobby Wilson, TWRA Chief of Fisheries Division.
Single point, double point, and treble (3 points) hooks would each be counted as one hook. Sabiki type rigs will be permitted. A sabiki type rig is typically used to catch bait fish.
A new regulation is a first-ever creel limit on skipjack herring of 100 per day (200 possession limit). Skipjack are a popular baitfish. There is growing concern among biologists and anglers that this practice should be limited to prevent overfishing.
The regulations become effective March 1, 2013.
The Fisheries Division also presented a pair of annual awards. Rick Bivens was named as the 2012 Fisheries Biologist of the Year. He joined the TWRA in 1980 and works as a Wildlife Manager III in Region IV. Jeff Sanders, an employee at the Flintville Hatchery in Region II for the past 25 years, was named the Fisheries Technician of the Year.
Ray Garton, who was named the TWRA’s Wildlife Officer of the Year for the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA), was introduced to the commission. Garton serves as a wildlife officer in Region I and was also honored at the annual SEAFWA meeting earlier this month in Arkansas.
The TFWC will hold its next meeting Nov. 30 in Nashville at TWRA’s Region II Ray Bell Building.