A Guide to Obtaining a Tennessee Fishing License: Everything You Need to Know

A Guide to Obtaining a Tennessee Fishing License

If you’re planning to fish in Tennessee, it’s essential to obtain a fishing license. Not only is it required by law, but it also helps with conservation efforts, funding for wildlife management, and promoting responsible angling. Here’s a guide to help you obtain a Tennessee fishing license:

A Guide to Obtaining a Tennessee Fishing License: Everything You Need to Know

Types of Fishing Licenses in Tennessee

In Tennessee, fishing licenses are a requirement for most anglers. The types of licenses available vary based on factors such as the duration of the license, the age of the angler, and the angler’s residency status. Here, we’ll delve into the different types of fishing licenses available in Tennessee, their costs, and where to purchase them.

Annual, One-Day, and Three-Day Licenses

Annual licenses are the most common type of fishing license in Tennessee. These licenses are valid for 365 days from the date of purchase. For residents, the minimum annual fishing license costs $34, while for non-residents, it costs $50.

One-day fishing permits for all species are available for $6.50. These are perfect for those who only plan to fish occasionally.

Three-day permits are also available, particularly for non-residents. These cost $20.50, or $40.50 if they include trout fishing.

License Fees for Different Age Groups

The cost of a fishing license in Tennessee can also vary based on the age of the angler. For instance, junior hunt, fish, and trap licenses for teens ages 13–15 are $10 annually.

Senior citizens who have reached their 65th birthday can purchase an annual license for $49.

License Purchase Options

Fishing licenses in Tennessee can be purchased online at GoOutdoorsTennessee.com. They are also available from most county clerks, sporting goods stores, hardware stores, marinas, and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) regional offices.

License Validity and Expiration Dates

Most fishing licenses in Tennessee are valid from the date of purchase until 365 days after the purchase. However, the hunting and fishing licenses go on sale each year on February 18 and are valid until the last day of February the following year.

Trout Fishing Permits

An additional permit is required to fish for trout in Tennessee. This permit costs $22 annually.

Resident and Non-Resident Licenses

Resident licenses are available to those with a valid Tennessee driver’s license or State of Tennessee-issued photo ID. The minimum annual Tennessee fishing license for residents is $34.

Non-resident licenses are available for those who do not reside in Tennessee. The annual non-resident fishing license is $50. An annual permit that also includes trout fishing is $99.

In addition, non-residents who were born in Tennessee may apply for Native Tennessean annual licenses. These licenses provide non-residents born in the state but no longer residing in the state the opportunity to purchase annual Tennessee hunting, fishing, or trapping licenses at the same cost as a resident.

Remember, fishing regulations help protect and preserve fish populations, so it’s important to check the current set of regulations before each fishing trip.

Steps to Obtaining a Fishing License in Tennessee

Obtaining a fishing license in Tennessee is a straightforward process. Follow these steps to ensure you have the appropriate license for your fishing needs:

1. Determine the Type of Fishing License You Need

Tennessee offers various fishing license options for residents and non-residents, including annual, one-day, and three-day licenses. You may also need a special permit for trout fishing or fishing in specific areas like Gatlinburg and Bedford’s city limits, the Tellico-Citico creeks, and certain government-owned lakes.

2. Gather the Necessary Information

Provide personal information such as your name, address, and date of birth. You’ll also need to provide your Social Security number or driver’s license number.

3. Purchase Your Fishing License

You can purchase your fishing license through several methods:

  • Online at the Go Outdoors TN Portal
  • Via phone using a credit card (note that there is a $3.95 service fee)
  • In person at physical storefronts near the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, such as local sporting goods stores, county clerks, or Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) offices

4. Keep Your License with You While Fishing

If you purchase your fishing license online, print a copy and carry it with you while fishing. If you purchase your license in person, the TWRA will provide you with a physical copy.

Remember to familiarize yourself with Tennessee’s fishing regulations, which are set by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and include limits on the number of fish that can be caught per day, size limits, and specific rules for different bodies of water. By following these steps, you can obtain your Tennessee fishing license and enjoy the state’s natural resources responsibly.

Cost of Tennessee Fishing Licenses

The cost of fishing licenses in Tennessee varies depending on the type of license, the age of the angler, and their residency status. Here are the details for some of the most common types of fishing licenses:

Annual Fishing License

The Annual Fishing License is the minimum license required to fish in Tennessee. For residents, the cost of this license is $34. For non-residents, the annual fishing license costs $50.

Annual Trout Supplemental License

If you plan to fish for trout, you will need an Annual Trout Supplemental License in addition to your regular fishing license. This supplemental license costs $22 for both residents and non-residents.

Special Permits

Special permits are required for fishing in certain areas, such as Gatlinburg, Tellico-Citico Creeks, and any lake owned by a government agency. The cost of these permits varies. For example, a one-day trout permit for Gatlinburg costs $11.50, while a seasonal daily permit for Tellico-Citico is $6.

Junior Hunting and Fishing Permits

For young anglers between the ages of 13 and 15, a Junior Hunting and Fishing Permit is required. This permit costs $9 for residents and $11 for non-residents.

One-Day Fishing License

If you only plan to fish for a day, you can purchase a one-day fishing license. The cost of this license is $6.50 for all species, or $11.50 if you also want to target trout.

Fishing Regulations in Tennessee

Fishing regulations in Tennessee are set by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) to protect and preserve fish populations and ensure a sustainable fishing experience for all anglers. These regulations include creel limits, size limits, and specific rules for different bodies of water. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these regulations before fishing in Tennessee.

Statewide Creel and Length Limits

Tennessee has statewide creel and length limits for various fish species. Some examples include:

  • Black Bass: 5 per day, no minimum length limit
  • Crappie: 15 per day, 10-inch minimum length limit (Region 1 Crappie: 30 per day, no minimum length limit)
  • Striped Bass or Hybrid Striped Bass: 2 per day, 15-inch minimum length limit
  • White Bass: 15 per day, no minimum length limit

Please note that several waters have exceptions to these limits, so it’s crucial to check the specific regulations for the body of water you plan to fish.

Special Regulations for Certain Bodies of Water

Some bodies of water in Tennessee have specific regulations that differ from the statewide limits. For example, Bill Dance Signature Lakes have unique creel and length limits for various fish species. Additionally, fishing in Gatlinburg and Bedford’s city limits, the Tellico-Citico creeks, and any government-owned lake may require separate permits.

Free Fishing Day

Tennessee offers a Free Fishing Day each year, during which all Tennesseans can fish without a license. In 2023, Bobby Wilson Free Fishing Day is scheduled for June 10.

Trotline Regulations

Trotlines cannot extend more than three-quarters (0.75) the distance across any stream, river, chute, or embayment. Trotlines, limblines, and jugs must be run at least once per 24-hour period.

Banned Species

It is unlawful to possess or transport live specimens of certain invasive species, such as silver carp, bighead carp, black carp, blueback herring, marbled crayfish, New Zealand mud snail, round goby, rudd, ruffe, and snakeheads.

By adhering to these fishing regulations, you can help protect Tennessee’s fish populations and ensure a sustainable and enjoyable fishing experience for all anglers. Always check for updates and specific regulations for the body of water you plan to fish, as some rules may change depending on the season and current fish population.

In conclusion, obtaining a fishing license in Tennessee is a simple and hassle-free process. By following the steps outlined above, you can obtain your Tennessee fishing license and start enjoying the state’s natural resources with peace of mind.

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