Fishing - Black and white of calm mature ethnic fisherman in anti mosquito head net hat standing in shallow water of lake near wooden boat and looking at camera
Image by Plato Terentev on

Fishing Licenses in Tennessee: Everything You Need to Know

Fishing is a popular recreational activity in Tennessee, attracting both locals and tourists alike. However, before casting your line into the water, it’s important to understand the fishing license requirements in the state. Fishing licenses are not only a legal requirement but also play a crucial role in the conservation and management of Tennessee’s fish populations.

In Tennessee, anyone aged 13 and above is required to have a valid fishing license to fish in public waters. This includes all rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and ponds that are not on private property. It’s important to note that even if you are fishing catch-and-release, you still need a fishing license.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) is responsible for issuing fishing licenses. They offer a variety of licenses to cater to different needs and preferences. The most common type of fishing license is the Resident Fishing License, which is available to Tennessee residents at a relatively low cost. Non-residents, on the other hand, can obtain a Non-Resident Fishing License, which allows them to fish in Tennessee for a specified period.

If you plan on fishing in Tennessee for just a single day, you can purchase a One-Day Fishing License. This is a convenient option for tourists or occasional anglers who do not fish frequently. However, if you plan to fish multiple times throughout the year, it might be more cost-effective to purchase an Annual Fishing License.

It’s worth mentioning that certain groups of people are exempt from needing a fishing license. These include residents who are under the age of 13, individuals with disabilities who hold a valid Tennessee hunting and fishing license, and military personnel who are on leave and have a valid Tennessee driver’s license.

When purchasing a fishing license, you have several options. The easiest way is to buy it online through the TWRA website. This allows you to conveniently obtain your license from the comfort of your own home. Alternatively, you can visit a local license agent, such as a bait and tackle shop, sporting goods store, or county clerk’s office, to purchase a license in person.

Once you have obtained your fishing license, it’s important to carry it with you whenever you go fishing. TWRA officers have the authority to ask for proof of a valid license, and failure to present it may result in fines or penalties. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the fishing regulations in Tennessee, as there may be size and creel limits for certain species of fish.

In addition to fishing licenses, Tennessee also offers various permits and stamps that allow for specific types of fishing. For example, if you plan on fishing for trout in certain waters, you will need a Trout License. There is also a WMA (Wildlife Management Area) Permit, which grants access to designated WMAs for fishing purposes.

In conclusion, fishing licenses are a necessary requirement for anyone looking to fish in Tennessee’s public waters. Whether you’re a resident or a non-resident, there are various license options available to suit your needs. By obtaining a fishing license, you not only comply with the law but also contribute to the conservation efforts that help maintain Tennessee’s diverse fish populations. So, grab your fishing gear, get your license, and enjoy the abundant fishing opportunities that Tennessee has to offer.