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BOUNCE nfc at actwin_com: Non-member submission from [MDWfield at aol_com] (fwd)

Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 17:57:18 -0400 (EDT)
From: owner-nfc at actwin_com
To: owner-nfc at actwin_com
Subject: BOUNCE nfc at actwin_com:    Non-member submission from [MDWfield at aol_com]   

>From jwiegert at nexus_v-wave.com  Sun Jul  5 17:57:17 1998
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Date: Sun, 5 Jul 1998 17:58:14 EDT
To: nfc at actwin_com
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Subject: Re: Tennessee Regulations
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Jeff, here's the text of the article in "American Currents".  Sorry it's so
late; as you can see I'm a bit behind in my E-mail.  (About six weeks I think
- hard to say, since my older mail has been pushed off.)  Also, this is as of
3/96, so some small items may be different now.

Mike Whitfield

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                     COLLECTING IN TENNESSEE:  
                         A NANFA PRIMER  
     Tennessee is blessed with over three hundred species of  
freshwater fish.  Of all the United States, only Kentucky can boast
a similar number of native species.  Florida, although now probably
home to more species because of exotics, has far less native  
species.  Tennessee's fishes represent 302 to 319 species; the  
exact count depends upon resolution of some taxonomic problems, 
differentiating between valid species and subspecies.  Of these,
somewhere between 277 and 297 species are native to Tennessee.  
Again, taxonomic problems obscure the total number, and in some 
cases the original distribution of widely introduced species is not
     Although Tennessee has a diverse group of fishes, often not
found outside the state or region, some of these species are  
threatened with extinction.  Wildlife in Tennessee is regulated by
the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), and a list of  
currently protected fish may be obtained by writing TWRA.  A  
current list is included at the end of this article, but other  
fishes may be added at any time as deemed necessary.  None of these
species may be legally taken without a permit.  These fishes are
broken down further into "In Need Of Management", "Threatened", and
"Endangered".  Permits to take Threatened and Endangered fishes are
generally issued only to managers of public aquaria, biologists 
studying these fishes, and ichthyologists operating with a museum,
aquarium, or university.  Permits to take species listed as "In 
Need Of Management" may be granted to an individual at the  
Executive Director's discretion.  
     To obtain a permit, the person or organization must write  
TWRA's Executive Director.  The application should include the  
species desired, numbers of each to be taken, and the purpose, and
the proposed collecting location.   
Preference will be given to captive breeding programs and public
educational programs; permits for private study are not often  
given.  The application should include any prior experience with
captive breeding or maintenance programs.  The permit granted may
restrict the quantity, size, or number of fish to be taken, methods
of capture, and/or the locations where the fish may be taken.  An
annual report will also be required, and other reports may be  
required depending on the species and the program.  Preference will
be given to species which are locally common but of restricted  
range, and those considered for restocking projects.  
     For non-protected species, collecting becomes a much simpler
project.  For our purposes, game fish include largemouth, Coosa,
smallmouth, and spotted bass, Crappie (black and white), rock bass,
striped or Cherokee bass (a striped bass/white bass hybrid),  
muskellunge, northern pike, sauger, walleye, all trout, yellow and
white bass, bluegill, bream (all other sunfish), pickerel, yellow
perch, and catfish.  All other fish are non-game fish.  
     Legal methods of taking game fish are restricted to rod and
line.  A maximum of three rods per person is allowed.  In addition,
some species have minimum lengths, and many bodies of water now 
have more stringent minimum lengths, slot limits (i.e. a minimum
and maximum length for keeping, where all other smaller or larger
than the slot must be released), or further restrictions on  
methods, such as single hook artificial lures.  These regulations
are fluid as conditions change, and the collector must obtain a 
current copy of the Tennessee Fishing Regulations.  Additional  
changes after press will be few, and will be displayed at area  
public boat docks.  Aquarists in Tennessee wishing to keep game 
species must either take them by rod and line, obtain them from 
legal out-of-state sources, or purchase them from a hatchery.  
     Methods for taking non-game fish, the bulk of native aquarium
inhabitants, are somewhat more lenient.  Those suitable for  
collecting for aquaria include tubbing, dipping, and cast netting,
minnow traps, and seining.  All non-game fish may be taken without
limit except for paddlefish, with a limit of two, and certain  
restrictions by county on the species and number of minnows which
may be taken and/or possessed.  (As of 3/96 Cannon, Lincoln, Macon,
Moore, Smith, Sumner, and Trousdale counties prohibit taking  
minnows for sale, and limit possession of minnows to 250 per person
in Lincoln and Moore and 150 per person in the other counties.  
Additionally, hornyhead (stoneroller) minnows may not be taken for
sale or offered for sale in Carter, Unicoi, Washington, Johnson,
Morgan, and Sullivan counties.)  
     The season for tubbing, dipping, and cast netting is open  
year-round in all waters except within 100 yards downstream of a
dam, and where expressly prohibited, and all areas closed to  
fishing.  Cast nets must be no more than 10 feet in radius, and 
must have a mesh size between 1/4" square and 1" square.  Minnow
traps and seines are similarly allowed year-round and prohibited
only in those areas closed to fishing.  Minnow traps must have no
mouths or openings larger than 1-1/2".  Seines must be no longer
than 10 feet, with a mesh size no larger than 3/8".  In general,
seining is frowned on in waters stocked with trout, and may be  
considered as attempting to take trout in these waters.  This will
largely be decided by the local TWRA agent.  
     A couple of other methods are also available.  Shad trawling,
other than within 1,000 yards below a dam, is legal with a trawl
with mesh no larger than 1", a hoop diameter no larger than 48",
and a net length no more than 72", but only threadfin and gizzard
shad may be taken, and none may be sold.  Additionally, one may 
apply for a slat basket permit to fish with one slat basket.  This
permit costs $5, and includes a metal tag which must be installed
on the slat basket.  The basket itself must have a minimum of four
openings of not less than 1-1/2" by 6", making this method of  
little use for the aquarist.  
     Other methods of collecting fish, such as by chemicals or  
electroshocker, are allowed only by specific permit and only under
extenuating circumstances.  Applications for this permit may be
made to the TWRA Executive Director, and should specify dates to
be used, species sought, and purposes for the collection.  An
annual report will be required, as may other reports depending on
species sought, etc.  
     As far as keeping fish and aquatic life in aquaria, Tennessee
divides all wildlife into five classes.  The classes concerning us
are: Class II which includes all native species not specifically
listed in other classes, and specifically all crustaceans, aquatic
snails, and salt water mussels (other than zebra mussels) held in
aquaria; Class III which includes non-poisonous amphibians and all
fish held in aquaria; and Class IV which includes native species
whose possession is limited to zoos, exhibitors, rehabilitation 
facilities, and similar licensed and permitted facilities, and  
those species designated as injurious to the environment.  Zebra
mussels are class V.  Any native fish species kept in an outdoor
pond would be Class II.  Any native species other than fish, which
are held in aquaria but not specifically classified as Class III
(e.g. non-poisonous amphibians are Class III) would be Class II.
     A possession permit is not required for legally obtained  
native species in aquaria.  However an importation permit is  
required for all fish species except those housed in aquaria, those
native to Tennessee, triploid grass carp, goldfish, rainbow or  
brown trout, any salmon species, or the golden orfe.  Thus, koi 
destined for a garden pond would require a permit to import.  Also,
any outdoor propagation of any species other than those native to
Tennessee, or any maintained or propagated Threatened, Endangered
or In Need of Management species, requires either a propagation 
permit or a fish farming license, depending upon scope and purpose. 
For all Class II animals (including aquatic life in aquaria except
for fish), the hobbyist must keep a record of the name and address
of the supplier and date of acquisition.  Obviously this is not 
usually enforced for native crayfish, snails, etc.  However any 
large scale or outdoor operations involving these species would be
enforceable under the Class II requirements, and some native  
crayfish and (especially) snails are protected, so caution is  
advised in keeping and/or collecting these critters.  
     The class we commonly deal with is Class III, animals which
require no permit to keep or transport.  This includes all fish 
held in aquaria.  Note that for species listed as Threatened,  
Endangered, or In Need of Management, the aquarist needs to  
maintain documentation proving the stock was legally obtained.  
Also, for any such species, the aquarist should maintain detailed
notes on behavior and, especially, breeding, to aid in future  
captive breeding and recovery projects.  
     All non-native fishes, crustaceans, and aquatic snails not 
held in aquaria, are Class V.  Zebra mussels are Class V even if
held in aquaria.  Any Class V animal requires permits for  
importation, collection, and possession.  Aquarists may apply to
TWRA for a permit to collect and keep zebra mussels; no other Class
V animals will be considered to individuals.  (The chief concern
about zebra mussels is the hardiness of the tiny larvae.  Unlike
native mussels, whose larvae parasitize fish, zebra mussel larvae
are pelagic.  Worse, they attach to surfaces and can survive for
hours, perhaps days, out of water.  Thus fisherman, boaters, and
even innocent aquarists may inadvertently carry larvae from one 
body of water to another on boat hulls, nets or even waders.  Even
zebra mussels' aquarium water, dumped outside, might conceivably
spread the little pests.)  
     Freshwater mussels may not be taken without a permit.  These
are seldom issued to individuals, as many of Tennessee's native 
mussel species are critically endangered, and captive breeding  
programs are beyond the reach of almost all individual aquarists. 
Any permit to collect and keep any native mussels must include  
detailed plans for educational or captive breeding programs to be
considered, and may include a visit by TWRA personnel to inspect
the premises.  Federal guidelines and permit requirements would 
still apply, and penalties for removing a protected species can be
extremely high.  Further, since many species are externally very
similar, some form of identification verification must be included
in the application.  Hobbyists wishing to include mussels must  
either purchase non-protected species from out-of-state, or obtain
commercially harvested species from licensed mussel fishermen.  
Hobbyists wishing to propagate mussels should be advised that many
species are very restricted in suitable fish host species.  
     Crustaceans and aquatic snails may be taken and kept in  
aquaria.  TWRA can furnish a list of aquatic snails and crustaceans
which are protected.  Some species may also be federally protected. 
In general, only the most common species should be candidates for
     Some special licenses may be needed as well.  Fishing in trout
waters may be taken to be trout fishing, even for individuals 
obviously trying for aquarium species, and requires a trout or 
all-species license.  There are in addition fees for certain areas,
for instance the Reelfoot Lake Preserve or agencies lakes.  Local
baitshops and fishing equipment suppliers are the best source of
information on these.  
     Commercial fishermen are defined as those who take fish or 
other aquatic life for sale, barter or exchange, or who use methods
of taking fish not allowed under the sportfishing regulations.  
These regulations are not aimed at the hobbyist; however it is up
to the TWRA to determine at what point a hobbyist becomes a  
commercial fisherman in regards to trading fish.  
     Persons wishing to capture and/or sell legal species of fish
or aquatic life will require a bait dealer's license.  Those who
wish to rear and sell legal species of fish or aquatic life require
a fish farming license.  Currently (as of March 1996) either costs
$20 for residents or $250 for nonresidents.  Both bait dealers and
fish farmers are beyond the scope of this article; prospective  
businesses in this field should be negotiated with the TWRA to  
determine the proper licenses, inspections, and reports.  
     No fishes taken may be sold or offered for sell, except as 
provided for under a valid commercial fishing, fish farming, or 
bait dealer's license.  In addition, game fish cannot be shipped
into, out of, or inside the state of Tennessee without evidence 
that the shipper possessed a legal fishing license at the time of
     In summary, Tennessee's wildlife laws are many and ever-  
changing.  Both the TWRA and its individual agents are given a wide
latitude in making and enforcing game and fish laws.  Luckily, the
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency enjoys the trust of Tennessee's
people, unlike the adversarial relationship in some western and 
northern states.  Consequently there are few complaints filed, and
most of these are by persons charged with poaching or other game
violations.  TWRA agents are generally reasonable, though a party
seining a stocked trout stream may have some fast talking to do! 
Overall Tennessee have has a wealth of fish and aquatic life,
tolerable and conservation-based laws, and reasonable enforcement. 
Come to Tennessee - it's a NANFA wonderland!  

Appendix 1: Contacting TWRA  
Aquarists wishing to contact TWRA for permits or clarification  
should write:  
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency  
Attn: Frank Fiss 
Ellington Agricultural Center  
P.O. Box 40747  
Nashville, TN 37204  
Those wishing to order fishing licenses by mail should write:  
Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency  
Information Section  
Ellington Agricultural Center  
P.O. Box 40747  
Nashville, TN 37204  
Include your name, address, date of birth, social security number,
and physical features (height, weight, eye and hair color), and 
enclose the correct fee from the table below:  
NONRESIDENT LICENSES               Type           FEE  
Annual Fishing (no trout)          76             $26.00  
Three-day Fishing (no trout)       77             $10.50  
Ten-day Fishing (no trout)         79             $15.50  
Three-day All Fish                 78             $20.50  
Ten-day All Fish                   80             $30.50  
Annual All Fish                    81             $51.00  
Appendix 2: Tennessee's Threatened, Endangered, And In Need of  
Management Fishes  
1. Lake Sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens)  
2. Pallid Sturgeon (Scaphirhynchus albus)  
3. Blue Shiner (Cyprinella caerulea)  
4. Spotfin Chub (Hybopsis monacha)  
5. Palezone Shiner (Notropis sp.)  
6. Smoky Madtom (Noturus baileyi)  
7. Yellowfin Madtom (Noturus flavipinnis)  
8. Pygmy Madtom (Noturus stanauli)  
9. Tuckasegee Darter (Etheostoma blennioides gutselli)  
10. Egg-mimic Darter (Etheostoma pseudovulatum)  
11. Boulder Darter (Etheostoma wapiti)  
12. Barrens Darter (Etheostoma forbesi)  
13. Blue Mask [Jewel] Darter (Etheostoma sp.)  
14. Crown Darter (Etheostoma [Catonotus] sp.)  
15. Duskytail Darter (Etheostoma [Catonotus] sp.)  
16. Amber Darter (Percina antesella)  
17. Conasauga Logperch (Percina jenkinsi)  
1. Silverjaw Minnow (Notropis buccatus)  
2. Slender Chub (Erimystax cahni)  
3. Blackside Dace (Phoxinus cumberlandensis)  
4. Blue Sucker (Cycleptus elongatus)  
5. Frecklebelly Madtom (Noturus munitus)  
6. Dark River Saddled Madtom (Noturus sp.)  
7. Barrens Topminnow (Fundulus julisia)  
8. Western Sand Darter (Ammocrypta clara)  
9. Coppercheek Darter (Etheostoma aquali)  
10. Slackwater Darter (Etheostoma boschungi)  
11. Coldwater Darter (Etheostoma ditrema)  
12. Trispot Darter (Etheostoma trisella)  
13. Holiday Darter (Etheostoma sp.)  
14. Longhead Darter (Percina macrocephala)  
15. Snail Darter (Percina tanasi)  
In Need of Management  
1. Southern Brook Lamprey (Ichthyomyzon gagei)  
2. Silver Lamprey (Ichthyomyzon unicuspis)  
3. Alligator Gar (Lepisosteus spatula)  
4. Alabama Shad (Alosa alabamae)  
5. Smoky Dace (Clinostomus sp.)  
6. Flame Chub (Hemitremia flammea)  
7. Plains Minnow (Hybognathus placitus)  
8. Sturgeon Chub (Macrhybopsis gelida)  
9. Sicklefin Chub (Macrhybopsis meeki)  
10. Bigmouth Shiner (Notropis dorsalis)  
11. Lined Chub (Notropis lineapunctatus)  
12. Roseface Shiner (Notropis rubellus rubellus)  
13. Bedrock Shiner (Notropis rupestris)  
14. Tennessee Dace (Phoxinus tennesseensis)  
15. Highfin Carpsucker (Carpiodes velifer)  
16. Harelip Sucker (Lagochila lacera)  
17. Blackfin Sucker (Moxostoma atripinne)  
18. Northern Madtom (Noturus stigmosus)  
19. Southern Cavefish (Typhlichthys subterraneus)  
20. Golden Topminnow (Fundulus chrysotus)  
21. Crystal Darter (Ammocrypta asprella)  
22. Naked Sand Darter (Ammocrypta beani)  
23. Scaly Sand Darter (Ammocrypta vivax)  
24. Sharphead Darter (Etheostoma acuticeps)  
25. Emerald Darter (Etheostoma baileyi)  
26. Teardrop Darter (Etheostoma barbouri)  
27. Splendid Darter (Etheostoma barrenense)  
28. Orangefin Darter (Etheostoma bellum)  
29. Ashy Darter (Etheostoma cinereum)  
30. Redband Darter (Etheostoma luteovinctum)  
31. Finescale Darter (Etheostoma microlepidum)  
32. Firebelly Darter (Etheostoma pyrrhogaster)  
33. Arrow Darter (Etheostoma sagitta)  
34. Striated Darter (Etheostoma striatulum)  
35. Tippecanoe Darter (Etheostoma tippecanoe)  
36. Tuscumbia Darter (Etheostoma tuscumbia)  
37. Tangerine Darter (Percina aurantiaca)  
38. Blotchside Logperch (Percina burtoni)  
39. Slenderhead Darter (Percina phoxocephala)  
40. Blackfin Darter (Percina [Odontophilus] sp.)