NASHVILLE, TN (TWRA) --- The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency proposed a suite of regulation changes pertaining to the sale and use of live bait in the state to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission during its Sept. 17 meeting.
The TWRA is now soliciting public comments on these proposed regulations, particularly from anglers who use live fish, crayfish, or salamanders for bait and bait dealers who sell fish and other aquatic life for bait. (The proposed regulation changes can be found below.)
The TWRA is proposing these regulations to address several issues. Primarily, these regulation changes are necessary to help prevent unwanted species from being imported and accidentally stocked into Tennessee waters. Non-native fish and crayfish introductions resulting from bait bucket transfers are becoming a growing problem in many Tennessee waters and these introductions can negatively impact fishing. TWRA believes that this regulation package is the best option for preventing these introductions in the future.
These regulations will also help to reduce the risk of disease transfer through live bait use. Deadly fish diseases like Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) have been found in states that provide live bait to Tennessee and TWRA wants to prevent these diseases from entering Tennessee waters through the bait trade.