Jump to content


Response received from TWRA


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_Erica Lyons_*

Guest_Erica Lyons_*
  • Guests

Posted 03 June 2014 - 10:24 AM

I received this response from the TWRA. I guess a lot of people are going to receive this response, but just in case anybody's e-mail is left off the mailing list, here's what they said.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency received your comments regarding the Live Bait Proclamation 13-15 which restricts the possession of live fish. Several members of our fisheries and law enforcement personnel recently reviewed your comments and request.

It is still legal to keep legally-obtained fish in aquaria. Some invasive species are banned, such as snakeheads, but most other species are legal. What has changed is that it is no longer legal to take live specimens of most species from the wild. It is still legal to take live gamefish, but most of the common non-game fish may not be taken from the water and transported alive.

We recognize that most of the non-game species are relatively abundant and that populations would not be threatened by some level of harvest. For this reason, we do allow these species to be used as live bait within the water body from which they are collected. What we are most concerned about is the potential for an angler or collector to move these species to non-native ranges. As geneticists and taxonomists publish more about these species, we are learning that those native ranges are often much smaller than we once thought. The proclamation was designed to restrict people from moving live specimens of most fish species by bait buckets or other containers.

We recognize that experienced hobbyists know not to release fish back into the wild. However we commonly get calls from people that would prefer to release their aquarium fish. This proclamation is intended to reduce the opportunity for someone to take fish and decide to release them later. At this time we are not recommending changes to the Live Bait Proclamation 13-15. Should we revisit this proclamation in the future will be consider your concerns in that decision process.

We encourage you to enjoy the fishes of Tennessee. With a fishing license you can seine non-game fish, handle them, take photos and release them, or keep dead specimens. There are restricted areas and protected species, but generally there are hundreds of species available for observation. You can also view fish by snorkeling or scuba without a fishing license.
Thank you for your comments and appreciation of Tennessee’s resources.


Sincerely,
Frank Fiss
Assistant Chief of Fisheries, TWRA



#2 mattknepley

mattknepley
  • NANFA Member
  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 03 June 2014 - 11:41 AM

That's the email I got today, too...
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#3 Guest_mikez_*

Guest_mikez_*
  • Guests

Posted 05 June 2014 - 05:41 PM

Well the good news is you can go out and seine non-game species and bring home dead specimens.

#4 Guest_Casper_*

Guest_Casper_*
  • Guests

Posted 10 June 2014 - 12:05 AM

How is that good news?
But bringing home dead fish is what professional icthyologists have been doing since they had a name.
Why is it that a citizen cannot take home a living fish and observe it?
That is the absurdity.

#5 Guest_mikez_*

Guest_mikez_*
  • Guests

Posted 10 June 2014 - 06:21 AM

Sorry my sarcasm wasn't obvious enough.
I also think it's absurd, although it's exactly what I predicted. Like a US F&W official once told me,

"We are forced to put it out there for public comment but we never intended to change anything regardless".

I realize it's a different agency, I think they are all mostly similar.

BTW, obviously I know professionals bring home dead fish for science, why in heck would the rest of us? I can't believe they put in that comment at all. Emphasized the absurdity, IMO.

#6 Guest_Casper_*

Guest_Casper_*
  • Guests

Posted 19 August 2014 - 01:49 PM

In mid July i made another attempt to communicate with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency's Frank Fiss to allow a Tennessee foray, with limited collecting, this Fall or Spring 2015. Again the request was denied. In early June Frank Fiss, representing TWRA, had denied our request to relax the "bait collecting" regulation which prevented the keeping of near all Tennessee native species. This was done in response to TWRA asking for public input regarding their regulations. We had about 50 NANFA member's signatures along with the 2 esteemed authors of the Fishes of Tennessee attached to our letter of concerned expression.

Regarding the proposed trip i offered to fill out any necessary forms and document all sites and species observed. The trip was planned mostly for snorkeling and photography but i was hoping for the allowance of keeping a few common species, which would attract a few more interested folks.

I have done all i can in working with TWRA to relax their highly restrictive regulation. Writing letters to congressman, legislators or the press would likely yield a complete waste of effort for such a "petty" issue to most Tennessee politicians and citizens. I think as NANFA, our group of enthusiastic appreciators of native fish, we spoke with the greatest public voice TWRA could hear from.

NANFA needs a Tennessee representative that is somehow professionally associated with TWRA and can thus possibly alter the law and allow limited keeping of some common darter, dace and shiner native species. Sadly today Tennessee's NANFA membership has dropped off to very few civilian enthusiasts and mostly professionals.

I have been Tennessee's representative since 1999 after hosting the 1998 NANFA convention here in Chattanooga, 15 years now. It is time for someone else to take a lead and perhaps have greater input in altering this law. Recently i sent an email to all Tennessee members regarding the upcoming South Chick gathering and noting my intentions to step aside, to limited response. I was hoping someone in a professional relationship would step forward.

Though most of my efforts are directed to NANFA as a national association, as Tennessee's representative i have continued to offer a gathering once a year to Tennessee and regional members along with ongoing contact to the active Tennessee membership. I think this is the minimal a NANFA state representative should do. In the past years i organized many fish camps, seineramas and weekend gathering before this restrictive regulation was pronounced. Most of my current activities are focused on snorkel observing and fortunately this is my favored option. I have been able to use my ongoing relationship with the Cherokee National Forest to point out the wonders that live below the surface. It is a shame that Tennessee citizens cannot keep, care for and learn from one of our many common darters and shiners at home and from waters within their home state.

I appreciate those offering advice and lending their signatures. I think we made the best attempt possible.

#7 Guest_jblaylock_*

Guest_jblaylock_*
  • Guests

Posted 22 August 2014 - 07:45 AM

Casper,

Are you saying you no longer want to be the TN Rep? I think that would be a real shame. The work you do there with snorkeling and the programs you are involved in are worth wild. You are a great rep and lead by example.

#8 Casper

Casper
  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 05 August 2015 - 01:46 PM

Correct, i am no longer the Tenneessee State Representative for NANFA but still do what i can for NANFA...

 

I was at a forum 8/4/15 here in Chattanooga and got to meet and directly discuss the "bait fish regulations" with the head of TWRA, Ed Carter.

I made my case, over several minutes, for keeping a few common species, and the consequences of closing the door to budding naturalists, Tennessee citizens and visitors whom no longer visit.

 

Only with a special permit will an individual be allowed to transport Tennessee's non game native fish away from a water body, alive.  We can still stick hooks in them, or kill them or eat them.  We just can't keep them alive, nor observe them from our home aquaria.


Edited by Casper, 05 August 2015 - 01:50 PM.

Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#9 Josh Blaylock

Josh Blaylock
  • Board of Directors
  • Central Kentucky

Posted 13 August 2015 - 09:53 AM

Casper,

 

What was the overall feel/tone from Mr. Carter concerning this?  Did he seem to care at all about our concerns?


Josh Blaylock - Central KY
NANFA on Facebook - NANFA on YouTube - NANFA on Google+

KYCREEKS - KRWW - KWA



I hope to have God on my side, but I must have Kentucky.

- Abraham Lincoln, 1861


#10 Casper

Casper
  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 15 August 2015 - 05:42 PM

Did he seem to care at all about our concerns?

 

No.

 

He listened to me as a courtesy and repeated several times that there is a permit process one can do, but it is not for personal use.  The permit is designed for more for nature and science centers, that kind of public display.

 

I will continue to study angles of approach to alter this Tennessee regulation.  I urge others to do so as well.


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#11 don212

don212
  • NANFA Member

Posted 17 August 2015 - 09:52 PM

well, seems like they have thought it out, and aren't about to change, you know if transport of baitfish to non native areas is really an issue worthy of legislation, this is a simple enforceable law, for the opposite look at ny. are collecting permits available for lay people?



#12 Casper

Casper
  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 18 August 2015 - 02:44 PM

...are collecting permits available for lay people?

 

NO.


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#13 Crazydaz

Crazydaz
  • NANFA Member
  • Hendersonville, TN

Posted 17 December 2015 - 10:07 PM

Such rules and regulations really put a crimp on the hobby. I understand, to a point, the need for preventing potential or accidental release of an invasive species. What I don't understand is why they would want to prevent us from taking a limited amount of non-threatened species to put into an aquarium from an area that isn't protected. When they promote catching and killing of native species rather than keeping them in a home aquarium to legal residents in the State of Tennessee, this is really backwards thinking. What an unnecessarily dumb line of reasoning!

#14 Casper

Casper
  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 22 December 2015 - 07:47 PM

Agreed.

TWRA will not let you capture and keep even a few of Tennessee's common native fish.

Yet we can purchase fish from around the world at our local fish store.


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#15 James

James
  • NANFA Member

Posted 24 December 2015 - 08:23 PM

Casper,

I commend you on your single handed efforts to change Tennessee's laws regarding native fish collection for personal observation, husbandry and also to be kept as pets. The TWRA could benefit if people like us were allowed to "spread the gospel" by showing and sharing to the rest of the United States that Tennessee has so much beauty in its waters. Limit the number of permits limit the catch. The current law as it stands now does nothing. Its difficult to enforce and people will do what they want anyway. How exciting keep up the fighting it would be a great service to us all.  :-({|=


"meet me in the creek"

#16 Casper

Casper
  • NANFA Fellow
  • Chattanooga, TN alongside South Chickamauga Creek, just upstream of the mighty Tennessee River.

Posted 18 January 2016 - 11:55 AM

James...

 

There was a good bit of help and review on the letter to TWRA by those concerned.  We also had about 50 signatures from NANFA members including some well known regional icthyologists.  Sadly there were also quite a few NANFA members and organizations that would not sign as TWRA provides funding to them... thus considered biting the hand that feeds them.  This is especially frustrating as these individuals and groups are all funded by Tennessee Citizens through taxation, licenses and fees.

 

Updated... as i attended the Sandhill Crane festival this weekend which was a lot of fun.  A few years ago i had only seen 2 through a well positioned telescope, but later was tipped to a nearby private property viewing site.  We arrived just as the sun was setting into the horizon.  After a few minutes several small groups of cranes came in low for a landing, just above our heads with their undersides illuminated by the day's last rays.  Their feathers are iridescent and they appeared as if on fire!  A great ending to a fine day.

 

TWRA had an exhibit manned and Ed Carter, TWRA's leader was present.  I again spoke with him but he was eager to move away once i reiterated my desire for altering the law regarding "baitfish collecting".

I did urge him and some of the agents i spoke with to consider naming the Tangerine Darter as the state's non-game fish.  Followed by the Redline Darter.

:)

Heck they are considered baitfish and used as such by fisherman.

 

Oh well.

 

TWRA now allows the shooting of up to 1200 Sandhill Cranes per year.


Casper Cox
Chattanooga, near the TN Divide on BlueFishRidge overlooking South Chickamauga Creek.

#17 mattknepley

mattknepley
  • NANFA Member
  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 19 January 2016 - 06:22 AM

Start sending in copies of receipts of fishy activities done elsewhere with a note saying "Considered spending this money in TN but took it elsewhere." Gas, lodging, food, license fees (especially out of state). Not only to TWRA, but to the arm of the Volunteer gov't in charge of tourism. If it has a close link to TWRA, find another group within Nashville looking for increased state revenues. Also send the same receipts to the powers that be in states we do pursue fishes in. Tell TN we are doing it. My folks taught me long ago not to take "no" from someone who can't tell you "yes". For whatever reason it appears TWRA is incapable of saying "yes". Remove them from the equation. Follow the money and head up and across the food chain. Find those who can get them to say yes.

As for Sandhill Cranes, they are fantastic creatures, but with zero sporting value as far as I can see. Not exactly a challenge to shoot, and if I remember right, they apparently taste not so good. Their numbers must be improving, at least one midwestern state (Iowa?) has a lottery for hunting permits for them...
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

#18 Guest_BTDarters_*

Guest_BTDarters_*
  • Guests

Posted 29 December 2016 - 08:11 PM

Matt,

 

Sorry to have read your post at such a late date.  I love it!  I think that's how we need to approach things.  If we don't start causing changes to be made soon, we might be out of a hobby.  :(

 

Brian






0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users