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Reciprocal Agreements

Tennessee has several reciprocal agreements with adjacent states. These agreements have been arranged so that any fishing license from either Tennessee or the corresponding state is valid in the following waters.

Reciprocal Fishing Rights on Pickwick Lake

Pickwick Lake offers a unique fishing arrangement that spans across Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi. This agreement facilitates fishing activities for residents and license holders from these states, fostering a cooperative spirit and encouraging anglers to explore the rich fishing opportunities available across state lines.

License Reciprocity

  • Valid Sport Fishing License: Anglers holding a valid Sport Fishing License from any of the three states (Tennessee, Alabama, or Mississippi) are entitled to fish within the reciprocal area of Pickwick Lake without the need for a nonresident license.
  • Resident Angler Privileges: Residents of Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi can fish anywhere within the boundaries of the agreement without purchasing a nonresident license, promoting ease of access and reducing the regulatory burden on local anglers.

Reciprocal Area Defined

  • Geographical Limits: The reciprocal fishing area encompasses all impounded waters from Pickwick Dam upstream to the Tennessee River Mile 224.8 at the mouth of Bear Creek.
  • Exclusions: It's important to note that Bear Creek itself is not included in the reciprocal area. Additionally, the portion of Yellow Creek above the Hwy. 25 Bridge falls outside the boundaries of this agreement.

Regulatory Compliance

  • Abiding by Local Regulations: While the agreement allows for cross-border fishing, anglers must comply with the fishing regulations of the state in which they are fishing at the time. This requirement ensures that local conservation efforts are respected and that fishing practices align with the specific management goals of each state.

Reciprocal Fishing Rights: Arkansas-Tennessee Agreement

The states of Arkansas and Tennessee share a unique agreement regarding fishing rights along the Mississippi River and its adjacent waters. This agreement allows anglers with a valid license from either state to fish in specified shared waters, promoting mutual access and enjoyment of these rich fishing grounds. Below are the details of this agreement and the common regulations that apply.

Shared Waters Coverage

  • Location: The agreement covers the flowing waters of the Mississippi River, including adjacent sloughs, bayous, and old river runs that are accessible by boat from the main river. Additionally, old river chutes forming a common boundary are included, with specific exclusions.
  • Exclusions: Wildlife management areas established by either state, along with the Wolf, Loosahatchie, Hatchie, Forked Deer, and Obion rivers, are not covered under this agreement.

Common Fishing Regulations

  • Black Bass: Anglers can keep up to 10 black bass of any size, with no minimum length limit.
  • Sunfish: There is a generous creel limit of 50 sunfish, also without a length limit.
  • Crappie: Similar to sunfish, the crappie limit is set at 50, with no restrictions on length.
  • Striped Bass and Hybrid Striped Bass: A combined creel limit of 6 is allowed, again with no length limit.
  • Sauger: The creel limit for sauger is also 6, with no length limit imposed.

Specific Regulations for Certain Areas

  • Regulations Adherence: While fishing in Ikes Chute, Hopefield Chute, Mosquito Lake, Mound City Lake, Island 40 Chute, and Lake Neark, anglers must follow Arkansas's specific regulations concerning creel and size limits, trotlines, and other equipment requirements.

Reciprocal Fishing License Agreements: Kentucky-Tennessee Waters

The reciprocal agreements between Kentucky and Tennessee provide anglers with expanded fishing opportunities across shared water bodies. These agreements recognize sportfishing licenses from either state within designated areas, allowing anglers to enjoy fishing with fewer restrictions while respecting conservation efforts. Here's an overview of these areas and the applicable regulations.

Dale Hollow Lake

  • Location: Fishing rights extend to Wolf River, including Illwill Creek, from the point where the Wolf River meets the Obey River.
  • Regulations: Anglers must adhere to the creel limits and regulations of the state that issued their fishing license.

Big South Fork of the Cumberland River

  • Location: License recognition spans from the Leatherwood Ford Bridge (Hwy. 279) in Tennessee, downstream to the Hwy. 92 bridge at Yamacraw, Kentucky.
  • Regulations: The creel limits and other regulations follow the state of license issuance.

Kentucky Lake

  • Location: The reciprocal area covers Kentucky Lake south of the Eggners Ferry Bridge (US 68 & Hwy. 80) in Kentucky to north of the Governor Ned McWherter Bridge (US 79 & Hwy. 76) in Tennessee. This includes embayments and tributaries within these bounds, excluding the Blood River embayment.
  • Special Note: The Blood River embayment is defined by a straight line between opposite points where the embayment connects to Kentucky Lake's main body.
  • Fishing Rights: License holders from either state may fish from the bank or use legal sport fishing trot or limb lines in the described area.
  • Enforcement: Wildlife enforcement officials from both states have the authority to inspect licenses, permits, catches, and equipment of anyone fishing in this portion of Kentucky Lake, enforcing the laws of either state as applicable.

Reciprocal Fishing Rights: Missouri-Tennessee Agreement

The Missouri-Tennessee reciprocal fishing agreement extends sportfishing privileges to holders of valid licenses from either state, fostering a cooperative and resource-sharing approach to fishing in the Mississippi River and its adjoining waters. This agreement is designed to enhance the fishing experience while ensuring the conservation and responsible management of aquatic resources shared by both states.

Fishing Locations Covered

  • Mississippi River and Backwaters: License holders from either state can fish in the Mississippi River, its backwaters, and any oxbow lakes intersected by the Missouri-Tennessee boundary.
  • Use of Fishing Devices and Equipment: Anglers are permitted to fish from or attach fishing devices or equipment to lands under the jurisdiction of the other state, widening the scope of accessible fishing areas.

Restrictions and Compliance

  • Exclusion of Tributaries: Fishing in the Mississippi River tributaries of the other state is not permitted for those holding a license from only one state, limiting fishing access strictly to the main river and specified adjacent waters.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Anglers must adhere to the fishing regulations of the state in whose waters they are fishing. When fishing in areas where they are not licensed, the regulations of the most restrictive state apply, ensuring the protection of fish populations and habitat.
  • License Exemptions: Individuals legally exempt from licensing requirements in either state are also entitled to these reciprocal fishing privileges, allowing for broader participation under the agreement.

Boundary Definition

  • Navigation Channel as Boundary: The boundary between Tennessee and Missouri, except where otherwise specified, is delineated by the center of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers navigation channel. This clear demarcation aids in enforcing fishing regulations and managing the resources of the Mississippi River effectively.

Reciprocal Fishing License Agreements: Missouri-Tennessee and North Carolina-Tennessee

Missouri-Tennessee Agreement

The reciprocal agreement between Missouri and Tennessee enhances fishing access in the Mississippi River and its adjacent waters. This agreement acknowledges the validity of sportfishing licenses from either state within specific boundaries, promoting cross-state fishing opportunities under a shared understanding of conservation and regulation compliance.

Key Provisions
  • Fishing Areas: Anglers with a valid sportfishing license from either state can fish in the Mississippi River, its backwaters within the other state's boundaries, and any oxbow lakes along the Missouri-Tennessee boundary.
  • Equipment Use: Fishing from or attaching any device or equipment to land under the jurisdiction of the other state is permitted under this agreement.
  • Tributary Fishing: License holders may not fish in the Mississippi River tributaries of the other state unless they have the appropriate license.
  • Regulation Compliance: Anglers must follow the fishing regulations of the state in which they are fishing. When fishing in areas where they are not licensed, the most restrictive state's regulations apply.
  • Exemptions: Those legally exempt from licensing requirements in either state also enjoy these reciprocal privileges.
Boundary Definition
  • The boundary between Tennessee and Missouri, except where specifically defined otherwise, is the center of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers navigation channel.

North Carolina-Tennessee Agreement

This agreement facilitates shared fishing access between North Carolina and Tennessee in designated water bodies, with specific attention to Calderwood Reservoir and Slickrock Creek.

Fishing Locations
  • Calderwood Reservoir: Recognizes sportfishing licenses from either state for anglers fishing from boats.
  • Slickrock Creek: Applies to the section of the creek that forms the boundary between North Carolina and Tennessee.
Regulation Reference
  • Anglers should consult Region 4 for specific regulations pertaining to Calderwood Reservoir and Slickrock Creek.

Reciprocal Fishing License Agreements: Missouri-Tennessee and North Carolina-Tennessee

Missouri-Tennessee Agreement

The reciprocal agreement between Missouri and Tennessee enhances fishing access in the Mississippi River and its adjacent waters. This agreement acknowledges the validity of sportfishing licenses from either state within specific boundaries, promoting cross-state fishing opportunities under a shared understanding of conservation and regulation compliance.

Key Provisions
  • Fishing Areas: Anglers with a valid sportfishing license from either state can fish in the Mississippi River, its backwaters within the other state's boundaries, and any oxbow lakes along the Missouri-Tennessee boundary.
  • Equipment Use: Fishing from or attaching any device or equipment to land under the jurisdiction of the other state is permitted under this agreement.
  • Tributary Fishing: License holders may not fish in the Mississippi River tributaries of the other state unless they have the appropriate license.
  • Regulation Compliance: Anglers must follow the fishing regulations of the state in which they are fishing. When fishing in areas where they are not licensed, the most restrictive state's regulations apply.
  • Exemptions: Those legally exempt from licensing requirements in either state also enjoy these reciprocal privileges.
Boundary Definition
  • The boundary between Tennessee and Missouri, except where specifically defined otherwise, is the center of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers navigation channel.

North Carolina-Tennessee Agreement

This agreement facilitates shared fishing access between North Carolina and Tennessee in designated water bodies, with specific attention to Calderwood Reservoir and Slickrock Creek.

Fishing Locations
  • Calderwood Reservoir: Recognizes sportfishing licenses from either state for anglers fishing from boats.
  • Slickrock Creek: Applies to the section of the creek that forms the boundary between North Carolina and Tennessee.
Regulation Reference
  • Anglers should consult Region 4 for specific regulations pertaining to Calderwood Reservoir and Slickrock Creek.
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