Applying for a Tennessee State Record Fish Certification

Step-by-Step Guide to State Record Recognition

Tennessee offers anglers the opportunity to have their catch officially recognized as a state record. Adhering to specific criteria ensures that the process is fair and standardized for all applicants. Here’s how you can apply for a state record fish certificate:

1. Application Accessibility

  • Where to Find: The state record fish application can be accessed online at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency's official website,, under the "Fishing" section.

2. Weight Verification

  • Certified Scales: The fish must be weighed on certified scales or scales that are "legal for trade". Common locations for such scales include supermarket meat centers, farm/feed stores, and UPS/FedEx shipping centers.

3. Witness Requirement

  • Witness Authentication: Two witnesses are required to validate the weight. One witness must be the operator or owner of the scales. These witnesses must complete and sign Part B of the application, affirming the recorded weight.

4. Eligible Species

  • Species Consideration: Only species listed in Class A and B or those specifically approved by the TWRA are eligible for state record certification.

5. Record Ties and Breaks

  • Weight Over the Previous Record: A tie is acknowledged; however, a new record is only set if the catch exceeds the previous record by at least one ounce.

6. Fish Identification

  • Biologist Confirmation: It is crucial for the angler to arrange a meeting with a TWRA fisheries biologist for the fish's positive identification. The fish should be kept alive, fresh, or frozen until its species can be accurately determined. Photographs alone are insufficient for this purpose.

7. Hybrid Classifications

  • Accepted Hybrids: Only two hybrid classifications are accepted for state record consideration: the striped bass/white bass (Cherokee bass) and the walleye/sauger (Saugeye). Applicants must accept the certifying biologist's professional judgment regarding the fish’s hybrid status.

8. Genetic Testing

  • Verification Process: The TWRA reserves the right to perform genetic testing on any fish submitted for state record certification to confirm its species or hybrid status accurately.

9. Application Submission Deadline

  • 30-Day Window: The completed application, along with all required documentation and verifications, must be submitted to the TWRA Fisheries Division within 30 days from the catch date.
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