Sunday, December 21, 2014 · 4:32 p.m.
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Professional angler Paul Elias first popularized the so-called "Alabama rig" fishing lure during a bass tournament on Guntersville Lake. It's expected to be a hot lure in the upcoming FLW event. (Photo: Contributed)

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Fisheries Division announced its proposed 2013 fishing regulation changes that will be presented to the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission at its October meeting.

The TWRA made the proposals at the Aug. 23-24 meeting of the TFWC in Nashville. 

The proposals cover a variety of topics, including Alabama rigs, skipjack herring, wild trout streams, walleye on Cherokee Reservoir, and bass on Pickwick, Parksville and Cordell Hull reservoirs. Other proposals limit the number of commercial licenses, the addition of new commercial gear and define waters open to commercial fishing. For a complete list of the proposals, visit the TWRA website.

One of the most-discussed topics this past year concerned Alabama rigs (fishing lures). One of the proposals would limit anglers to three hooks per rod.

"This change should simplify the rules on Alabama and umbrella rigs," Bobby Wilson, TWRA chief of fisheries, said.

Regulations surrounding multi-lure arrays created much confusion among anglers and TWRA staff this past year. The three-hook proposal is much simpler to interpret and offers a compromise between anglers who wish to fish five hooks with those who feel only one hook should be used on multi-lure arrays. Single-point, double-point and treble (three-point) hooks would each be counted as one hook. 

Another proposal is a first-ever creel limit on skipjack herring of 50 per day (100 possession limit). Skipjack are a popular baitfish for striped bass and catfish. In recent years, demand for baitfish has resulted in intense harvest of Tennessee’s skipjack, with some anglers harvesting them by the hundreds to fill freezers. There is growing concern among biologists and anglers that this practice should be limited to prevent overfishing. The commission asked TWRA to consider a 100-fish-per-day limit because some anglers travel a long distance to catch skipjack.

The public is invited to provide comments on the 2013 proposals until Oct.15. Comments may be sent to TWRA.Comment@tn.gov or TWRA, Fisheries Division, P.O. Box 40747, Nashville, TN 37204. Please include “2013 fish comments” on the subject line of emailed submissions.

The TFWC will vote on the fishing proposals at its October meeting, which will be held Oct. 26 at Reelfoot Lake State Park near Tiptonville. If approved, the changes would become effective March 1, 2013.

To read the proposed sport fishing changes, click here

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