Free fishing doesn’t mean without rules. What you need to know before Tennessee Free Fishing Day

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — Tennessee Free Fishing Day is Saturday, June 12. Free fishing is limited to public waters, TWRA owned and operated lakes and state park facilities. Privately owned lakes and ponds may still charge you to fish.

Adults are limited to one day of free fishing, but kids under the age of 15 get a whole week of fishing without a license, from Saturday, June 12 through Friday, June 18.

However, as TWRA Wildlife Information Specialist Matthew Cameron explained, free doesn’t mean without rules.

“There is no license requirement this weekend for Tennessee residents or non-residents, but other regulations are still in effect such as krill limits and size limits,” Cameron said. “They are different for different bodies of water that you go to. So there is a general statewide regulation list and then you can go to the back of the book where it’s going to refer to reservoir specific regulations, because sometimes it may be a little bit different from say South Holston to Boone to Fort Patrick Henry, so make sure you are in compliance with the law there because they do still apply.”

Depending on the weather, the day could bring a lot of traffic to local waters.

“You’re going to have a lot of folks that may just be fishing this weekend for the only time of the year or for the first time,” said Cameron. “Boats are coming in all directions on the water, there are no lanes of traffic, there are no traffic signals or stop signs or anything so you have to be mindful of boating traffic in all directions.”

Keep safety top of mind and be prepared before going out.

“Keep yourself and your boaters safe, and the best way to do that is by putting on a wearable Coast Guard approved lifejacket,” Cameron said. “Make sure it’s on good and snug because most people who die in boating accidents drown, and most people who drown aren’t wearing lifejackets. So that’s the simplest, easiest thing you can do to keep you and your party safe when you’re out there on the water.”

Click here for the Tennessee Fishing Guide.

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