(NASHVILLE, TN), March 28, 2011 – State Senators Mike Faulk (R-Church Hill) and Ken Yager (R-Harriman), and Representative Dennis Powers (R-Jacksboro), said today they were pleased that an agreement has been reached regarding the smallmouth bass size limit allowed on Norris Lake. The lawmakers, who had proposed legislation on the matter, made the announcement after Tennessee Wildlife Resources Commission voted in support of a less-restrictive size and creel limit for smallmouth fishermen.
“We are very pleased that this matter has come to a resolution,” said Senator Faulk. “It has been a matter of great contention for many years. We had filed legislation in accordance with these suggested limits. We are pleased, however, that it has come to a resolution without having to resort to legislative action.”
“These regulations have been a matter of debate for many years,” added Senator Yager. “Norris Lake is very important to this area of our state, both for recreational and economic reasons. There has been great concern by local fishermen regarding this matter. That is why I sponsored this resolution and why this issue has been of great importance to us as we worked toward a solution. I am very pleased we finally have come to an agreement.”
“I have been working with Sen. Yager and Sen. Faulk on this agreement since I was elected in November,” said Representative Powers. “Norris Lake is such an important part of our lives in this area and I’m glad we have reached a resolution to this dispute that had put our recreational fishermen and TWRA at odds with each other. Now, we can all work together to keep Norris Lake one of the most attractive lakes in the TVA system for fishermen from all parts of the country who come to enjoy it and stimulate our economy with their purchases from our local merchants.”
The action by TWRA is in agreement with a resolution adopted by the Norris Lake Fisheries Advisory Committee (NLFAC). The committee recommended a change in regulation to a minimum 18-inch length limit, with a creel limit of five smallmouths, from Oct. 16 to May 31. The limit would change from June 1 to Oct. 15 when there would be minimum 20-inch length limit with a creel limit of one. The amended regulations would go into effect in late April, if processed by the State Attorney General’s office. Under the plan, the regulations would be re-evaluated in 2015.