View Full Version : TN vs NC fishing licenses

02-23-2006, 02:33 PM
I was looking into getting my fishing license for my trip next month and I was shocked at the regulations and prices in Tennessee. After a little research it seems they are the most stringent and costly around. 13-15 year olds need a "Junior' license $9.00. Most states under 16 are exempt. An annual adult license, since hopefully more than one trip annually would be made to this wonderful destination, runs $81.00. I guess they don't get enough of my money in taxes from my visit. Here's the question. If I only fish in the park, which states you must have a valid TN or NC fishing license, why wouldn't I go for the NC annual license of $30.00 plus $10.00 trout fee? Looks like Tennessee needs to do a lot of work on their fees if they are hoping to draw non-resident fisherman to the state. Maybe I should stay and eat in NC too. :P Or just go to Arkansas.

Randy Ratliff
02-23-2006, 04:35 PM

02-23-2006, 04:41 PM
Frankly, when lic. fees were increased recently, alot of out-of-staters were shocked. The doubled prices mean that I can't afford to buy a lic. for GA, NC and TN. You can fish the park with an NC lic. and IMHO NC's trout water is at least as good as anything in TN, save maybe the tailwaters. I understand the need to increase lic. fees, but sockin' it to out of state fisherman is going to make alot of people do just what you've thought about doing. I'm not sure if the decrease in out of state sales will be large enough to matter to TN, but honestly there's enough fishing water in NC( including the park on both sides) to last someone a lifetime. No offense to LRO or any TN resident or guide. This is a touchy subject for some, and I'm not trying to upset anyone....just giving my opinion on the cost of fishing in TN these days. *:'(

ps - just as the person above me posted on this part( correct me if I'm wrong, cause I may be), but I don't think that the resident lic was doubled like the out of state lic. was - or was it?
At any rate, with GA nd NC's out of state lic. being around $40-50, TN just seems way high to me...but again, that's just my opinion and isn't meant to make anyone upset.

02-23-2006, 05:39 PM
I didn't mean to stir anything up, it just seems like common sense. If you have more non-resident fisherman coming into your state to fish they are going to bring along with them their checkbooks, which in return will bring in more tax dollars. The last Federal records I could find were from 2000 which showed 35% off all fishing licenses in Arkansas were non-resident. In Florida it was 45%, and in Montana non-residents were 60% of the revenue. Tennessee had only 21%. If Tennessee wants to become a true destination for fishing they need to look a little bit further than the license office. :)

02-23-2006, 05:57 PM
Send your local TWRA representative to this site. It shows the overall economic impact and the top 10 states. They could also do a little research on per capita spending and demographics. Get them to do a little homework. *:o I also found the 2003 licenses. Tennessee non-residents dropped to 18%. *:-/
Going South boys.


Randy Ratliff
02-23-2006, 08:40 PM

02-23-2006, 08:56 PM
Can someone tell me if the National Park license is still available? Since I am a non-resident also and I currently only fish the park it seemed like the cheapest way to go. I believe a 3 day license was around $11.00 last year (2005).

Thanks, gary <*))))><

02-23-2006, 09:42 PM
I agree that TWRA needs to get up to speed with there multi-day license offerings. *A good price structure for 1-10 day permits. *I'm only aware of the 3 day and it seems that it's $20.00. *I think 20-$30 would be a good price for a 10 day permit and do $10 for 3. *Also, they could be more cost effective towards people that have to buy multiple license for their family members. *And, I wish they would start going from the date of purchase rather than the current deal. *Personally, I am all for the annual license increase if TWRA is indeed getting all this money themselves. *I've fished a lot in NC, GA, and TN and it is my opinion that Tennessee has superior fishing vs. the other two states. *I aint just talking trout, either. *If any of you are just fishing the Park and not any of the other resources in the state then you are truly missing out on the value of your licenses.

As a guide, I would really like TWRA to look into the things I mentioned regarding the permits and a date of purchase annual license. *It would help my business. *I think Tennessee stands at number 9 in tourism and a lot of these people want to fish. *But, I fear a lot of people are looking at this like you are.

02-23-2006, 11:38 PM
Not only has the fishing license increased, TWRA raised their non-res hunting license from $150-250 last year.

02-24-2006, 11:02 AM
10 day licenses would be a great addition. Most people when they come to fish, and or camp, are going to stay longer than 3 days, and this would enable them to go with a short term license, still be able to come back for 3 visits, and come out better. The other one I really don't get is the Junior license. 13-15 seems pretty young. I notice some states do start the adult licenses at 15, but 13 is way too young to start making a youngster pay. You may be discouraging many future fisherman at an age they really need to be involved. I know I'll just pay and shut up, but many won't.

02-24-2006, 03:10 PM
I agree, JF ;). Maybe TWRA is just in the starting phases with all this and they'll have better offerings after their first full year of these new fees. I'm always thinking to the future, I think people would be more inclined to buy an annual license if they had 10 full days to enjoy the fishing in this great state. If kids under 18 are paying adult rates then they definitely need to rethink that one!

02-24-2006, 03:37 PM
Tennessee offers non-residents a choice of 3-day, 10-day, or season licenses. Non-resident Junior licenses (for 13 to 15 y/o) only cost $9 for the license year, and this includes a trout license.


02-24-2006, 04:03 PM
10 day all fish $50.50. :o Such a deal !!!

02-25-2006, 02:55 PM
remember, you don't have to have a trout stamp to fish the park. just a base tn license will work. or nc, whichever is cheaper. or you could just not buy any license and hope you don't get caught, but I wouldn't risk that. there's one particular ranger I know of in the cades cove area who would probably shoot you if she caught you without one. she's checked me a few different times and it always turns into an interrogation. she's asked me such questions as, "what were you doing back there" well considering I'm decked out in about $2k of fishing gear, I guess I was fishing.

02-25-2006, 08:06 PM
That was my point too, JF. I think these multi-day prices could be better. The fishing is worth it but everyone doesn't know that.

Thanks for posting the info on the junior license. That isn't a bad price. I'm looking at this from the standpoint of a family coming up for a couple of multi-day trips a year. It would be pretty pricey for a family of 4 that were all 16 or over. I hope that TWRA takes heed of this and offer some kind of family deal. I have spoken with several people in private emails that can't afford it. I'm in agreement with the cost going up on the annual because I know it will be used wisely but TWRA needs to look at a few things regarding family and muti-day use permits. As far as I know, they don't offer a 1 day. Running from March 1st - March 1st is ridiculous. I've had a lot of people complain about that. If it is late in the season they just won't buy one. They just tell me they won't fish here until they can get a year license that's good for the whole year.

If die hard fishermen are complaining about these prices then it's my humble opinion that TWRA needs to look at a few things. If the multi-day prices were lower I think they would sell more year license with a run from the date of purchase. Before anyone thinks I'm attacking TWRA let me say that I applaud their efforts for the great fishing in this state! I'm simply putting a few ideas out here.

03-20-2006, 06:51 PM
ttas67 I think I ran into her last May below Tremont. She wanted to see my license and then proceeded to ask me all kinds of inane questions about what I was doing. Like you I looked like I just stepped out of an Orvis catalogue and was standing knee deep in a stream. It seemed rather obvious to me, but I explained it to her anyway because she was packin':).