Four Middle Tennessee fishermen have been cited for keeping 360 white bass (stripe) over the legal limit.
The incident occurred in the tailwaters of Cheatham Reservoir, northwest of Nashville. White bass often congregate below dams as they make upstream spawning runs this time of year. Experienced anglers take advantage of this. However, to prevent overharvest and to more fairly spread the catch among more anglers, Tennessee law allows fishermen to keep only 15 stripe per day.
Officers say the four men cited Tuesday had a total of 420 stripe.
“That was 90 fish over and above the limit for each of them,” said arresting Wildlife Officer Brad Bagwell. “The most they could have had in their total possession was 60—or 15 white bass per person. This was a lot of white bass that could have been enjoyed by others, whether as table fare or just to catch and release.”
The four men, all with Nashville addresses, are set to appear in Cheatham County General Session Court April 24 for a preliminary hearing. Khamnovan Keomanychanh, 60; Kongkham Phenevongsa, 68; So Akhom, 70; and Phay Souksavong, 78; will each face charges of exceeding the daily creel limit six times.
“When I saw how many fish there were, I had the four suspects help separate them into piles of 10 fish each,” Bagwell said. “When we got all them separated, there were 42 piles, and that came out to 90 fish over the limit per man.”
“Sometimes, we have problems with people illegally netting game fish, but every one of these white bass were caught in a day with rod, reels and artificial lures," he said.
Bagwell and assisting officers Maj. Cape Taylor and Wildlife Officer Eric Tummins confiscated 10 fishing rods and reels as evidence, as well as the 360 white bass in excess of the legal limit.