1. The possession of any state or federally threatened or endangered species is permitted only when such species have been legally obtained in the state or country or origin. Only the Bog Turtle is on the state endangered list.
2. No person shall possess Class I (dangerous wildlife) or Class II (native species) wildlife without having documentary evidence showing the name and address of the supplier of such wildlife and date of acquisition.
3. All individuals possessing wildlife must be able to produce proof of legal ownership. Legal documentation may consist of evidence of legal importation (importation permit), purchase receipts from licensed propagation facility, or possession and/or evidence of disposition of parent animals.
4. Non-native non-poisonous reptiles, except caimans and gavials, are considered Class III wildlife and as such require no permits.
5. It is illegal to sell or offer to sell turtles without a commercial fishing license.
TAKING FROM THE WILD
1. A sport fishing license is required and only the common snapping turtle may be taken. Turtles taken by sport fishing methods may not be sold. Shooting with any type of firearm or air gun is prohibited.
2. Common snapping turtles may be taken by traps and all legal sport fishing methods except archery, spearguns and dipping. Daily limit is 5 with a minimum legal length of 12 inches
3. Alligator snappers are illegal to take
1. A Commercial Fishing License is required to sell or offer to sell turtles.
2. A commercial fisher with a valid commercial fishing license and a valid commercial turtle permit must be present to commercially harvest turtles from the waters of the state . Commercial fishers can obtain a free commercial turtle permit from TWRA by written request. For the 2012-2013 license year and each license year thereafter, the maximum number of Resident Commercial Turtle Permits shall be thirty five (35) and the maximum number of Nonresident Commercial Turtle Permits shall be five (5).
3. Commercial fishers importing or exporting commercial turtles (or parts thereof) into or out of Tennessee must have bills of laden denoting the quantity of product, name and address of supplier, name of water body from which product was harvested, and date of import/export.
4. Only the common snapping turtle, Chelydra serpentina serpentine, with a carapace (upper shell) length of at least (12) twelve inches, measured front to back, may be taken year-round and statewide without limit by any legal commercial fishing method.
5. Only at Reelfoot Wildlife Management Area, all sizes and species of unprotected turtles except the box turtle, may be taken by any legal commercial fishing method