Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

TWRA's Region 4 - East Tennessee

Reservoir Fisheries Management Program

Fall Trap Netting Surveys for Crappie


Every fall the TWRA uses trap nets to aid in the evaluation of crappie populations in Cherokee, Douglas, and Norris Reservoirs. Netting efforts are designed to catch both adult and "young-of-the-year" (YOY) crappie and provide information concerning spawning success and adult densities. The data helps determine the population characteristics, growth, and relative condition of crappie. Trap netting is a critical tool in the proper management of these important fisheries.

Trap nets are like big minnow traps and allow the catch and release of live fish. Nets are set throughout each reservoir and the same sites are used each year. They are checked every day and each site is fished for two consecutive nights.

The pictures below show TWRA employees running a net on Douglas Lake. The crappie are emptied from the nets into a livewell and then measured, weighed, and released back to the general area where they were captured.

Crappie Trap Netting Survey Results:

Davy Crockett
Fort Loudoun
Fort Patrick Henry
John Sevier
Melton Hill
South Holston
Norris Melton Hill Fort Loudoun Tellico Douglas Cherokee Fort Patrick Henry Watauga Boone South Holston John Sevier Davy Crockett Wilbur Chilhowee Calderwood


Trap Netting Demonstration Video


Pulling a trap net

Checking a trap net

Emptying a trap net

Black and hybrid crappie