Any combination of trout species:
- Daily Limit: 7.
- Minimum Length Limit: None.
- Only 2 trout in a creel may be lake trout
- See the following specific regulations
Delayed Harvest Areas
In the areas listed below, the harvest or possession of trout is prohibited during the catch-and-release season. During the catch-and-release season, only artificial lures are permitted and the use or possession of bait is prohibited.
Buffalo Creek: Mill dam downstream to Buffalo Springs WMA boundary.
- Catch-and-release season Oct. 1–Jan. 31.
Doe River: Roan Mountain State Park boundaries.
- Catch-and-release season is Nov. 1–last day of Feb.
Hiwassee River: Appalachian Powerhouse downstream to L&N Railroad Bridge
Catch-and-release season is Oct. 1 through last day of Feb.
- From March 1 through Sept. 30, trout creel limit is 7 trout of all species combined and only 2 may be brown trout.
Paint Creek: Paint Creek Campground downstream to mouth at French Broad River
- Catch-and-release season is Oct. 1 through last day of Feb.
Piney River: Cumberland Trail State Park downstream to Highway 27 Bridge
- Catch-and-release season is Nov. 1 through last day of Feb.
Tellico River: Mouth of North River upstream to the Tennessee – North Carolina state line
- Catch-and-release season is Oct. 1 through the last day of February.
Caney Fork River: Center Hill Dam to Cumberland River, including tributaries
- Total daily creel of all trout (rainbow, brown and brook) in combination is 5 fish.
- Rainbow Trout: 5 per day, 14–20 inch PLR, only one fish over 20 inches may be harvested.
- Brook Trout: 5 per day, 14–20 inch PLR, only one fish over 20 inches may be harvested.
- Brown Trout: 1 per day, 24 inch minimum length limit.
Elk River: Tims Ford Dam to I-65 bridge, including tributaries.
- Brown Trout: 20 inch minimum length limit, 1 per day.
- Total daily creel limit of all trout species in combination is 7 trout.
Clinch River: Norris Dam. downstream to Hwy. 61 bridge, including tributaries
- 14–20 inch PLR on all trout.
- 7 trout creel limit, only one trout may be greater than 20 inches.
Clear Creek: tributary to Clinch River—Anderson Co.
- Closed to fishing and minnow seining from Hwy. 441 upstream to the second dam (adjacent to the city of Norris water tower), as posted from Nov. 1–Mar. 31.
Hiwassee River: Appalachian Powerhouse downstream to L&N Railroad Bridge
- March 1 through Sept. 30: 7 trout creel limit, only 2 may be brown trout.
- Oct. 1 through last day of February: see delayed harvest areas.
South Fork Holston River: South Holston Dam to Hwy. 37 Bridge at Bluff City
- 16–22 inch PLR on all trout.
- 7 trout creel limit, only one trout may be greater than 22 inches.
- Closed to all fishing Nov. 1–Jan. 31 in the following areas:
- Hickory Tree Bridge upstream to the confluence with Bottom Creek.
- Downstream point of Boy’s Island (first island downstream of Weaver Pike Bridge) upstream to the top of the first island above Webb Road Bridge.
Watauga River: Quality Trout Fishing Area Smallings bridge downstream to CSX railroad bridges
- 14 inch minimum length limit.
- 2 trout creel limit.
- Use or possession of any bait is prohibited.
- Trout less than 14 inches may not be in possession.
Horse Creek: Greene County, U.S. Forest Service Boundary Line upstream to the junction of Squibb Creek
- Daily limit: 7 trout per day, except from May 1–Sep. 30 daily limit is 2 trout.
Slickrock Creek: That portion of Slickrock Creek which constitutes the boundary between the states of Tennessee and North Carolina.
- Appropriate licenses from TN or NC are valid.
- Rainbow, Brown and Brook Trout: Daily limit of 4 in combination with a 7 inch minimum length limit.
- Only single-hook artificial lures are permitted. Use or possession of bait or multiple hook lures is prohibited. One single-hook artificial lure separated from a legal lure by a length of line (for example, a dropper fly) is also permitted.
- 4 trout per day.
- Each angler limited to one rod or pole.
- Fishing permitted from one half-hour before official sunrise to one half-hour after official sunset.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Most of the streams in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park provide trout fishing opportunities. For detailed fishing information and regulations, contact: Park Headquarters, Gatlinburg, TN 37738; phone 865-436-1200. https://www.nps.gov/grsm/index.htm
Fort Campbell Military Reservation
Several streams on Fort Campbell Military Reservation including Dry Creek, Little West Fork and Fletcher’s Fork are stocked with rainbow and brown trout. Special fishing regulations apply and a Post Fishing Permit is required in addition to a valid Tennessee fishing license and trout stamp. For details, contact the Community Recreation Division, Hunting and Fishing Unit, Fort Campbell, KY 42223-5000; phone 270-798-9824. https://home.army.mil/campbell/index.php
Wild Trout Stream
|North River and tributaries (Monroe County).||Daily creel limit of 5 trout with no length limit. |
Only single-hook artificial lures are permitted. Use or possession of bait or multiple hook lures is prohibited. One single-hook artificial lure separated from a legal lure by a length of line (for example: a dropper fly) is also permitted.
|Bald River and tributaries (Monroe County).|
|Sycamore Creek (tributary to Tellico River in Monroe County) and tributaries.|
|Laurel Fork and tributaries beginning at the cable crossing ½ mile upstream from the USFS Dennis Cove Recreation Area and extending upstream to the USFS boundary (Carter County).|
|Beaverdam Creek and tributaries from its confluence with Birch Branch downstream to Tank Hollow Road (USFS Rd. 300) (Johnson County).|
|Paint Creek and tributaries from USFS campground upstream to USFS Boundary line south of Highway 70 near Munday Gap (Greene County).|
|Rocky Fork and tributaries upstream of Rocky Fork Rd. and State Park Entrance Rd. junction. (Greene/Unicoi Counties).|
|Left Prong (tributary to Hampton Creek in Carter County).|
|TWRA stocks fingerling and adult trout into coldwater tailwaters below dams to provide fishing opportunities. In many tailwaters trout fishing can be good year-round. Trout are stocked routinely during the following months. Use caution below dams. Call TVA at 1-800-238-2264 to check dam discharge and generation schedules (www.tva.com/Environment/Lake-Levels).|
|Duck River||Normandy Dam||rainbow||November through June*|
|Elk River||Tims Ford Dam||rainbow, brown, and brook||March through December|
|Stones River||J. Percy Priest Dam||rainbow||December through March*|
|Caney Fork River||Center Hill Dam||rainbow, brown, and brook||March through December|
|Hiwassee River||Appalachian Dam||rainbow, brown, and brook||October through July|
|Obey River||Dale Hollow Dam||rainbow, brown||January through December|
|Ocoee River||Ocoee Dam #1—Parksville||rainbow||March through May*|
|Clinch River||Norris Dam||rainbow, brown, and brook||March through August|
|Holston River||Cherokee Dam||rainbow and brown||November through April|
|South Fork Holston River||Boone Dam||rainbow, brown, and brook||March, April, June, December|
|South Fork Holston River||Fort Patrick Henry Dam||rainbow and brown||March and April|
|South Fork Holston River||S. Holston Dam||rainbow||March through September|
|Watauga River||Wilbur Dam||rainbow||March through December|
|Wilbur Reservoir||Watauga Dam||rainbow||March through July|
|*Seasonal fishery – only productive during stocked months.|
Gatlinburg Trout Fishing
TWRA and the City of Gatlinburg offer a variety of trout fishing opportunities in four streams. All streams are closed on Thursday each week and a Gatlinburg permit is required (License Fees). Some areas are managed especially for children 12 and under. For more information contact the Gatlinburg Chamber of Commerce, (800) 568-4748 or the Gatlinburg trout facility at (865) 436-4558.
The taking of trout using a Gatlinburg Permit is allowed only within the designated streams, designated times, and under the restrictions listed in the following paragraphs.
- West Prong Little Pigeon River from Park Boundary to Gnatty Branch except those sections set aside as Children’s Streams.
- Dudley Creek from Park Boundary to West Prong Little Pigeon River, except those sections set aside as Children’s Streams.
- Roaring Fork from the Park Boundary to West Prong Little Pigeon River.
- Leconte Creek from Painter Branch to West Prong Little Pigeon River.
Children’s Streams (May only be fished by children 12 and under, unless otherwise posted.)
- Leconte Creek from Painters Branch upstream to Park Boundary.
- West Prong Little Pigeon River from 100 yards above entrance of Herbert Holt Park downstream to Gatlinburg By-pass Bridge.
- Dudley Creek from Highway 441 Bridge to West Prong Little Pigeon River.
Season and Creel Limits
Fishing permitted year-round, except on Thursday, from one half-hour before official sunrise to one half-hour after official sunset. Fishing is permitted with one hand-held rod and single hook only.
From December 1 through March 31
- Possession of any trout shall be prohibited.
- All trout caught must be immediately returned to the water.
- Use or possession of bait is prohibited. Use or possession of any artificial lures other than single hook artificial flies, spinners, and spoons is prohibited. The use of one dropper fly having a single hook which is separated from a legal lure by a length of line is permissible.
From April 1 through November 30:
- General Streams: The creel limit is five (5) trout per day. Bait and artificial lures permitted.
- Children’s Streams: The creel limit is two (2) per day.
- Total possession limit shall not exceed twice the daily creel limit.
- While fishing or when afield, possession of more than the daily creel limit shall be prohibited, regardless of whether the trout are fresh, stored in an ice chest, in a vehicle, or otherwise preserved.
Don’t Dump Bait
- Always drain bait bucket water on land
- Dispose of unwanted bait in the trash