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  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park fishing

    Photo courtesy of Warren Bielenberg/GSMNP

    The Great Smoky Mountains National Park

    Fishing has been a part of the historic use of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park since its creation. The native brook trout was originally present in most streams above 2000 feet elevation. Extensive logging operations in the early 1900s caused contamination of over 160 miles of clear mountain streams, eliminating the brook trout from about 50% of its original range.


    Park Regulations

    Licensing

    Persons possessing a valid Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license may fish all open park waters. A license is required of all persons age 16 or older. Persons under age 16 are entitled to the daily adult bag and possession limit, and are subject to all regulations. Senior citizen licensing is available. The Park does not sell fishing licenses. Licenses are obtainble in surrounding communities, outside the park or click HERE.

    Season

    Fishing is permitted year-around in open waters.

    Time

    Fishing is allowed from one half hour before official sunrise to one half hour after official sunset.

    Daily Possession Limits
    Limit: 5 fish per day, 7" minimum length, single hook artificial lure only, trout per permit holder (includes catch of children fishing under a supervising adult's permit).

    North Carolina License Requirements
    Residents and nonresidents age 16 and older need a license. Residents age 70 and older may obtain a special license from the state. Buy a license from the state government of North Carolina.

    Persons under 16 in North Carolina and under 13 in Tennessee are entitled to the adult daily bag and possession limits and are subject to all other regulations.

    Season
    Fishing is permitted year-round in open waters.

    Time
    Fishing is allowed from a half hour before official sunrise to a half hour after official sunset.

    Daily Possession Limits
    Five (5) brook, rainbow or brown trout, smallmouth bass, or a combination of these, each day or in possession, regardless of whether they are fresh, stored in an ice chest, or otherwise preserved. The combined total must not exceed five fish.

    Twenty rock bass may be kept in addition to the above limit.

    A person must stop fishing immediately after obtaining the limit.

    For detailed information about size limits, bait, and regulations, click HERE or call (865) 436-1200.

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