Most residents know what they need for fishing, so we are going to concentrate on what the visitors need to know about fishing near the park. Gatlinburg waters will be the first area we cover here in the magazine. If you are going to fish in Gatlinburg, and we think it is a great idea to do that, you need to know where exactly to fish. The first thing we are going to tell you is what areas fall under the City of Gatlinburg's jurisdiction. So, here they are. These are the waters that fall under Gatlinburg Fishing regulations:
- West Prong Little Pigeon River from Park Boundary downstream to Gnatty Branch, except those sections set aside as Children's Streams
- Dudley Creek from Park Boundary downstream to West Prong of the Little Pigeon River, except those sections set aside as Children's Streams
- Roaring Fork from Park Boundary downstream to West Prong of Little River
- LeConte Creek from Painter's Branch downstream to the West Prong of LIttle River
Gatlinburg has a unique set of regulations for trout fishing, and with very good reason. They have a very active stocking and breeding program, and have a special licensing permit requirement that goes to partially fund that program. Gatlinburg requires that the fisherman practice "Catch and Release" tactics from November until April 1 every year. Even though "Catch and Release" is in effect, you still MUST have full licenses to fish there, and ALL Gatlinburg waters are closed EVERY THURSDAY. Fishing is permitted with single hook only and with no more than one hand-held rod. NOTE: There is a river called LITTLE RIVER in Townsend and the National Park as well as a river called the LITTLE Pigeon River. Don't get confused!!
CHILDREN'S FISHING AREAS no adult fishing allowed!
LeConte Creek from Painter's Branch upstream to Park Boundary
West Prong of the Little Pigeon River from 100 yards above the North Gatlinburg Park Entrance downstream to the Gatlinburg By-Pass Bridge
Dudley Creek, from Highway 441 bridge downstream to the West Prong of the Little Pigeon River
Creek limit is 2 trout per day for kids 12 years old and under who are fishing in the Children's Streams. Only one hand-held rod and single hooks allowed. Wait! There is more! You didn't really think you were going to get off that easily, now did you?
FISHING LICENSE REQUIREMENTS AND AGENTS:
8 years old and under: NO license of any kind is needed to fish
9 years old to 12 years old: in Gatlinburg waters only you need Gatlinburg One-day Permit ONLY (Type 99) cost $2.50
Up to 13 years old in regular waters (NON GATLINBURG): you don't need any type of license to fish. Have fun!
13 to 15 years old: Junior Hunt and Fish (type 70-cost is $6.00, and they are good for a year) and if they are fishing inside Gatlinburg waters, they will also need Gatlinburg One-day permit (type99-cost is $2.50 per day)
OR they may purchase a Gatlinburg One-day Non-resident Permit (type 97-cost $10.50)
These are the license options that the 16 years and over crowd has to choose from. Ask your TWRA agent for assistance if you need it. They've already memorized your options!
Three day fishing no trout: TYPE 77-Cost $10.50 (not valid for Gatlinburg waters!!!)
Three day all species: TYPE 78-Cost $20.50 works in Gatlinburg, but you still need a type 96 for 3 days worth of fishing or type 99 per day in addition to this license to fish Gatlinburg water
Ten day Fishing no trout: TYPE 79-Cost $15.50 not valid for Gatlinburg waters!!!
Ten day all species: TYPE 80-Cost $30.50 works in Gatlinburg, but you also need type 99 in addition to this license to fish in Gatlinburg waters
Annual all fish: TYPE 81-Cost $51.00 works in Gatlinburg, but you need the daily type 99 to fish in Gatlinburg waters in addition to this license
One day non-resident Gatlinburg waters only: TYPE 97-Cost $10.50
Gatlinburg One-day Permit (Type 99-cost $2.50)must be used in addition to type 78, type 80, or type 81 unless under the age of 13.
ATTENTION FISHERMEN!! New winter fishing regulations are being enforced in Gatlinburg waters!
The new rules are in effect from December 1 through March 31.
All trout caught must be immediately returned unharmed to the water
you cannot keep ANY trout you catch
Artificial lures with a single hook MUST be used. You cannot use any bait such as corn, bread, minnows, worms, or power bait.
You still MUST have a city of Gatlinburg permit, and fishing is still closed every Thursday year round.