Tailwater Trout

tailwater of a river

 

 

Rivers below dams are commonly referred to as tailwaters or tailraces.  Many hydropower and flood control dams operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers release cold water into the tailwaters.  The cold water eliminated the habitat for native fishes that formerly occurred downstream, so the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and TWRA stock trout to provide a quality fishery in these altered habitats.  TWRA currently manages 13 tailwaters located in middle and East Tennessee.  These fisheries are maintained by stocking both fingerling and adult trout at various times of the year.  TWRA, in cooperation with Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery stocks approximately 1.5 million trout into Tennessee tailwaters each year (see Stocked Trout Page).

Tailwater Trout Locations Map

 

 

Stocking Schedule

Most tailwaters are stocked throughout the year. In addition, most of our tailwaters hold trout year-round, so fishing is good anytime. Trout fishing in the tailwaters below marked with an * are only good during the stocked periods due to warm water temperatures at other times during the year.

Tailwater Below Species Stocked Stocking Schedule
Elk River Tims Ford Dam rainbow trout
brown trout
March through November
Duck River * Normandy Dam rainbow trout
brown trout
March through June,
November through December
Caney Fork River Center Hill Dam rainbow trout
brown trout
brook trout
March through December
Stones River * J. Percy Priest Dam rainbow trout December through March
Obey River Dale Hollow Dam rainbow trout
brown trout
brook trout
January through December
Hiwassee River Apalachia Dam rainbow trout
brown trout
January through December
Ocoee River * Ocoee Dam #1 - Parksville rainbow trout March and April
Clinch River Norris Dam rainbow trout
brown trout
brook trout
March through September
South Holston River South Holston Dam rainbow trout
brown trout
March through September
Watauga River Wilbur Dam rainbow trout
brown trout
brook trout
March through September
Wilbur Reservoir Watauga Dam Rainbow Trout February through May
Holston River Cherokee Dam rainbow trout
brown trout
November through April
S. Holston River Fort Patrick Henry Dam rainbow trout
brown trout
March and April

Use caution below dams. Call TVA at 1-800-238-2264 or visit TVA-Lake Levels to check dam discharge and generation schedules

 

Tailwater Management

Each year TWRA biologist survey trout populations in tailwaters to evaluate current fishing regulations and stocking rates.  Data collected during sampling helps TWRA biologists make informed decisions and guide future management strategies.Tailwater Sampling

Region 2
Tims Ford Tailwater Trout Fishery 2017-2022

Region 3
Center Hill Tailwater Trout Fishery 2004-2009
Obey River Trout Fishery 2008-2014

Region 4
Norris Tailwater Trout Fishery 2014-2019
South Holston Trout Tailwater Fishery 2015-2020
Wilbur Trout Fishery 2015-2020