Cherokee National Forest


The Cherokee National Forest is well-known for its fishing. There are 60 species of fish within forest boundaries. Warm water bass and bluegill fishing is popular in stocked ponds and lakes. Rainbow, brown, and brook trout are found in the forest's 500 streams. Some streams are stocked and others are considered wild.

Northern Districts
A few of the most popular fishing streams in the northern districts include Paint, Jennings, Broad Shoal, Laurel Fork, Beaverdam, and Little Stoney Creeks. Horse Creek within the recreation area of the same name is designated as a special trout fishing area. Between May and October, fishing in the stream is restricted to persons 12 and under, over 65, or with physical challenges.

Allen Branch Pond in the Nolichucky Ranger District was built in the 1960s for fishing and stocked with bass, bluegill, and catfish. This 2.5-acre pond is also used as a water source for fighting forest fires. Walk the accessible quarter-mile trail that circles the pond and enjoy the signs and sounds of a warm water pond ecosystem.

Scott-Booher Pond in the Watauga Ranger District is on the site of an historic homestead dating to the mid-1800s. The pond was enlarged in 1991 and is managed for bass and bluegill. Bring a blanket for a picnic near the pond or in the historic apple orchard. The Appalachian Trail is nearby.

Paint Creek Pond, in Nolichucky Ranger District, is near Paint Creek Recreation Area.

Southern Districts
The most popular fishing streams in the southern districts include Big, Rough, Sylco, Beech, Big Lost, Tieskee, and Citico Creeks, and Hiwassee, North, Tellico, and Bald Rivers. You must have a valid Tennessee license and appropriate permits to fish on the Forest. Visitors are responsible for knowing the fishing regulations and seasons.


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