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Tailwater Trout

Tailwater Trout Locations Map

Peaceful Stream Recreation     Foggy Morning

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, so the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and TWRA stock trout to provide a fishery. These fisheries are maintained by stocking adult trout from spring through fall with most of the fish being stocked during the spring and summer. Fingerling trout are also stocked at many of the tailwaters. In 2001 we stocked 1.3 million trout into tailwaters. Fishing Tennessee's tailwaters provides a great opportunities to catch lots of trout and big trout.

Hatchery Truck Stocking Fish in Tailrace

Tailwater Stocking Schedule

We do not provide a specific stocking schedule for tailwaters, but as you can see in the schedule below most tailwaters are stocked most of the year. In addition, most of our tailwaters hold trout year-round, so fish is good anytime. The trout fishing in the tailwaters below in red ink are only good during the stocked periods due to warm water temperatures at other times.

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 to check dam discharge and generation schedules

Tailwater Management

Tailwater Trout      Jim Habera with Brown Trout

Each year TWRA biologist survey trout populations in tailwaters to evaluate the current fishing regulations and stocking rates. Fish are sampled using a variety of boat electrofishing boats depending on the location. Fixed sites are sampled each year and all fish are measured and weighed.

Tailwater Sampling