TWRA manages trout fisheries in the tailwaters of five hydropower dams operated by TVA in Region IV. Cold water released from the reservoirs impounded by these dams extirpated fish populations that formerly occurred downstream. Therefore, TWRA and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) stock trout in these tailwaters to utilize this coldwater habitat (totaling over 60 miles) and mitigate for the loss of the original fisheries. Trout fisheries in the South Holston, Cherokee, and Norris tailwaters were historically limited by poor water quality and inadequate flows, but efforts during the past decade by TVA have greatly improved these important habitat components.
Tailwaters are Region IV’s most intensively used trout fisheries. To meet this demand, TWRA and Dale Hollow National Fish Hatchery (USFWS) cooperatively stock approximately 1 million trout into the five Region IV tailwaters each year. The species, numbers, and sizes of trout stocked vary among tailwaters, but all receive 9-inch rainbow trout. Smaller trout (fingerlings) are also stocked where they are capable of growing to desirable sizes and account for most of the trout stocked annually into the Norris, Wilbur, and South Holston tailwaters. Brown trout are stocked into most tailwaters, although at much lower rates than rainbow trout. The Wilbur tailwater has been stocked with brook trout since 2001 to offer a river fishery for this species that is normally found only in smaller streams at higher elevations.
Because each tailwater differs from the others with respect to water quality, instream habitat, and its potential for trout production, TWRA manages each tailwater differently with respect to stocking and fishing regulations. To view information about a specific tailwater click on a link in the navigation.
Click on a Link Below for Specific Trout Tailwater Related Information