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Smoky Mountain Fishing License Requirements and Fees

Fishing is permitted year-round in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, but a valid Tennessee or North Carolina fishing license is required. Either state license is valid throughout the park and no trout stamp is necessary. Licenses are not available in the Park, but can be purchased in Gatlinburg at the City Hall, the Chamber of Commerce and Ace Hardware on Hwy 321.


Non-residents 3-day permits are $10.50. A daily permit for Gatlinburg is $10.50. A combined permit for both Gatlinburg and the Park is $20.50. Fishing is permitted from one-half hour before sunrise and one-half hour after sunset.

Tennessee requires residents and non residents age 13 and older to obtain a license. The exception are residents who were 65 prior to March 1, 1990. These persons require only proof of age and Tennessee residence. Persons under the age of 13 are entitled to the same limits as adults and are subject to all other regulations.

North Carolina requires residents and non residents age 16 and older to obtain a license. Residents age 70 and older may obtain a special license from the state. Persons under the age of 16 are entitled to the same limits as adults and are subject to all other regulations.

The possession of speckled brook trout is prohibited. Five rainbow or brown trout, small mouth bass, or a combination of these per day (minimum 7 inches) is the limit. Daily possession limit for rock bass is 20. All brook trout and any fish below the minimum size must be immediately returned to the water. Once reaching the daily possession limit, a person must stop fishing. Only artificial lures or flies, a single hook and one hand-held rod is allowed. Bait must be fully artificial and liquid scents are prohibited. Fishing tackle, equipment and fish in possession are subject to inspection by authorized personnel.

After you obtained your permit (s) you can fish all the following rivers:
West Prong of the Little Pigeon River, LeConte Creek, Roaring Fork Creek and Dudley Creek.

For a brochure which explains these regulations in detail, call the Gatlinburg Recreation Department at (865) 436-4990 and ask for their Trout Fishing brochure or call Gatlinburg City Hall at (865) 436-1400.

Brook trout are the only trout native to the Smokies. Logging during the 1900's eliminated more than half of its population. Rainbow trout and brown trout, stocked in the mid 1900's, overtook the brook trout, further limiting its range. Restoring the brook trout is a primary objective for the National Park Service. 

The goal of the restoration program is to allow a self-sustaining population able to support angling. Streams populated only by brook trout are closed to help the restoration efforts. 

Over 50 species of fish including darters, dace, bass, suckers, shiners and trout populate the Smokies' streams.



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Smoky Mountain Mall
212 S. Peters Road, Suite 102
Knoxville, TN 37923
Telephone: 865.246.8904 (Advertising only)
Fax: 865.539.0830

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