Trout Stocking in Chattanooga for the New Year

Mark Friday, January 5, 2018 on your fishing calendar. If it's not frozen solid, that is the first day in the New Year that you should be able catch trout out of Lake Junior on TVA's Chickamauga Dam Reservation as the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency continues its very successful Winter Trout Stocking program. (Photo courtesy TWRA)

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency will be stocking about a 1,000 rainbow trout in TVA’s Lake Junior this week.

Lake Junior is just off of Amnicola Highway on the Chickamauga Dam Reservation near the Hwy. 153. The first of two monthly winter stockings will be Wednesday, Jan. 3, 2018. However anglers are not allowed to fish Lake Junior until Friday, Jan. 5. TVA regulations only allow fishing on Lake Junior Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Given this week’s frigid temperatures, there is likely to be a layer of ice on parts of the lake, if not all. Anglers willing to brave the cold need to use caution and do not venture onto the ice. There will be a second stocking at Lake Junior on February 7.

The winter trout stocking program in Tennessee began 16 years ago.  This year TWRA plans to release approximately 90,000 rainbow trout into Tennessee waters from December through March.

There are many prime trout streams in East Tennessee – the Hiwassee, the Clinch, the Holston, Caney Fork and the Elk Rivers. However biologists wanted to provide more opportunity for urban dwellers who aren’t really interested in taking the time or effort to visit the more remote streams.

Why stock trout in the dead of winter?

The answer – the trout like it that way. Trout thrive in cold water and cannot survive warmer water. If they Lake Junior trout aren’t all caught by anglers, chances are they won’t survive the summer water temperatures in Lake Junior. Trout start to stress if the water temperature reaches 70 degrees. Typical summertime water temperatures around here will be in the 80’s.

The trout will average about 10 inches in length. The daily creel limit is seven, but there is no size limit. Anglers are reminded that a trout license is needed in addition to the fishing license.

See the stocking schedules for other places in Tennessee here.


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