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Free Fishing Day in Tennessee for Residents and Visitors

Free Fishing Day in Tennessee for Residents and Visitors

Tennessee’s annual Free Fishing Day is a great way for families to get out and enjoy fishing together on one of the many public waters across the state.

Free Fishing Day is Saturday, June 11, 2016 in Tennessee and anyone, residents and non-residents, may fish without a fishing license in the state’s public waters.

Kids 15 years old and younger may fish for free the week of June 11-17, 2016 and there are many kids fishing events scheduled across the state, including the local Children’s Trout Rodeo at Herbert Holt Park in Gatlinburg on June 11, 2016.

Participation in the Children’s Trout Rodeo is free and open to kids 16 and younger. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. with weigh-in at 10:30 a.m. at the picnic pavilion of Herbert Holt Park, 151 N. Park Lane in Gatlinburg. Kids can fish anywhere in Gatlinburg, but fishing in Herbert Holt Park is restricted to youngsters age 12 and under with a limit of two trout allowed from a children-dedicated stream. All participants must have a parent or guardian sign the entry form and rules must be followed.

Prizes will be awarded in several age divisions (6-and-under, 7-9, 10-12 and 13-16) based on total weight of fish caught. Creel limit is five trout per person. All participants will receive a goody bag.

The event is hosted by the City of Gatlinburg and sponsored by Gatlinburg Sportsman Club, Gatlinburg Elks Lodge #1925, Wal-Mart, Smoky Mountain Angler, Cabela’s, St. Croix, Berkley, Keep America Fishing, Nantahala Outdoor Center and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.

The Gatlinburg Trout Rearing Facility, Tennessee’s only municipal trout farm, stocks extra fish prior to the event. For more information about the Children’s Trout Rodeo contact Ryan Hintz at 865-436-4558.

Free Fishing Day and Free Fishing Week for Kids are available only on Tennessee’s public waters, TWRA owned and operated lakes, and state park facilities.

Some privately owned pay lakes continue to charge during that time. Please consult with lake operators if you have any questions about the status of a particular facility. Learn more about fishing in Tennessee, find fishing spots and see the official Fishing Guide here.

About Candice Fitzgibbons

I am a Sevier County resident and active in my local community. I've spent more than 20 years as a graphic designer and copywriter, creating marketing materials to help small to medium sized businesses and non-profit organizations achieve their goals. I have a passion for equality, the environment and animal rights.


  1. I wish you would have used a picture showing one of the beautiful trout up in the park over the water rather than this stockie taking a dirt nap. Doesn’t represent our fly fishing in Tennessee in the best light.

    • Candice Fitzgibbons

      Thank you so much for your comment and I will remember that for the future. I ask that you please remember we are a free access news website and because we do not charge readers a subscription fee to access articles, our budget for photography is limited. At the price we pay for use of photos, there are very few rainbow trout photos from which to choose. The article talks of the Children’s Trout Rodeo and fish stocked by the Gatlinburg Trout Rearing Facility, a stockie is more appropriate to the content. I welcome you to help improve the quality of Sevier News Messenger in the future by contributing. At the top of each article, there is way to contribute securely using paypal. Thank you for contributing! We appreciate your support! -Editor