Over-run by Trout? - East Tennessee Fishing

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Old 05-07-2011, 12:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: E TN
Posts: 36

Hello Everyone,

I've been fishing the Pigeon River from the powerplant to Newport very steadily since 1998. I have seen the smallmouth fishing at its best, and I've seen it at its worst. I've seen factors that contribute to the quality of the fishing come and go - from the pollution of the 90's, to the floods of 2004, to the drought of 2005-2006, and everything else in between. But this new factor has me very annoyed and beyond frustrated. The river was stocked with a VERY large amount of rainbow trout recently (I believe it was either 2009 or 2010). This is good for the folks who love to fish for trout. But for the diehard smallie fishermen like myself, this is horrible. Fortunately I've had enough free time this spring to get out on the water several times with friends. But instead of smallmouth fishing, we end up trout and walleye fishing. We catch very few smallmouth and the ones we do catch are dinks. We're floating the same exact stretches of river that we've always floated. In years past, we've always caught a trout or two each trip, especially in the spring, but this is ridiculous.

The best year of smallmout fishing during the time I've been fishing the Pigeon was by far 2004, before the floods. The floods in Sept of that year killed the fishing pretty badly. Just as it was starting to get back to the pre-flood quality, they stock it with trout and kill the smallie population again! So frustrating!

So, I have two questions for anyone who fishes the Pigeon on a regular basis. First, has anyone noticed the spike in trout population and decrease in smallie population like I have? Second, does anyone have more detail on the stocking of trout (i.e. when, where exatcly, quanity, etc.)?
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Old 05-07-2011, 08:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 36

I fished fished last Sunday for the first time since last fall. I caught 2 smallies(14" and 16" ish), a large mouth (18") and a walleye 18". I was around Wilton Springs, I haven't fished up towards the dam in a long time. I havn't

noticed any rainbows down this way. The farthest down I've ever caught a trout is just a bove the interstate bridge just below Hartford. We usually float the Edwina section down to Newport. It's usually June or July so the water temp is

probably too warm down that far. Didn't get out a lot last year till the fall and the smallie action was great till early Nov. I got bit off a bunch last fall by walleyes though. the year before I caught a pike in town first I had ever seen here.
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Old 05-07-2011, 09:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Sevierville, TN
Posts: 1,474

well i know they {twra} stock cosby creek from late winter till mid summer every other week. as far as i know and looking at the stocking of tennessee streams and rivers in the fishing rules n regs they dont stock the big pigeon with trout.
. Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart...
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Dandridge, TN
Posts: 21

I have been fishing from the tomato farm down to newport for years. Last year my wife and I would catch an average of about 30 smallies with a few walleye and catfish. In the previous 2 years I have only caught 2 trout. I have been twice this year and we have caught 8 trout, 2 walleye, 0 cats, and only about 7 smallies total for both trips. This is however the earliest I have fished the pigeon and I was hoping it will pick up in the summer months. Another fisherman told me that he was fishing at waterville and was there when they turned trout loose there earlier this year. He said he asked the officers about it and they said they were doing a one time release of 30,000 trout but I have not confirmed that. I have pics posted on another post of some trout I caught this year.
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