Caney Fork River
Current Fishing Regulations | River Safety
As of 2017, the regulations are as follows:
Total daily creel of all trout (rainbow, brown, and brook) in combination is 5 fish.
Rainbow Trout: 5 per day, 14"-20" protected length range, only one fish over 20" may be harvested.
Brook Trout: 5 per day, 14"-20" protected length range, only one fish over 20" may be harvested.
Brown Trout: 1 per day, 24" minimum length limit.
LET THE BIG FISH GO! The Caney Fork is one of the only places in Middle Tennessee that provides people an opportunity to catch trophy holdover trout. If you manage to hook into one of these beasts, snap a quick photo and let it go so it can grow. Catch and release helps ensure a healthy population of large trout. Please check the TWRA's website to ensure current regulations: https://www.tn.gov/twra/article/rules-regulations. To fish on the Caney Fork River, you must have a Tennessee fishing license and a trout stamp.
The Caney Fork is created by Center Hill Dam. When the generators are off, the Caney Fork seems very mild and gentle. However, it can change very quickly to a fast-moving, dangerous river when the TVA releases water. In order to fish the Caney Fork, you must to be aware of the generation schedule. The generation schedule will let you know when the TVA will be turning the generators on. Once the generators come on they start forcing a large volume of water into the river. This causes the river to gain speed and rise VERY rapidly. This is especially dangerous to fisherman wading in the river. The water rises quickly and if you try to cross the river, you can step in to a deep run- filling your waders with water. This can be fatal. They will sound an alarm but it is not easily heard downriver. Please check the generation schedule before going. You can find the information HERE on the TVA website. They will generally post the next day’s generation schedule around 6:00 the previous night. If you are unable to access that information, please call them at 800-238-2264. You can float the river on a boat during generation but make sure you are capable of safely operating a water craft. Kayaks are not recommended during generation; we have seen some very perilous kayaking situations out there.