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Guide to North Georgia Fishing & Current Georgia State Fishing Regulations

Information and content provided by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Division

Georgia's approximately 4,000 miles of trout streams are relatively unproductive when compared to streams found in other parts of the country. This is, in part, due to the calcium deficient soils found in north Georgia. Therefore, to meet the demands of over 100,000 trout anglers, stocking and special regulations are used on some streams to maintain acceptable catch rates. The Wildlife Resources Division and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service stock streams with rainbow, brown and brook trout from early April through mid-September. The number of trout stocked and the stocking frequency depend on a stream's fishing pressure, accessibility, and water conditions. In general, streams on public lands are stocked more often and with greater numbers of trout. Trout fishing opportunities vary and include heavily-stocked high-use streams (better for beginners), wilderness streams, streams with special regulations, and small impoundments.

Trout need clean, cold water to survive and reproduce. Georgians can be good trout managers by using proper land use practices. Trees left along stream banks provide shade to keep water temperatures cold while their root systems help stabilize stream banks and prevent soil from washing into the stream and smothering trout eggs and aquatic insects.

Most trout streams are located on private property and the land owner controls access to, and fishing rights in, such streams. It is your responsibility to know when you cross a property line. Always get permission from the land owner before entering or fishing on private property.

Trout Stream Maps

Simply click on the county name and a map that shows: trout streams color coded for seasonal, year-round, and special regulations; roads; camping areas; public lands (shaded); and stocking locations (indicated by a red star) will open if you have Adobe Acrobat Reader.

A printed map that covers all the counties in Georgia with trout streams is available from the Fisheries Section.  The map also includes a list of streams recommended by WRD for beginners and experts.

Seasonal Trout Streams are open March 29 - October 31, 2003.

The following trout streams have special regulations.  Click on the stream name to learn more before fishing:

Artificial Lures Only: Chattahoochee River, Coleman River, Conasauga River, Hoods Creek, Jones Creek, Mountaintown Creek, Noontootla Creek, Stanley Creek, Walnut Creek

Delayed Harvest Program Information Sheet for these DH Streams: Amicalola Creek, Chattahoochee River, Chattooga River, Smith Creek

Age Restriction: Moccasin Creek

Trophy Trouit: Smithgall Woods-Dukes Creek, Waters Creek

Definition of Watershed: a watershed is a stream and all its tributaries (streams flowing into that stream).

NOTE: be aware that many Seasonal streams have been changed to Year-round streams.  These are indicated in Bold type.  These changes will not be indicated in the printed Sport Fishing Regulations until the 2003-2004 publication becomes available in March 2003.

Bartow County

Seasonal: Boston Creek watershed upstream from Georgia Highway 20.

Year-round: Connesena Creek watershed; Dykes Creek watershed; Pine Log Creek watershed; Pyle Creek watershed; Salacoa Creek watershed; Spring Creek watershed; Stamp Creek watershed upstream from Bartow County Road 269; Toms Creek watershed upstream from Bartow County Road 82; Two Run Creek watershed; Ward Creek watershed.

Carroll County

Year-round: Tallapoosa River watershed north of Interstate 20, not including Little Tallapoosa River watershed.

Catoosa County

Seasonal: Hurricane Creek watershed upstream from Peters Branch.

Year-round: Dry Creek watershed (part of East Chickamauga Creek watershed) upstream of Catoosa County Road 257; Little Chickamauga Creek watershed upstream from Catoosa County Road 387; Tiger Creek watershed upstream from Georgia Highway 2.

Chattooga County

Seasonal: Kings Creek watershed; Mt. Hope Creek (Coon Creek) watershed; .

Year-round: Allgood Branch watershed; Chappel Creek watershed; Chelsea Creek watershed; East Fork Little River watershed; Hinton Creek watershed; Little Armuchee Creek watershed upstream from Chattooga County Road 326; Perennial Spring watershed; Raccoon Creek watershed upstream from Georgia Highway 48; Ruff Creek watershed; Storey Mill Creek watershed; Taliaferro Creek watershed.

Cherokee County

Seasonal: Boston Creek watershed.

Year-round: Bluff Creek watershed upstream of Cherokee County Road 114; Pine Log Creek watershed; Salacoa Creek watershed; Soap Creek watershed upstream of Cherokee County Road 116; Stamp Creek watershed; Wiley Creek watershed.

Cobb County

Year-round: Chattahoochee River downstream to the mouth of Peachtree Creek.

Dade County

Seasonal: East Fork Little River watershed; Rock Creek watershed.

Year-round: Allison Creek watershed; Lookout Creek watershed upstream from Dade County Road 197.

Dawson County

Seasonal: Amicalola Creek watershed upstream from Dawson County Road 192 (Steele Bridge Road) which is the first bridge upstream from Georgia Highway 53; Amicalola Creek tributaries from Georgia Highway 53 upstream to Dawson County Road 192 (Steele Bridge Road); Nimblewill Creek watershed; Shoal Creek watershed upstream from the mouth of Burt Creek; Sweetwater Creek watershed.

Year-round: Amicalola Creek from Dawson County Road 192 (Steele Bridge Road) downstream to Georgia Highway 53; Anderson Creek watershed; Long Swamp Creek watershed.

Fannin County

Seasonal: Charlie Creek watershed; Etowah River watershed; Jacks River watershed; Owenby Creek watershed; Persimmon Creek watershed; South Fork Rapier Mill Creek watershed; Star Creek watershed; Toccoa River tributary watersheds entering the river downstream from Blue Ridge Reservoir to the Georgia-Tennessee state line and upstream from the mouth of Stanley Creek except those listed as year-round; Tumbling Creek watershed; Wilscot Creek watershed.

Year-round: Conasauga River watershed (except Jacks River watershed); Ellijay River watershed; Fightingtown Creek watershed; Mountaintown Creek watershed; Noontootla Creek watershed; Rock Creek watershed; Rock Creek Lake; Toccoa River downstream from Lake Blue Ridge to the Georgia-Tennessee state line and upstream from the mouth of Stanley Creek (does not include tributaries unless listed).

Floyd County

Seasonal: Johns Creek watershed upstream from Floyd County Road 212; Toms Creek watershed.

Year-round: Dykes Creek watershed; Kings Creek watershed; Lavender Creek watershed upstream from Floyd County Road 893; Little Cedar Creek watershed; Mt. Hope Creek watershed; Silver Creek watershed upstream of Georgia Highway 1E (Floyd County Road 631); Spring Creek watershed (flows into Etowah River).

Forsyth County

Year-round: Chattahoochee River.

Fulton County

Year-round: Chattahoochee River.

Gilmer County

Seasonal: Harris Creek watershed; Johnson Creek watershed; Tails Creek watershed; and all other streams or parts of streams not listed as year-round except: Coosawattee River downstream from Old Georgia Highway 5 (Gilmer County Road 239); Talking Rock Creek; and tributaries to Carters Reservoir not listed as year-round (these streams may be fished year-round without a trout license).

Year-round: Ball Creek watershed; Cartecay River watershed; Conasauga River watershed (except Jacks River watershed); Coosawatee River from the confluence of Cartecay & Ellijay rivers downstream to Old Georgia Highway 5 bridge (Gilmer County Road 239); Ellijay River watershed; Fightingtown Creek watershed; Mountaintown Creek watershed; Noontootla Creek watershed; Sevenmile Creek watershed; Town Creek watershed; Wildcat Creek watershed.

Gordon County

Seasonal: Johns Creek watershed; Pin Hook Creek watershed upstream from Gordon County Road 275.

Year-round: Pine Log Creek watershed upstream from Georgia Highway 53; Rocky Creek watershed upstream from Gordon County Road 210; Salacoa Creek watershed upstream from US Highway 411; Snake Creek watershed.

Gwinnett County

Year-round: Chattahoochee River.

Habersham County

Seasonal: Amy's Creek watershed upstream from Georgia Highway 17; Chattahoochee River tributaries downstream to Georgia Highway 255 (except Amy's Creek downstream from Georgia Highway 17 and Sautee Creek downstream from Georgia Highway 255 Alternate bridge); Left Fork Soque River upstream of Georgia Highway 356 and all tributaries to the entire Left Fork Soque River; Nancytown Creek watershed upstream from Nancytown Lake; Right Fork Soque River upstream of Wilson Falls and all tributaries to entire Right Fork Soque River; Soque River tributaries that enter the river from the confluence of the Left Fork Soque and the Right Fork Soque rivers downstream to the mouth of Deep Creek.

Year-round: Chattahoochee River downstream to Georgia Highway 255; Left Fork Soque River downstream of Georgia Highway 356 excluding the tributaries; Liberty Creek watershed; Middle Fork Broad River watershed; North Fork Broad River watershed; Panther Creek watershed; Right Fork Soque River downstream of Wilson Falls excluding the tributaries; Roberts Branch watershed; Sautee Creek downstream from Georgia Highway 255 Alternate bridge; Soque River, excluding tributaries downstream from the confluence of Left Fork Soque and Right Fork Soque rivers to the mouth of Deep Creek; Toccoa Creek watershed.

Haralson County

Year-round: Flatwood Creek watershed; Lassetter Creek watershed; Mann Creek watershed upstream from Haralson County Road 162; Tallapoosa Creek watershed; Tallapoosa River watershed upstream from Haralson County Road 222.

Hart County

Year-round: Savannah River from Hartwell Dam downstream to Richard B. Russell Reservoir.

Lumpkin County

Seasonal: Amicalola Creek watershed; Bryant Creek watershed; Cane Creek watershed upstream from the Georgia Highway 9-52 bridge; Cavender Creek watershed; Chestatee River tributaries upstream from the mouth of Tesnatee Creek, except for the Frogtown Creek watershed; Dockery Lake; Etowah River watershed upstream from Hightower Church Road (County Road 72) bridge; Etowah River tributaries from Castleberry Bridge upstream to Hightower Church Road (County Road 72) bridge; Shoal Creek watershed; Yahoola Creek watershed upstream from the mouth of Bryant Creek.

Year-round: Chestatee River upstream from the mouth of Tesnatee Creek; Etowah River from Castleberry Bridge upstream to Hightower Church Road (County Road 72); Frogtown Creek watershed; Yahoola Creek watershed from the mouth of Bryant Creek downstream to Georgia Highway 52.

Murray County

Seasonal: Jacks River watershed upstream from the Georgia-Tennessee state line; North Prong Sumac Creek watershed; Rock Creek watershed upstream from Murray County Road 4 (the most southern of the two Rock Creek watersheds that are in the Holly Creek watershed); Sugar Creek watershed upstream from Murray County Road 4; Sumac Creek watershed upstream from Coffey Lake.

Year-round: Conasauga River watershed upstream from the Georgia-Tennessee state line (except Jacks River watershed); Dill Creek watershed; Holly Creek watershed upstream from Dill Creek; Mill Creek watershed upstream from Murray County Road 27; Mill Creek (Hasslers Mill Creek) watershed that is in the Holly Creek watershed; Rock Creek watershed (the most northern of the two Rock Creek watersheds that are within the Holly Creek watershed) upstream from Murray County Road 301.

Paulding County

Seasonal: Pumpkinvine Creek watershed upstream from Paulding County Road 231; Raccoon Creek watershed upstream from State Route 2299 (Paulding County Road 471).

Year-round: Pyle Creek watershed; Possum Creek watershed upstream from Paulding County Road 64; Powder Creek (Powder Springs Creek) watershed; Tallapoosa River watershed; Thompson Creek watershed; Ward Creek watershed.

Pickens County

Seasonal: Amicalola Creek watershed upstream from Dawson County Road 192; Cove Creek watershed upstream from Pickens County Road 294; Fisher Creek watershed; Pin Hook Creek watershed.

Year-round: Ball Creek watershed; Bluff Creek watershed; Cartecay River watershed; Darnell Creek watershed; Hobson Creek watershed; Little Scarecorn Creek watershed; Long Swamp Creek watershed upstream from Cove Creek; Mud Creek watershed; Rock Creek watershed; Salacoa Creek watershed; Scarecorn Creek watershed upstream from Georgia Highway 53; Sevenmile Creek watershed; Sharp Mountain Creek watershed; Soap Creek watershed; Talking Rock Creek watershed upstream from S1011 (Georgia Highway 136); Town Creek watershed; Wildcat Creek watershed.

Polk County

Seasonal: Lassetter Creek watershed; Pumpkinpile Creek watershed upstream from Polk County Road 437.

Year-round: Cedar Creek watershed upstream from Polk County Road 121; Little Cedar Creek watershed; Silver Creek watershed; Spring Creek watershed; Swinney Creek watershed; Thomasson Creek watershed; Thompson Creek watershed upstream of Polk County Road 441.

Rabun County

Seasonal: Bad Branch watershed (flows into Lake Seed); Bad Creek watershed (flows into Tugaloo Lake); Bridge Creek watershed; Crow Creek watershed (flows into Lake Seed); Dickenson Branch (flows into Lake Burton; Dicks Creek watershed (flows into Lake Burton); Falls Branch watershed (flows into Lake Rabun); Flat Creek watershed; Joe Creek watershed (flows into Lake Rabun); LaCounts Creek watershed (flows into Lake Seed); Moccasin Creek watershed, except Moccasin Creek downstream from the Burton Hatchery water intake to the sign marking the approximate normal pool level of Lake Burton; Popcorn Creek watershed; Seals Creek watershed (flows into Lake Seed); Slick Shoal Creek (flows into Lake Seed); Timpson Creek watershed; Wildcat Creek watershed; Worse Creek watershed (flows into Tugaloo Lake); all other streams or parts of streams not listed below as Year-round. Note: Tallulah River downstream from Lake Burton dam and tributaries to Burton, Seed, Rabun, Tallulah Falls, Tugaloo, and Yonah lakes not listed as Year-round are not trout streams and may be fished year-round and without a trout license.

Year-round: Chattooga River upstream from the mouth of Warwoman Creek; Little Tennessee River downstream from US Highway 23-441 bridge; Moccasin Creek downstream from the Burton Hatchery water intake to the sign marking the approximate normal pool level of Lake Burton; Overflow Creek watershed; Stekoa Creek watershed; Tallulah River downstream to Lake Burton; Warwoman Creek; West Fork Chattooga River.

Stephens County

Year-round: Little Toccoa Creek watershed; Middle Fork Broad River watershed upstream from the NRSC flood control structure No. 44; North Fork Broad River watershed upstream from the NRSC flood control structure No. 1; Panther Creek watershed; Toccoa Creek watershed upstream from Toccoa Falls.

Towns County

Seasonal: Bearmeat Creek watershed; Bell Creek watershed; Bugshuffle Branch (Allen Mill Creek) watershed; Burch Branch watershed; Fodder Creek watershed; Hog Creek watershed; Shake Rag Branch watershed; and all other streams or parts of streams not listed as Year-round Note: Hightower Creek downstream from Towns County Road 88; Hiwassee River downstream from Towns County Road 87; and tributaries to Chatuge Reservoir not listed as Year-round are not trout streams and may be fished year-round and without a trout license.

Year-round: Brasstown Creek watershed downstream from the US Highway 76 bridge; Charlies Creek watershed; Hightower Creek downstream from the US Highway 76 bridge to Towns County Road 88; Hiwassee River downstream to Towns County Road 87; Tallulah River.

Union County

Seasonal: Arkaqua Creek watershed; Bracket Creek watershed; Butler Creek watershed; Camp Creek watershed; Conley Creek watershed; Kiutuestia Creek watershed; Low Creek watershed; and all other streams or parts of streams not listed below as Year-round. Note: Butternut Creek watershed, Nottely River downstream from Nottely Dam, and tributaries to Nottely Reservoir not listed as Year-round are not trout streams and may be fished year-round and without a trout license.

Year-round: Brasstown Creek watershed downstream from US Highway 76 bridge; Coosa Creek watershed; Ivylog Creek watershed; Noontootla Creek watershed; Nottely River from the US Highway 129-19 bridge downstream to Nottely Reservoir; Rock Creek watershed; Toccoa River (does not include tributaries unless listed); Youngcane Creek watershed.

Walker County

Seasonal: Furnace Creek watershed; Johns Creek watershed; Rock Creek watershed upstream from Sawmill Branch; Sawmill Branch.

Year-round: Allen Creek watershed; Chappel Creek watershed; Chattanooga Creek watershed upstream from Walker County Road 235; Concord Creek watershed; Dougherty Creek watershed; Dry Creek watershed (tributary to East Armuchee Creek); Duck Creek watershed; East Fork Little River watershed (flows into Dade County); East Fork Little River watershed (flows into Chattooga County)Gilreath Creek; Gulf Creek watershed; Harrisburg Creek watershed upstream from Dougherty Creek; Left Fork Coulter Branch watershed; Little Chickamauga CreChickamauga Creek watershed upstream from Walker County Road 107.

White County

Seasonal: Town Creek watershed upstream from the mouth of Jenny Creek; Chattahoochee River watershed upstream from Georgia Highway 75 Alternate bridge; Chattahoochee River tributaries from the Georgia Highway 75 Alternate bridge downstream to the Georgia Highway 255 bridge except Dukes Creek watershed downstream from the US Forest Service property boundary; Sautee Creek; and Smith Creek watershed downstream from Unicoi Dam (these are year-round streams).

Year-round: Chattahoochee River downstream from the Georgia Highway 75 Alternate bridge to the Georgia Highway 255 bridge; Dukes Creek watershed downstream from the US Forest Service property boundary; Little Testnatee Creek watershed upstream from the mouth of Turner Creek; Sautee Creek; and Smith Creek watershed downstream from Unicoi Dam; Turner Creek watershed (the one nearest to Cleveland City limits).

Whitfield County

Seasonal: Snake Creek watershed; Swamp Creek watershed upstream from Whitfield County Road 9.

Year-round: Coahulla Creek watershed upstream from Whitfield County Road 183; Dry Creek watershed (part of East Chickamauga Creek watershed); Spring Creek (Deep Spring Creek) watershed; Tiger Creek watershed.

OTHER SPECIAL REGULATIONS

Moccasin Creek

That portion of Moccasin Creek between the Lake Burton Hatchery water intake and a sign marking the approximate normal pool level of Lake Burton is restricted to anglers under 12 years of age and holders of Honorary licenses and is open only during trout season.

Smithgall Woods - Dukes Creek Conservation Area

Dukes Creek and its tributaries within the state-owned Dukes Creek Conservation Area are open to fishing Year-round by reservation only. To make a reservation call 706-878-3087.

• Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used or possessed on the portion of Dukes Creek and its tributaries in White County on the Conservation Area, including the Georgia Highway 75 Alternate right-of-way. Possession of any bait, lure, or gear not legal for use on the stream is unlawful.

• All fish caught from Dukes Creek and its tributaries in White County on the Conservation Area, including the Georgia Highway 75 Alternate right-of-way, must be immediately released where caught.

• No trout may be possessed while fishing on any stream on the Conservation Area or the Georgia Highway 75 Alternate right-of-way.

Waters Creek

Waters Creek is located on the Chestatee WMA is managed for trophy trout jointly by the Wildlife Resources Division and the U.S. Forest Service, with the Georgia Council of Trout Unlimited cooperating.

• Waters Creek and its tributaries are open during the trout season on Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday only between 6:30 A.M. and 6:30 P.M. Eastern Standard Time (7:30 P.M.. Eastern Daylight Saving Time) with the following restrictions:

• Artificial lures with a single barbless hook no larger than a #6 must be used. One lure can be used at a time. You cannot possess lures that do not meet these criteria while on the area.

• Landing nets may not exceed two (2) feet in length.

• Possession of any bait, lure, landing net, or gear not legal for use on the stream is unlawful.

• All anglers must check in and out of the creek.

• No night fishing allowed.

• License Requirements:

Residents: Georgia resident fishing license, Trout license, and WMA license. Senior (65+) Lifetime and Honorary License holders do not need a WMA license.

Nonresidents: Nonresident Georgia fishing license, nonresident trout license, and nonresident WMA license. Florida residents more than 65 years of age must possess nonresident trout and WMA licenses.

Size limits: 22 inches for brown and rainbow trout and 18 inches for brook trout. It is a violation to possess a trout smaller than these limits while fishing on Waters creek.

Possession limits:

• One (1) trout may be possessed daily.

• No person may take more than three (3) trout per season.

BACK

Information provided by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Converted to HTML and published by NGTO by permission of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.


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