Oconaluftee River on Cherokee Indian Reservation

Categories: Play, Kid-Friendly, Fishing, Outdoor Fun, Fishing for Hatchery Supported Trout, Kid Friendly Spots, River Rafting, Tubing & Kayaking, Cherokee Indian Reservation


  •  Easy access points in downtown Cherokee and along US Hwy-441
  •  Great opportunity to catch NC mountain trout 
  •  Limit of 10 trout per angler 
  •  Special fishing permit for the Cherokee Reservation must be purchased 
  •  No lure restrictions 
  •  Great place for kids to learn how to fish, and they will catch fish
  •  Oconaluftee is stocked with approx. 500,000 trout annually 
  •  Fishing piers for elderly and disabled
  •  Safe place for kids to swim, wade and play in the water 

The Local Scoop

This section of the Oconaluftee River is an acceptional opportunity for anglers of all ages to catch NC mountain trout or just play in the ice cold waters. This area is heavily stocked by the Cherokee Fisheries & Wildlife Management with approx. 500,000 fish annually. The fish that are stocked are as follows: Brook, Brown, Golden & Rainbow Trout. The easily accessible streams on the reservation are stocked twice weekly. If new to the area we would suggest either calling or contacting the Wildlife Management to ask where to catch the big ones. After all, it never hurts to ask. Before making your plans to come to the Cherokee area, be sure to find out all you can about the annual Trout Derby that the Cherokee hold for children every first Saturday in August. The registration is free and they always have a huge turnout of up to 2,000 kids anywhere from age 3 to 11. If you and your family can't make the Trout Derby, no worries. You can always find a place to wet your line in Cherokee, and the best part about it is there is never a shortage of fish!
If relaxing while your kids play in the water is more of what you are looking for, this river offers multiple access points on either side.  Be sure to visit one of the easiest river access points at "Oconaluftee Islands Park" for picnics, water fun and relaxing by the water, as well as fishing. 

The Local Directions

From downtown Cherokee, NC take U.S. Hwy-19 Business to Acquoni Road on your Right (on the East side of the Oconaluftee River). Travel 0.4 miles to the parking area on piers on your Left. Great easy access to the stocked portion of the Oconaluftee River.

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35.481343, -83.31726
Cherokee Reservation
Easy via U.S. 441 North, Acquoni Road or Big Cove Road
Distance From
In downtown Cherokee