Where are the sportfish?

An inside guide for successful warm-water fishing in the Tennessee Valley

TVA prides itself on keeping its reservoir waters healthy, oxygenated and viable enough to support a variety of wildlife.

That includes a variety of sport fish, including black bass, black crappie, channel catfish and spotted, largemouth and smallmouth bass
These fish are ranked by reservoir on a scale from 20 (poor) to 60 (excellent).

TVA shocking boat taking samples for fish species population. TVA photo

Some reservoirs are excellent for certain kinds of fish—use TVA’s sport fish surveys to get an accurate count of what is biting where
TVA strives to keep its waters oxygenated and healthy so that wildlife, including sport fish, can thrive in them. Sport fish have done so well that the region has become known as a fisherman’s paradise.

Yearly aquatic health surveys at each reservoir help TVA track conditions in the water and keep an eye on all kinds of critters, including some sport fish.

Here’s a little cheat sheet for goal-oriented fishermen. TVA ranks fish populations in ranges between 20 (very poor) and 60 (excellent). Here are the best numbers for the fish you may be angling for—and the reservoir where you have the best odds of successfully finding them:

Black Bass 52 – Melton Hill
Black Crappie 48 – Guntersville
Channel Catfish 46 – South Holston
Spotted Bass 50 (tie) – Chatuge
Spotted Bass 50 (tie) – Bear Creek
Largemouth Bass 52 – Old Hickory
Smallmouth Bass 42 – Tims Ford
Walleye 50 (tie) – Beech
Walleye 50 (tie) – South Holston
White Bass 50 – Wheeler
White Crappie 50 – Barkley

Source TVA

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