Tournament updates and special announcements regarding COVID-19.
We’ve all been eagerly anticipating the arrival of EBCI’s fishing season, and competing against one another throughout our tournament season. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, those things will have to wait. Tribal leadership has been closely monitoring the rapidly changing public health crisis and, in an effort to protect us all, has made several important decisions that impact competitive and recreational fishing across the Qualla Boundary.
Important closures and cancellations:
EBCI Enterprise Waters: closed to everyone (March 14, 2020 – March 27, 2020)
Opening Day Fishing Tournament: canceled (March 28-29, 2020)
Official opening day: postponed (until further notice)
EBCI Tribal Leadership met and made the difficult decision to postpone the open fishing season in Cherokee, NC. The expected closure may extend until the end of April 2020, depending upon the Covid-19 threat in our area.
Please note that the 2.2 miles of Enterprise Waters set aside for catch-and-release fishing remain open year round. Also, the extended closure of the Enterprise Waters will not be enforced on EBCI enrolled members, their spouses, or EBCI first descendants. EBCI spouses and first descendants must obtain a special use fishing permit from the Fisheries & Wildlife Management office in order to fish Enterprise Waters. All legal fishing methods apply.
Registration refunds, permit reprints, and other adjustments.
Your friends at the Fisheries & Wildlife Management office are working to create a mechanism for refunds to those who paid the Opening Day Fishing Tournament registration price of $15. Fishing permits purchased for the dates of March 28-April 11, 2020 may be used for one future date during the 2020 fishing season once it reopens. Reprints of permits dated March 28-April 11, 2020 will not be authorized, so please hold on to your printed copy. We recommend that you DO NOT PURCHASE fishing permits for dates of closure.
Like many offices, we are dealing with staff shortages currently. Please check FishCherokee.com for updates, and check the Fish Cherokee and Visit Cherokee NC Facebook pages for the most recent information. Thank you for your patience and continued understanding. We look forward to seeing you on the water, doing what we all love to do. Until then, stay safe.
Here, the waters run pure and ancient, and the fish are freshly stocked and plentiful.
Today is your day, proud angler—30 miles of streams, arguably the longest stretch of managed private fishery in the eastern US, stocked to the gills with trout: rainbow, brook, golden, and brown. What are you waiting for? They’re here and they’re hungry. You will discover thousands of new favorite fishing spots, all collected into one jaw-droppingly beautiful place. From catch-and-keep to catch-and release calendars, you’re casting constantly. Yet in Cherokee, the memories you catch while fishing might be the tastiest of all.
We’re passionate about trout.
A precious natural resource, the abundantly trout-filled stream system in Cherokee connects 30 miles of freestone streams that include secluded forest settings, suburban roadside areas, and even the Cherokee town center. Over 40 shops and stores offer authorized fishing permits, and a growing number of tackle shops supply both expert and novice gear including flies, tackle, and bait.
What’s a freestone stream?
Paradise for fish; bounty for fishermen.
It’s alive, natural, and ever changing. Found only in high elevations and foothills, a freestone stream is formed by runoff rain or melting snow water that collects as gravity pulls it off mountaintops, forest floors, and isolated coves. As the water descends ever rapidly, chaos happens–trees are uprooted, rocks dislodge, boulders crash, and streams carve out their course as they form. Depending on rainfall, don’t be surprised if a favorite run is returned to rubble or a scenic bend has acquired an inviting new stretch of riffles and pocket pools. But that’s all part of the unfolding beauty of Cherokee fishing.