Opportunities to Volunteer for Great Smoky Mountains National Park Fisheries

Biologists shocking a stream

Here are a number of events going on this year in Great Smoky Mountains National Park where volunteers are needed. Most people don’t realize it, but much of what is accomplished in the park is done through the efforts of volunteers including trail maintenance, visitor relations, and fisheries management.

TroutFest is an event organized by the Little River Chapter of Trout Unlimited to raise money for fisheries in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Money raised by the event helps the park fisheries department hire seasonal workers, typically college students, who monitor fish populations and restore native brook trout. Volunteers are still needed to carry out some projects because of their large scale. These include fish population monitoring of large streams and the Lynn Camp Prong brook trout restoration.

These are always fun and educational for any angler because you get to see all kinds of fish (not just trout) up close and spend the day with biologists who know all kinds of things about trout and other fish.

  • April 14 – Little River Clean Up: Meet at Metcalf Bottoms Picnic area at 9:00 AM to pick up trash along the river
  • April 25 – Eastern Rivers Symposium – Volunteers needed in Cataloochee Valley to assist novice anglers with fly fishing
  • May 9 – Noland Divide brush clearing – Meet at 8:00 at Park Headquarters
  • May 18-20 – TroutFest – Volunteers needed for a variety of things (Click here to learn more about volunteering)
  • June 20 – Little River Kids Trout Camp – Volunteers needed to help with electro-fishing
  • June 21 – River Course Kids Trout Camp NC – Volunteers needed to help with electro-fishing
  • June 25 – 28 Lynn Camp Prong brook trout evalutation – Help biologists electro-fish and evaluate the brook trout population in this recently restored stream in the Tremont area of the park.
  • July 9-11  Bear Creek brook trout monitoring – Help biologists electro-fish and evaluate the brook trout population in this recently restored stream which a tributary of Forney Creek.
  • July 24-25 Large stream sampling – Electro-fishing on Little River and Middle Prong Little Pigeon (Greenbrier)
  • August 14 – Large stream sampling – Electro-fishing on Middle Prong of Little River (Tremont)
  • August 20 – Bunches Creek & Flat Creek evaluation – Electro-fishing these two brook trout streams near Balsam Mountain Campground
  • September 24 – October 30 Brook Trout Spawning Observation – Penn State research project – Find and observe brook trout on spawning redds.

Call  Matt Kulp (865 -426-1254) or Steve Moore (865-436-1250) at Great Smoky Mountains National Park for more information. They can be emailed at Matt_Kulp@nps.gov and Steve_E_Moore@nps.gov

Fly Fishing for Brook Trout in Great Smoky Mountains National Park