General Fishing on Enterprise Waters:
Only a tribal permit is required to fish within the Reservation property, known as the Qualla Boundary. Outside the Boundary you must have a valid NC State fishing license.
A Tennessee license is also valid but only inside the Smoky Mountains National Park.
Dozens of local businesses in Cherokee are authorized outlets for fishing permits.
The permit applies to Enterprise Waters only, which are managed by the Tribal Fisheries and Wildlife Management Program.
Enterprise Waters include most of the Ravens Fork, Oconaluftee River and Soco Watersheds.
All remaining waters on the reservation may only be fished by members of the tribe and are off-limits to the general public.
$10.00 per day - Tribal Permit for each person 12 years of age and over for streams and ponds. No other fishing permit or license is accepted.
Children under twelve are allowed to fish when accompanied by a permitted adult. Two, three, and five-day permits are available at a reduced rate of $17 for a two-day, $27 for a three-day,
and $47 for a five-day. A single season's permit is available for $250.
Fishing in Cherokee is open year round with the last Saturday in March serving as the ceremonial opening day.
Catch and release areas are opened year-round. Fishing is allowed from one hour before sunrise to one hour after sunset.Limit: Daily limit is ten trout per permit holder (includes catch of children fishing under a supervising adults permit).
Catch and Release Special Use Permit:
$25 for a 1-3 day or $75 per year with the purchase of a general Fishing Permit Tribal Special Use Permit allows use of the catch & release area designated on the Raven Fork. All general fishing regulations apply to this permit as do following the Special Use Permit Regulations
Within the Catch and Release area:
Tackle is limited to fly rods, reels, and line with a maximum of 18 feet leader material or monofilament line attached.
Only artificial flies and streamers constructed of natural or synthetic material.
Only one single-hook fly per line permitted.
Prohibited inside the catch & release area on Raven Fork:
Taking of any live fish caught.
Use of any spin & bait casting rods, reels, lures, or tackle.
Use of any natural bait, fish bait or bait paste including fish eggs or derivative.