Bookmark this page for tournaments, special events, and more.

Whether you’re introducing your little angler-to-be to fishing for the first time, or you love putting your fishing skills up against the very best, Cherokee’s special fishing events keep the season long and lucrative. Check back often as new events often pop up, dates change, or new announcements are made.

General fishing waters are closed to everyone from Saturday, March 11, 2023 through Friday, March 24, 2023. 

  • 2023 Calendar Year News
    September 22, 2022 - December 31, 2023

    2023 Calendar Year News

    Closures, No Stocking Notices & More_Updated as needed.

    GENERAL CATCH & KEEP ENTERPRISE WATERS:

    • General fishing waters opening day is always the last Saturday in March.
    • General fishing waters are closed to everyone for two weeks prior to opening day. Do not purchase permits for general catch-and-keep enterprise waters during the March closure.
    • March closure dates are Saturday, March 11th – Friday, March 24th (2023).
    • Hatchery Audit Week: One week in late September as determined by internal audit. Stocking will not take place during audit week. Fishing remains open.
    • Christmas & New Year holiday closure: Generally, a 2-week closure period as determined by the Principal Chief. 2023 closure dates are December 16th – January 2nd. Stocking does not take place during holiday closures. Fishing remains open.

    TROPHY FLY-FISHING CATCH & RELEASE ENTERPRISE WATERS:

    • The 2.2 miles of trophy fly-fishing catch & release enterprise waters are open year-round. Daily tribal fishing permit and special use trophy trout fly-fishing permits required.

     

  • Cherokee’s Annual Opening Day Fishing Tournament
    March 25, 2023 - March 26, 2023

    Cherokee’s Annual Opening Day Fishing Tournament

    For 2023, Cherokee’s fishing season “opening day” will be March 25, and we are offering you 20,000 reasons to get excited about it.

    Our Opening Day Fishing Tournament requires a $15 entry fee and a $17 two-day fishing permit, covering both tournament days to compete for $20,000 in tagged fish. You’ll be competing in the rivers on the Qualla Boundary (excluding the 2.2 miles of catch-and-release waters). Tagged fish will be specially stocked for this event, and when you catch one, you redeem it for cash prizes ranging from $25 to $5,000 at the Natural Resources Enforcement Office, 517 Sequoyah Trail, Cherokee, NC 28719, which is across the street from Cherokee Welcome Center off Hwy 441. Prize redemption hours are from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. each tournament day, with a final tag turn in time of 4 p.m. on day two.

    Register anywhere fishing licenses are sold or online at FishCherokee.com by Friday, March 24, 2023. Fishing hours are one hour before sunrise and end one hour after sunset each day. Open to all ages and for all legal fishing methods.

    EBCI Natural Resources Department reserves the right to cancel, reschedule, or amend any tournament or event due to catastrophes, pandemics, states of emergency, adverse weather, etc.

  • Cherokee’s Memorial Day Trout Tournament
    May 27, 2023 - May 28, 2023

    Cherokee’s Memorial Day Trout Tournament

    Spend the long weekend with the boys: rainbow, brook, golden, and brown. With your $15 entry fee and $17 two-day fishing permit, covering both tournament days, you can compete for $10,000 in tagged fish within the beautiful freestone streams of Cherokee, NC; only the 2.2 miles of catch-and-release waters are excluded.

    Tagged fish will be specially stocked for this event, and when you catch one, you redeem it for cash prizes at the Natural Resources Enforcement Office located at 517 Sequoyah Trail off Hwy 441. Prize redemption hours are from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. each tournament day, with a final tag turn in time of 4 p.m. on day two. Open to all ages and for all legal fishing methods.

    Register for this tournament anywhere fishing permits are sold in and around Cherokee or online at FishCherokee.com by Friday, May 26, 2023.

    EBCI Natural Resources Department reserves the right to cancel, reschedule, or amend any tournament or event due to catastrophes, pandemics, states of emergency, adverse weather, etc.


  • The Tim Hill Memorial Trout Tournament
    July 08, 2023 - July 09, 2023

    The Tim Hill Memorial Trout Tournament

    Who is Tim, and why are we honoring him?

    As many of you know, this tournament honors Tim Hill, a long-time employee at our very own trout hatchery who sadly passed too soon. Several years ago, Cherokee’s Fisheries & Wildlife Management Division created this fun and lucrative tournament in his name.

    With a registration fee of $15 and a two-day fishing permit for $17, covering both tournament days, you’ll be fishing for your share of $10,000 by catching beautiful trout in rivers all across the Qualla Boundary (excluding the 2.2 miles of catch-and-release waters), which will be stocked with tagged fish. When you catch one, you redeem it for cash prizes at the Natural Resources Enforcement Office, 517 Sequoyah Trail, Cherokee, NC 28719, which is across the street from Cherokee Welcome Center off Hwy 441. Prize redemption hours are from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. each tournament day, with a final tag turn in time of 4 p.m. on day two.

    Register anywhere fishing licenses are sold or at FishCherokee.com by Friday, July 7, 2023. Fishing hours are one hour before sunrise and end one hour after sunset each day. Open to all ages and for all legal fishing methods.

    EBCI Natural Resources Department reserves the right to cancel, reschedule, or amend any tournament or event due to catastrophes, pandemics, states of emergency, adverse weather, etc.

  • The Qualla Country Trout Tournament
    August 26, 2023 - August 27, 2023

    The Qualla Country Trout Tournament

    The trout, the purse, and the bragging rights are the biggest of the year.

    With your $15 entry fee and $17 two-day fishing permit, coveriong both tournament days, you’ll be competing for your share of $20,000 in the pristine freestone streams of Cherokee (excluding the 2.2 miles of catch-and-release waters).

    Tagged fish will be specially stocked for this event, and when you catch one, you redeem it for cash prizes at the Natural Resources Enforcement Office, 517 Sequoyah Trail, Cherokee, NC 28719, which is across the street from Cherokee Welcome Center off Hwy 441. Prize redemption hours are from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. each tournament day, with a final tag turn in time of 4 p.m. on day two.

    Register anywhere fishing licenses are sold or at FishCherokee.com by Friday, August 25, 2022. Fishing hours are one hour before sunrise and end one hour after sunset each day. Open to all ages and for all legal fishing methods.

    Fisheries & Wildlife Management reserves the right to cancel, reschedule, or amend any tournament or event due to catastrophes, pandemics, states of emergency, adverse weather, etc.