South Holston Lake
5 DAY FORECAST
PRIME FEEDING TIMES
South Holston is a beautiful, 7,580-acre TVA reservoir located in upper east Tennessee at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains. The dam was completed in 1950 and impounds 24 miles of the South Fork Holston River. A small portion (1,244-acres) of the reservoir is located in Virginia.
The reservoir has relatively low productivity and water clarity is normally greater than in many other Tennessee reservoirs. The 168-miles of shoreline are only partially developed and much of the reservoir is bordered by the Cherokee National Forest. This abundance of public land makes South Holston a haven for campers and bank anglers. Winter draw-downs can be severe and water levels fall 40-feet below summer pool during some years.
Quality smallmouth and largemouth bass fisheries are present. Walleye, rainbow trout, black crappie, and catfish are other popular game fish. The forage base is made up of a mixture of gizzard shad, threadfin shad, alewife, bluegill, and various minnows.
A reciprocal agreement with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries went into effect in 2011. Tennessee residents may now purchase an annual South Holston Reservoir License (Type 063) to fish the VA portion of South Holston Reservoir. Virginia residents can purchase a similar license from VDGIF to fish the TN portion of the reservoir. Anglers that are not TN or VA residents must abide by the state boundary line unless they purchase other appropriate fishing licenses from both states.
A South Holston Reservoir License is valid for all impounded portions of the reservoir below full pool elevation of 1,730 feet, including the confluence of the Middle Fork and South Fork Holston Rivers and the South Fork Holston upstream to the Route 710 Bridge at Alvarado, VA. In addition to the South Holston Reservoir License, an angler must have whatever licenses that are required to fish in their home state. A valid resident TN trout fishing license or a valid resident VA trout fishing license is required to fish for trout. All anglers must abide by the laws of the state in which they are fishing.
FISH HABITAT ENHANCEMENT:
A variety of fish attractors have been constructed over the years in an attempt to concentrate fish for anglers. These include brush piles which are used by many game fish and stake beds that are primarily for concentrating crappie. Attractors work well, but must be refurbished occasionally to maintain their effectiveness.
Each year, the TWRA and the Sullivan County Parks Department host an angler workday. This is a productive method of creating numerous fish attractors and usually takes place in February. If you are interested in helping, contact Russell Young at (423) 587-7037 or Observation Knob Park at (423) 878-1881.
Bald cypress plantings have been added in several areas to create long lasting habitat. Benches designed to provide smallmouth bass spawning habitat have been built, but there have been problems with anglers using the wooden planks as firewood. Please call your local wildlife officer if you see someone destroying these or any other TWRA installed habitat structures.