5 DAY FORECAST
PRIME FEEDING TIMES
Watauga is a beautiful, 6,430-acre TVA reservoir located in northeast Tennessee near the North Carolina border. The Cherokee National Forest adjoins much of the reservoir and the Appalachian Trail runs along its northwestern edge. The shoreline is farmland, wooded, and mountainous. The reservoir was formed by the impounding of the Watauga River in 1948.
There are approximately 106-miles of shoreline and water levels can fluctuate as much as 44-feet between summer full pool and the winter draw-down period. An abundance of public land makes Watauga an excellent reservoir for bank fishing and camping. There is a new, handicapped-accessible fishing pier at the Rat Branch access area courtesy of the TWRA and USFS.
Smallmouth, walleye, and trout are the most popular game fish for Watauga anglers. Gizzard shad, alewife, bluegill, and assorted minnows make up the forage base. There are eight public boat ramps, seven marinas and two Forest Service recreation facilities.
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. These attractors work well, but must continually be refurbished to maintain their effectiveness.
Bald cypress trees have been planted in several areas of the reservoir and have done especially well in the Roan Creek embayment. Both black willow and bald cypress trees provide long lasting habitat for a variety of game fish.
Benches designed to provide smallmouth bass spawning habitat have been built, but there have been problems with bank anglers using the top planks for firewood. Please call your local wildlife officer if you see someone destroying these or any other TWRA installed habitat structure.