No Significant Impact

A photograph of a mother and son fishing a park stream.  A fish is hooked on the line of the fishing pole.
A photograph of a happy mother and son fishing a park stream.  There is a small fish hooked on the line of the fishing pole.

National Park Service Photo


That is Correct!

On June 11, 2007, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park approved a report that found recreational fishing had no significant impact on fish populations. Most trout populations in the Smokies have a high mortality rate (>50% per year) and short life span (<4 years). The average life span of a brook trout in the Smokies is approximately 3 years. Once greater than six inches, it is difficult for an adult brook trout to find enough food to support its high metabolism. Natural factors such as floods, droughts, and lack of food will kill 60-70% of adult brook trout every year. Anglers in the Smokies harvest less that 30 % of the fish they catch. As a result, the effects of regulated fishing on brook trout streams is minimal in comparison to the effects caused by mother nature.

A summary of the report can be found at

Click here to continue on to Question 10.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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