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Fishing

Fishing along the Blue Ridge ParkwayStreams, ponds and rivers give anglers a chance to try their luck for trout and, in some waters, bass and panfish. A state fishing license is required. Creel limits and other regulations vary. Inquire at visitor centers or Ranger stations.

Streams and lakes on the Blue Ridge Parkway are game fish waters for which Federal Regulations set forth in Title 36, Sections 2.3 and 7.34(b) of the Code of Federal Regulations are in effect.

Except in designated areas or as provided in Federal Regulations, fishing shall be in accordance with the laws and regulations of the state in which the water is located.

Waters that are not named in the "Special Waters" section in the Fishing Regulations section are subject to State General Fishing Regulations.

Best suggestion when fishing in Parkway waters is to contact the local ranger for special regulations/rules that apply to that specific fishing area for bait type, limits, etc. Regulations are normally posted at each Parkway fishing area, but they are different from place to place.

License

License requirements shall conform to those established by the State in which the water is located. No special trout license is required when fishing in Parkway waters. A fishing license from either state (Virginia or North Carolina) is valid in all Parkway waters.

Season

The fishing season and hours shall conform to those established by the State except that fishing is prohibited one-half hour after sunset until one-half hour before sunrise on all Parkway waters.

Creel and Size Limits

Creel and size limits shall conform to those established by the State unless the water is listed in the "Special Waters" section. Limits for "Special Waters" are posted at each lake shore or stream bank.

Special Waters

North Carolina

Basin Creek and its tributaries in Doughton Park, Boone Fork, Cold Prong Branch, Laurel Creek, Sims Creek, and Camp Creek.

Virginia

Abbott Lake, Little Stoney Creek, and Otter Lake.

Fishing is not permitted from the dam at Price Lake or from the footbridge in the Price Lake picnic area, or from the James River Bridge.

Closed Waters

Bee Tree Creek, a tributary of Boone Fork, is closed for research purposes.

Bait and Lures

General Waters:

  • The possession or use of live or dead fish, amphibians, or non-preserved fish eggs is prohibited while on or along any Parkway water. 
  • Digging for natural bait on Parkway land is prohibited. 
  • Use of bait, other than listed above, on waters classified as "General Waters" shall conform to regulations established by the State. 

Special Waters:

  • The possession or use as bait of insects, worms, live or dead fish or fish parts, or other organic bait is prohibited while adjacent to, on, or in streams or lakes classified as "Special Waters." 
  • North Carolina:  Fishing lures are limited to single-hook artificial lures in all "Special Waters" with the following exceptions; in Basin Creek and its tributaries and Boone Fork River from Price Lake Dam downstream to the Parkway boundary, the use of lures other than single-hook artificial flies is prohibited.
  • Virginia: Fishing lures are limited to single-hook artificial lures.

 

Swimming

Swimming is prohibited on the Parkway. Several nearby state parks and national forests have developed swimming areas.

Highlights & Happenings

  • Moses H. Cone Park, MP 294
  • A majestic 4,200 acres at the foot of Grandfather Mountain, named in honor of Julian Price, lies directly adjacent to the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. Together these parks comprise the largest developed area set aside for public recreati
  • Julian Price Memorial Park, MP 297
  • A majestic 4,200 acres at the foot of Grandfather Mountain, named in honor of Julian Price, comprises this popular park and lies directly adjacent to the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park. Together these parks make up the largest developed area set as
  • Humpback Rocks, MP 5.8
  • At the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Humpback Rocks is perhaps the best representation of the varied combination of natural and cultural resources anywhere along the Parkway corridor. Visitors can tour a collection of nineteenth century far
  • Craggy Gardens, MP 364
  • These high elevation summits are home to spectacular floral displays. June and July are usually prime times to view the pink and purple blooms of rhododendron, but don’t despair if you miss the peak bloom. Violets, blackberry, May-apple, a
  • Blue Ridge Music Center
  • The Blue Ridge Music Center is a state-of-the-art performing arts facility built to preserve and promote the historic music of Virginia and the Blue Ridge. The Blue Ridge region has produced more old-time and bluegrass musicians per capita than any o
  • Waterrock Knob, MP 451.2
  • An ideal spot for watching sunrise and sunsets across the rugged mountains, Waterrock Knob Visitor Center sits at almost 6,000 feet elevation. Exhibits, book sales, and a trail leading to the summit of Waterrock Knob await visitors. The last hik
  • Peaks of Otter, MP 86
  • With stunning views, natural beauty, and the surrounding Jefferson National Forest, it’s no wonder the Peaks of Otter area has attracted people to the region for more than 8,000 years.
  • Parkway Road Conditions
  • An open Parkway is a safe Parkway. Be sure to check road conditions online or by phone before you travel and during your visit.
  • Camping
  • Camping is one way visitors traveling through the Blue Ridge Parkway can spend the night under the stars in one of America’s most beautiful natural settings.
  • Blue Ridge Parkway Directory & Travel Planner
  • The 67th edition of the Blue Ridge Parkway Directory & Travel Planner is your ultimate source for planning a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains.
  • Hiking Trails
  • A journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway offers motorists spectacular views of Southern Appalachia’s diverse beauty for 469.1 uninterrupted miles.
  • Blooms & Wildlife Watching
  • Don't forget your cameras and binoculars when visiting the Blue Ridge Parkway! Learn when and where to see blooms along your journey.
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