Little Pigeon River stocked with trout for first time in 29 years

PIGEON FORGE (WATE) – It is almost fishing season, and we will likely be seeing more fishing rods out in Sevier County this year.

The state recently lifted a 29-year-old contact advisory for portions of the Little Pigeon River in Pigeon Forge, making it safe to fish in the waters once again. TWRA stocked the west prong of the river Thursday for the first time since the late 1980s.

“To me it’s been a 29-year battle that ended today,” longtime fisherman Greg Ward said.

The lifting of the bacteria advisory makes it possible to fish once again in the west prong without risk of contamination.

“This is the initial stocking that we will begin today,” TWRA Regional Manager Bart Carter said. “Every other week we will come up and make a stocking between Patriot Park where we are today and the Apple Barn in Sevierville. A tremendous demand out there for these fish and a tremendous boost to the local economy and the state economy as far as economic benefit.”

It has been a long wait for fishermen living in the area

“It’s been 29 years,” Wad said. “Twenty-nine years since TWRA has stocked the west prong of the Little Pigeon River in Pigeon Forge. When I was a child, I always fished here. It was a great area and they resumed their stocking here on the west prong and it’s just a win-win for when tourists are in town. It should be a win for the counties and the state. I think it’s great.”

TWRA crews will be stocking the river with 750 trout every other week through June, and then pick it up again when the water cools down in the fall. Carter said he hopes this will help boost the local economy and send a message of environmental progress in the area.

“It’s a success story,” Carter said. “The success is cleaning the water up and getting to the point where we can have activities like this once again.”

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