South Holston Reservoir - Regulations

Any person possessing a valid Tennessee or Virginia resident sport fishing license, or who is legally exempt from those license requirements, and possessing the South Holston Reservoir License may fish in the Tennessee and Virginia impounded waters of South Holston Reservoir. Virginia residents fishing in South Holston Lake in TN must have a Virginia resident license and South Holston Reservoir Permit (or Tennessee non-resident fishing license); under the age of 13-no license or permit required. The annual cost of the South Holston License is currently $21 dollars. The South Holston License is valid in 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 River upstream to the Route 710 Bridge at Alvarado, VA. The South Holston License is not valid for possession of trout.

A valid resident Tennessee trout fishing license or a valid resident Virginia trout fishing license is required to fish for trout and to possess trout on South Holston Reservoir. All anglers shall abide by the laws of the state in which they are fishing as to manner and means of taking fish. Size restrictions and creel limits shall be as follows:

Black Bass

  • No smallmouth less than 15 inches
  • 5 fish/day


  • No walleye less than 18 inches
  • 5 fish/day


  • No crappie less than 10 inches
  • 15 fish/day


  • No minimum size
  • 7 fish/day
  • ONLY 2 Lake trout per day

White Bass

  • No Harvest
  • All White bass must be released


  • Only 1 catfish over 34 inches
  • 20 fish/day


  • No minimum size
  • 50 fish/day

Rock Bass

  • No minimum size
  • 20 fish/day

*All trotlines, limb-lines and jugs must be tagged with angler's name, address or license.


  • 100 hooks per angler


  • 50 per angler


  • 15 per angler