Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

TWRA's Region 4 - East Tennessee

Reservoir Fisheries Management Program

Calderwood Reservoir - General Information

TWRA Region IV Office
3030 Wildlife Way Morristown, TN 37814
(423) 587-7037 or (800) 332-0900
Updated - July 2013

 

GENERAL:

Calderwood is a small, 541-acre reservoir located within Blount and Monroe Counties in east Tennessee along U.S. Highway 129. The dam was completed in 1930 and impounds the Little Tennessee River. This is one of two dams in Tennessee that is owned by Brookfield Smoky Mountain Hydropower.

The Smoky Mountain National Park and the Cherokee National Forest border this deep, 8-mile long, cold water reservoir. Cheoah Reservoir is upstream of Calderwood and Chilhowee Reservoir is downstream.

A small portion of Calderwood is located in North Carolina. A reciprocal agreement between Tennessee and North Carolina allows anglers licensed by either state to fish the entire reservoir by boat. They may also fish in that portion of Slickrock Creek which constitutes the boundary between the two states. Those wishing to bank fish must possess a valid license from the state land they are fishing from. This is especially important to anglers bank fishing near the primitive campground and ramp on the uppper end of the reservoir because it is located in North Carolina.

The primary game fish are trout, largemouth and smallmouth bass, black crappie, and rock bass. Trout are stocked on an annual basis and thrive in the cold, clear water. Anglers should be aware that the use of limblines and trotlines is prohibited.

There are not any fish consumption advisories issued for the reservoir. There is only one small public boat ramp located just downstream of Cheoah Dam in North Carolina. A map of the reservoir provided on this site that might be useful to anglers. Those wishing to camp along the shoreline of the reservoir may wish to consult Brookfield's recreation map.

BLACK BASS:

Smallmouth and largemouth bass are present, but the cold water limits the growth rates of these popular species.  The daily creel limit for both species is five in any combination. There is no length limit on largemouth bass, but note smallmouth changed to an 18-inch minimum length limit on March 1, 2008.

CRAPPIE:

Crappie are present in limited numbers. There is a 15-fish daily limit with 10-inch minimum size limit.

RAINBOW, LAKE, BROWN, and BROOK TROUT:

The TWRA stocks rainbow trout on an annual basis and has stocked lake trout in recent years. The cold water and good dissolved oxygen levels create an ideal habitat for these popular game fish. The current creel limit is seven trout per day in any combination, except only two can be lake trout. There is no minimum size limit for rainbow, lake, or brown trout, but there is a 6-inch minimum length limit for brook trout. More than one rod may be fished.

ROCK BASS:

Rock bass (redeye) may be the most abundant game fish in the reservoir. There is a 20-fish daily creel with no size limit.


FISHING TIPS:

Largemouth bass - Some popular tackle are Silver Buddies, Carolina-rigged plastic lizards, 4-inch plastic worms, crankbaits, Shad Raps, Rapalas, Rat-L-Traps, spinner baits, buzz baits, and many more.

Smallmouth bass - Fish live bait on the bottom, Carolina-rigged lizards, or cast firetiger or shad colored Shad Raps, Rapalas, and Rebels.

Crappie - Fish in downed trees in the early spring or late fall. Small minnows, plastic grubs, flies tipped with minnows, and small crankbaits work best.

Trout - Bank fishing with corn and salmon eggs is productive, or use terrestrial fly patterns and tiny topwater plugs. Troll spoons in the main channel for lake trout.

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