TWRA Family Fishing Lakes

Note: Carroll Lake is closed due to spillway gate failure

Tennessee Fishing Lakes Magazine Cover  by the TWRA

Looking for a fishing hole with a little peace and quiet? Somewhere to spend quality time with family and loved ones?

Then try one of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Fishing Lakes for solitude, relaxation and the chance to catch bass, sunfish, crappie, and catfish.

Download the TWRA Family Fishing Lakes Brochure today to learn more.

Download the complete Tennessee Fishing Guide here.

A boat right off the dock. a dock for fishing off of.



A fishing lure. The 18 lakes managed by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency are open year-round for fishing. Designed and regulated especially for family fishing, these lakes prohibit alcoholic beverages, houseboats, inboard motors, water skiing, personal watercraft, and swimming. Most lakes have wheelchair accessible fishing piers, easy access to bank fishing, boat rentals, launching ramps, and picnic areas. Some lakes offer conveniences such as bait, tackle, snacks and drinks. These lakes are managed to provide fishing opportunities while producing the best quality fishing possible at a minimal cost.

Ten of the lakes are located in West Tennessee and range from 87 acres to 560 acres in size. The remaining eight lakes are located in Middle Tennessee and range from 12 acres to 325 acres in size.

One of the 4 lakes at Williamsport (Whippoorwill) is for youth-adult fishing only and an embayment of Laurel Hill Lake is designated for youth-only fishing. In addition to these, there are a couple of ponds totaling approximately 15 acres designated as youth fishing ponds located on the Bridgestone/Firestone Centennial Wilderness WMA in White County. For more information about these ponds call the Region 3 TWRA office at 1-800-262-6704.

If the family wants to get away from it all, then consider one of these 18 Family Fishing Lakes to pursue your thoughts, and relinquish your worries to the tug of bluegill, bass, or catfish. You might find something you've lost while enjoying an activity which is basic, simple and just plain fun and relaxing.


General Information

  • A $6.00 daily permit (available at most lakes) or a $48.00 annual permit is required to fish all of these lakes except for Garrett and Whiteville Lakes. The annual permit may be purchased at lakes with a concessionaire, and is good at all lakes. For Coy Gaither/Bedford Lake the lake permit (type 65) should be purchased from a license agent in the surrounding area before going to the lake.
  • Boats may be rented for $10.00 per day at most lakes on a seasonal basis. This permit may be purchased at the individual lake office.

Fishing is permitted seven days per week from one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset (except Garrett Lake is open 24 hours a day).The only tackle/gear that is legal is rod and reels, poles, hand-held lines, and jugs (with certain restrictions). All other gears are prohibited. See Fishing Regulation Guide for rules along with size and creel limits for each lake. 

Boats may not exceed the no wake speed. Motors (except trolling motors) are prohibited on some lakes. Personal boats may not be left overnight.

Motorized vehicles are permitted only on designated roads.


Lake Permit Requirements for Residents

  • Anglers under the age of 13, holders of a Lifetime Sportsman license, or an Annual Sportsman license do not need a lake permit.
  • Anglers born before March 1, 1926 do not need a license or lake permit.
  • Anglers who are age 65 and older need only a Permanent Senior Citizen license (type 166) and do not need a lake permit.
  • Anglers age 16 through 64 must have a Tennessee fishing license and an annual or daily lake permit.
  • Anglers ages 13-15 need only a Jr. Hunt/Fish/Trap license.


Lake Permit Requirements for Non-Residents

  • Anglers age 16 and over must have a Tennessee non-resident fishing license and a daily lake permit.
  • Anglers ages 13-15 must have a Tennessee non-resident fishing license but do not need a daily lake permit.


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