The Qualla Country Trout Tournament Is On! | Cherokee, NC

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The Qualla Country Trout Tournament Is On!

Only one fishing tournament offers enough prestige and bragging rights to carry both the official name of Cherokee’s home and the season’s biggest purse: $20,000. The Qualla Country Trout Tournament is taking place Saturday, September 5th and Sunday, September 6th.

The trout, the purse, and the bragging rights are the biggest of the year.

With your $15 entry fee and $17 two-day fishing permit, you’ll be competing for your share of $20,000 in the pristine, freestone streams of Cherokee (excluding the 2.2 miles of catch- and-release waters). Tagged fish will be specially stocked for this event, and when you catch one, you redeem it for cash prizes.

Register anywhere fishing licenses are sold or at by Friday, September 4, 2020. Fishing will start one hour before sunrise and end one hour after sunset each day. Open to all ages and for all legal fishing methods.

How to Turn in Your Tags

To address COVID-19 concerns, Cherokee’s Fisheries & Wildlife Management Division has slightly adjusted the standard tag turn-in procedure. Here’s how the tag turn-in procedure has changed to protect all anglers:

You may turn your tags in on tournament days only, from 3-6 p.m. To turn your tags in:

  • Head to 88 Council House Loop, Cherokee NC, which is located across the road from the Cherokee Welcome Center, next to the Veterans Park/Council House entrance.
  • Pick up and fill out a sign-in sheet and a W-9 form at the parking area entrance.
  • Place your completed sign-in sheet, W-9, valid permit, proof of registration, and colored tags in the envelope provided to you at the entrance. (Please note: We know you’re proud of the fish you’ve caught, but we only need to see tags!
  • Drive around the building to the drive-thru window.
  • Hand your envelope to a friendly staff member at the window, where we’ll also distribute the cash prizes.

Tournament Details

  • 271 tagged fish will be released into all 30-miles of Catch & Keep Enterprise Waters and Ponds 
  • 10 fish limit per day / per permit holder (includes catch of minor children)
  • Caught fish must be kept
  • Fly-fishing catch & release allowed for this tournament in Catch & Keep Enterprise Waters
  • Additional special use fly-fishing permits are required ONLY for the 2.2 miles of trophy fly-fishing waters
  • Anglers must follow all of the Eastern Band of Cherokee’s Tribal fishing laws

Read more about this year’s fishing season in our blog on Cherokee Fishing Updates: Stocking Schedule, Safety Guidelines for Anglers, and Tournaments. 

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