Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency

TWRA's Region 4 - East Tennessee

Reservoir Fisheries Management Program

Norris Lake - Gill Netting 2016


Sampling Dates: January 26 through February 3, 2016
Species collected in survey (24 net nights):

Walleye - 172
Sauger - 1

The TWRA uses winter gill netting to determine the status of the Norris walleye. The effectiveness of our stocking program and growth characteristics of the fishery is monitored with this sampling procedure.

During the late 1990’s, Tennessee Technological University determined the Norris walleye fishery was failing due to limited natural spawning. TWRA responded with an aggressive stocking campaign and have stocked 5 to 10 walleye per acre each of the past 17 years. The fishery has recovered tremendously as a result.  More information about the Norris walleye fishery can be found on this web page.

The past seven samples suggest the fishery remains relatively stable. TWRA's gill netting catch rates indicate a slightly upward trend in density. The decrease in 2013 can likely be attributed to extremely high inflows. One can see via the length frequency chart below that most of the fish collected were greater than harvestable size (15-inches). For some reason, our recent creel surveys indicate that anglers are having an increasingly difficult time catching walleye.

You may wish to view the presentation posted on the Norris Lake Fisheries Advisory Committee page for a complete summary of the status of Norris Lake's fisheries.


walleye length frequency

Walleye length frequency


walleye catch rates

Walleye gill netting catch rates


Loyston Sea on Norris Lake