Special Regs Areas

These are areas that are not in national parks where legally you must either fish with artificial lures, barbless treble hooks or barbless single hooks. Note that this is a summary of opportunities. Always check state website or regulations booklet listings for complete and updated regulations before fishing.

  • Numerous streams and lakes are open only to catch-and-release fishing for trout, and only single-hook artificial lures may be used. These waters are concentrated in the White Mountains, but some are located in other areas.
    • Ackre Lake
    • Becker Lake
    • Burro Creek
    • Coyote Creek
    • Mamie Creek
    • Thompson Creek
    • Upper East Fork of the Little Colorado River above Boulder Dam in Apache County.
    • West Fork of the Black River, from the confluence of Hayground Creek upstream to the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, including tributaries.
    • Elk Tank
    • JD Dam Lake
    • Middle Tank
    • Oak Creek, West Fork
    • Perkins Tank
    • Canyon Creek, from the OW Bridge to the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.
    • East Verde River
    • Horton Creek in Gila County
    • Grant Creek
  • For a complete listing of Arizona fishing regulations, including all special regulations streams click here.
  • White River, Bull Shoals tailwater catch-and-release areas. Only artificial lures with barbless hooking points may be used in four distinct stretches of the Bull Shoals tailwater, each delineated in the regulations and marked by signs. The uppermost of these areas, from 100 yards beneath Bull Shoals Dam to the upstream boundary of Bull Shoals White River State Park, is closed to fishing from Nov. 1 to Jan. 31.
  • North Fork of the White River (commonly called Norfork River), from about one mile below Norfork Dam below Long Hole to Bill Ackerman/River Ridge walk-in area, as designated by signs. Barbless hook artificial lures, catch-and-release only. Well known for good-sized browns and rainbows and population of cutthroats and brooks.
  • Dry Run Creek, adjacent to Norfork Hatchery. Only for anglers less than 16 years old. Single-hook, barbless lures only. Year-round, catch-and-release trophy trout stream.
  • Little Red River, the first half mile below Greers Ferry Dam. Barbless hook artificial lures only. Good numbers of rainbow trout and browns (particularly November through January). Special regulations also apply at Mossy Shoals and Cow Shoals areas.
  • Collins Creek, near the Little Red River below Greers Ferry Dam. Only for anglers less than 16 years old. Single-hook, barbless lures only. Catch-and-release only.
  • White River, about half of a mile below Beaver Dam to near the Parker Bend Access. Single-hook, barbless lures only.
  • For more special regulations areas in Arkansas click here.
  • Only artificial lures with barbless hooks are permitted in hundreds of California waterways, including:
    • In the North Coast District, anadromous waters of the Klamath and Trinity river systems and those entering the ocean south of Humboldt Bay, which are not listed in the special regulations.
    • In the Sierra District, anadromous waters of Tehama and Shasta counties not listed in the special regulations.
    • In the South Central District, that portion of any stream west of any Highway 1 bridge, except those listed by name in the special regulations.
    • In the Southern District, all stream except anadromous waters in Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara, Orange, San Bernardino and Riverside counties, and except those listed by name in the special regulations.
    • More than 160 streams and lakes are specifically named under special regulations as being open only to fishing with artificial lures with barbless hooks. Those waters range from small creeks to some of the state’s most celebrated trout streams. Well-known waters on the list include parts or all of:
      • Crowley Lake (August 1 to Nov. 15)
      • Kern River
      • McCloud River
      • Owens River
      • Pitt River
      • Sacramento River
      • Trinity River
Between California’s size and the complexity of its fisheries and regulations structure, it’s important to study the regulations both to find the best opportunities and to make certain you remain within the law. For more information click here.
  • Although the state of Colorado does not go as far as to require single hooks or barbless points, many of the state’s best trout waters may only be fished with artificial lures. Colorado also awards some trout waters with “Gold Medal” status – a status that regularly gets reviewed and is based on quantifiable measures of trout density and quality. The following waters claim Gold Medal status AND are only open to fishing with artificial lures. Additional special regulation are listed by section:
    • Animas River, from the confluence with Lightner Creek to the Rivera Crossing Bridge. Limit is two trout. Minimum size 16 inches.
    • Arkansas River:
      • From the confluence with the Lake Fork of the Arkansas downstream to Parkdale at the Highway 50 bridge crossing above the Royal Gorge.
      • From the U.S. Highway 24 overpass downstream to the lower boundary of the Hayden Ranch, as posted. Limit is one trout, with a maximum size of 12 inches.
      • From the Stockyard Bridge below Salida downstream to the confluence with Badger Creek. Rainbow and cutbow trout must be returned to the river immediately.
    • Blue River:
      • From Dillon Dam downstream to north city limits of Silverthorne. Trout must be returned to the water immediately.
      • From north city limits of Silverthorne downstream to Colorado 9 bridge over the Blue River at Blue River State Wildlife Area. Limit is two trout. Minimum size is 16 inches.
      • From Green River Mountain Reservoir Dam downstream to the Colorado River. Trout must be returned to the water immediately.
    • Colorado River, from the U.S. Highway 40 bridge approximately three miles west of Hot Sulphur Springs downstream to confluence with Troublesome Creek. All trout must be immediately released.
    • Fryingpan River, from Ruedi Dam downstream to the confluence with the Roaring Fork River. Limit is two brown trout. Maximum size is 14 inches. All other trout must be immediately returned to the water.
    • Gore Creek, from the confluence with Red Sandstone Creek downstream to the confluence with the Eagle River. Limit is two trout, with a 16-inch minimum size.
    • Gunnison River, from 200 yards downstream of Crystal Reservoir Dam downstream to North Fork. All rainbow trout must be immediately released.
    • North Platte River, from the southern boundary of the Routt National Forest downstream to Wyoming (Northgate Canyon). Limit is two trout.
    • Rio Grande, from the Colorado 149 bridge at South Fork downstream to the Rio Grande Canal diversion structure. Limit is two brown trout. Minimum size is 16 inches. All rainbow trout must be returned to the water immediately.
    • Roaring Fork River, from Fryingpan River to Colorado River. Limit is two trout. Minimum size is 16 inches.
    • South Plate River:
      • From the confluence of the Middle and South forks downstream to the Spinney Mountain Reservoir inlet. Trout 12 to 20 inches long must be returned to the water immediately. Limit is two trout, only one of which may be more than 20 inches long.
      • From the outlet of Spinney Mountain Reservoir downstream to the inlet of Eleven Mile Reservoir. Some portions may be closed seasonally. All fish must be released immediately.
      • From Cheesman Dam downstream to the property line at Wigwam Club. Trout must be released immediately.
      • From the north boundary of the Wigwam Club downstream to Scraggy View Picnic Ground. Limit is two trout. Minimum size 16 inches.
    • South Platte River Middle Fork, from the Colorado 9 bridge downstream to the confluence with the South Fork of the Platte River. Trout 12 to 20 inches long must be returned to the water immediately. Limit is two trout, only one of which may be more than 20 inches long.
    • Spinney Mountain Reservoir. Fishing prohibited from ½ hour after sunset till ½ hour before sunrise. Limit is one trout. Minimum size is 20 inches.
For complete regulations click here.
  • Beaver Brook, within Talbot Wildlife Management Are from Route 14 to Merrick Brook. Catch-and-release only. Barbless single hook artificial lures.
  • Deep Brook from Wasserman Way to the confluence with Pootatuck River. Open year-round. Catch-and-release only. Barbless single-hook artificial lures.
  • Eightmile River. Open year-round. Catch-and-release only. Barbless single-hook artificial lures.
  • Farmington River, from the old footbridge abutments (Bankhamsted) downstream to the Route 219 bridge (New Hartford). This area includes all of the former West Branch Farmington River Trout Management area. Open year-round. Catch-and-release only. Barbless single-hook artificial lures.
  • Hawleys Brook, within Trout Brook Valley property. Open year-round. Catch-and-release only. Barbless single-hook artificial lures.
  • Macedonia Brook, from confluence to Bog Hollow Brook to Route 341. Open year-round. Catch-and-release only. Barbless single-hook artificial lures.
  • Merrick Brook, within Talbot Wildlife Management area and also extending upstream, as posted. Open year-round. Catch-and-release only. Barbless single hook artificial lures.
  • Mainus River, from Merrybrook Road upstream approximately one mile to dam as indicated by signs. Open year-round, but only catch-and-release with barbless single-hook artificial lures is permitted from Sept. 1 at 6:00 a.m. through the third Saturday in April
  • Mill River, from the confluence of Canoe Brook, as posted by DEEP, to Mohegan Park Pond, then from base of Samp Mortar Reservoir dam to Sturges Road in Fairfield. Open year-round. Catch-and-release only. Barbless single-hook artificial lures.
  • Naugatuck River. Seasons, limits and lure allowances vary by section because of Atlantic salmon. See regulations for details.
  • Pootatuck River, Intermittent sections from Route 25 to Turkey Hill Road, and from Sandy Hook Road through Rocky Glenn State Park to Walnut Tree Hill Road, just above Lake Zoar. Open year-round. Catch-and-release only. Barbless single-hook artificial lures.
  • Quinnipiac River, from 1/4 mile below Cheshire Road to Route 150. Open year-round. Catch-and-release only. Barbless single-hook artificial lures.
  • Tankerhoosen River, Intermittent sections from Valley Falls Road to Hockanum River. Open year-round, catch-and-release only, Barbless single hook artificial lures.
  • Wachocastinook (Riga) Brook, Downstream of South Pond within Mt. Riga Corporation property as posted. Open year-round. Catch-and-release only. Barbless single-hook artificial lures.
For complete regulations click here.
  • Chattahoochee River, from Highway 20 to the boat ramp at the National Park Service Medlock Bridge Park. Artificial lures only. Good area to catch both rainbows and browns.
  • Coleman River and its tributaries, from its junction with the Tallulah River upstream to Forest Service Bridge No. 54. Artificial lures only.
  • Conasauga River and its tributaries (except Jacks River watershed) upstream of the Georgia-Tennessee state line. Anglers are restricted to using only artificial lures from Nov. 1 through the last Saturday in March.
  • Hoods Creek and its tributaries on the Warwoman Wildlife Management Area. Artificial Lures only.
  • Jones Creek and its tributaries on the Blue Ridge WMA. Artificial lures only.
  • Noontootla Creek and its tributaries on the Blue Ridge WMA. Artificial Lures only.
  • Dukes Creek and its tributaries within the Dukes Creek/Smithgall Woods Conservation Area are open to fishing year-round on select days, by reservation only. Reservations and information, 706-878-3087. Catch-and-release only. Only artificial lures with barbless hooks may be used or possessed on the portion of Dukes Creek and its tributaries in White County on the conservation area, including the Georgia Highway 75 Alternate right-of-way. Possession of any bait, lure, or gear not legal for use on the stream is unlawful.
  • Waters Creek is a trophy trout stream on the Chestatee WMA. Only artificial lures with a single barbless hook no larger than a No. 6 may be used or possessed on Waters Creek or its tributaries. Special limits, day restrictions, gear restrictions and added license requirements apply.
  • Georgia’s five delayed harvest streams are open only to catch-and-release fishing with single-hook artificial lures from Nov. 1 to May 14. All stay heavily stocked throughout the delayed-harvest season. Only single-hook artificial lures may be used or possessed during that season.
    • Chattahoochee River, from Sope Creek downstream to U.S. Highway 41 (Cobb Parkway).
    • Toccoa River, from a point 0.4 mile above the Shallowford Bridge upstream 1.3 miles to a point 450 feet above the Sandy Bottoms Canoe Access.
    • Smith Creek, in Unicoi State Park from Unicoi Dam downstream to state park boundary.
    • Amicalola Creek, from County Road 193 (Steele Bridge Road) downstream to the Georgia Highway 53 bridge.
    • Chattooga River, from Highway 28 upstream to the mouth of Reed Creek.
  • For more information about special fishing regulation areas in Georgia click here.
  • Coeur d’Alene River, Little North Fork and tributaries, from and including Laverne Creek upstream. No bait allowed. Barbless hooks required. Trout limit is six. No harvest of trout with a red or orange slash below its jaw.
  • Coeur d’Alene River, North Fork and tributaries, from and including Yellow Dog Creek upstream. No bait allowed. Barbless hooks required. Trout limit is six. No harvest of trout with a red or orange slash below its jaw.
  • St. Joe River and tributaries (except St. Maries River), from the North Fork St. Joe River upstream. No bait allowed. Barbless hooks required. Trout limit is six. No harvest of trout with a red or orange slash below its jaw.
  • Upper Priest Lake and tributaries. No bait allowed. Barbless hooks required. Trout limit is six. No harvest of trout of cutthroat trout. Kokanee Limit is six.
  • Clearwater River, North Fork, from the upper end of the flat water of Dworshak Reservoir upstream. Barbless hooks required. From Dec. 1 through Friday before Memorial Day weekend, trout limit is zero, catch-and-release, no bait permitted, except maggots. Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Nov. 30, trout limit is two. No cutthroat under 14 inches. No bait allowed.
  • Crooked Fork Creek. Trout limit is zero, catch-and-release. No bait allowed. Barbless hooks required.
  • Kelley Creek and tributaries. Trout limit is zero, catch-and-release. No bait allowed. Barbless hooks required.
  • Lochsa River, from the mouth upstream to the Wilderness Gateway Campground Motor Bridge. Barbless hooks required. Dec. 1 through Friday before Memorial Day weekend, trout limit is zero. Catch-and-release. No bait permitted, except maggots. Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Nov. 30, trout limit is two. None under 14 inches. No bait allowed.
  • Lochsa River, from Wilderness Gateway Campground Motor Bridge upstream to the confluence of Colt Killed Creek and Crooked Fork Creek. Trout limit is zero. Catch-and-release. No bait allowed. Barbless hooks required.
  • Selway River, from mouth upstream to Selway Falls Cable Car. Barbless hooks required. Dec. 1 through Friday before Memorial Day weekend, trout limit is zero. Catch-and-release. No bait permitted, except maggots. Saturday of Memorial Day weekend through Nov. 30, trout limit is two, none under 14 inches. No bait allowed.
  • Selway River, from Selway Falls Bridge at Meadow Creek upstream. Trout limit is zero, catch-and-release. No bait allowed. Barbless hooks required.
  • Big Creek, Trout limit is zero. Catch-and-release. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Boise River, Middle Fork, from the confluence of the North Fork upstream to Atlanta Dam. Rainbow trout limit is two. None under 14 inches. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Boise River, South Fork, from Neal Bridge upstream to Anderson Ranch Dam. Special limits vary seasonally. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Brundage Reservoir and tributaries. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Brush Lake. Trout limit is two. None under 20 inches. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Crystal Lake. Trout limit is two. None under 20 inches. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Lake Rock Lake. Trout limit is two. None under 20 inches. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Long Lake. Trout limit is two. None under 20 inches. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Louie Lake. Trout limit is two. None under 20 inches. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Roosevelt Lake. Trout limit is zero, catch-and-release. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Salmon River, Middle Fork and tributaries. Trout limit is zero. Catch-and-release. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Salmon River, South Fork and tributaries. Trout limit is zero. Catch-and-release. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Serene Lake. Trout limit is two. None under 20 inches. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Stibnite Pond (Glory Hole). Trout limit is zero. Catch-and-release. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Tule Lake. Trout limit is two. None under 20 inches. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Wilson Creek Ponds, the Trophy Pond. Trout limit is zero. Catch-and-release. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Baker Lake. Trout limit is two. None under 20 inches. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Big Wood River. Varies by season and section. Includes requirement for single barbless hook in some situations.
  • Billingsley Creek, from old railroad grade upstream to Tupper Grade. Trout limit is two. None under 20 inches. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Boise River, South Fork, upstream of Anderson Ranch Reservoir. Trout limit is two. None under 14 inches. One barbless hook per lure or fly.
  • Silver Creek. Varies by season and section. Includes requirement for single barbless hook in places.
  • Varder Fisher Pond. Trout limit is two. None under 20 inches. Barbless hook. No bait
  • Blackfoot River, upstream from Blackfoot Reservoir. Dec. 1 to June 30, closed to fishing. July 1 to Nov. 30, trout limit is six. No harvest of cutthroat trout. No bait allowed. Barbless hooks.
  • Daniels Reservoir. Trout limit is two. None under 20 inches. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Diamond Creek and tributaries. Dec. 1 to June 30, closed to fishing. July 1 to Nov. 30, trout limit is six. No harvest of cutthroat trout. No bait allowed. Barbless hooks.
  • Lanes Creek and tributaries. Dec. 1 to June 30, closed to fishing. July 1 to Nov. 30, trout limit is six. No harvest of cutthroat trout. No bait allowed. Barbless hooks.
  • Portneuf River. Varies by season and section. Barbless hook and no-bait requirement in places.
  • Slug Creek and tributaries. Dec. 1 to June 30, closed to fishing. July 1 to Nov. 30, trout limit is six. No harvest of cutthroat trout. No bait allowed. Barbless hooks.
  • Snake River, Eagle Creek upstream to American Falls Dam. Oct. 16 to Friday before memorial day. Limit is zero for game fish. No bait allowed. Barbless hooks.
  • Springfield Reservoir. Trout limit is two. None under 20 inches. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Treasureton Reservoir. Trout limit is two. None under 20 inches. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Twenty-Four Mile Reservoir. Trout limit is two. None under 20 inches. Barbless hook. No bait.
  • Henrys Fork. Varies by season and section, but includes catch-and-release requirement, no-bait restriction and barbless hook requirement in places.
  • For complete Idaho regulations click here.
  • Only Catch-and-release fishing with artificial lures is permitted on three Indiana trout stream sections.
  • Little Elkhart River, from CR 43 downstream to CR 16, except for waters along Riverbend Park, from CR 16 upstream to the pedestrian footbridge.
    • Solomon Creek, from CR 33 downstream to the Elkhart River.
    • Cobus Creek, from Old U.S. 20 downstream to the St. Joseph River.
  • For complete Indiana fishing regulations click here.
  • Bloody Run Creek, posted areas. Artificial lures only. 14-inch minimum size for brown trout.
  • Ensign Creek, posted areas. Artificial lures only. Catch-and-release.
  • Hewett Creek, posted areas. Artificial lures only. Catch-and-release.
  • French Creek, posted areas. Artificial lures only. Catch-and-release.
  • McLoud Run, posted areas. Artificial lures only. Catch-and-release.
  • South Pine Creek. Artificial lures only. Catch-and-release.
  • Spring Branch Creek, posted areas. Artificial lures only. 14-inchminimum size for all trout.
  • Waterloo Creek, posted areas. Artificial lures only. Catch-and-release.
  • For complete Iowa fishing regulations click here.
  • Catch-and-release brook trout streams. Only single-hook, artificial lures may be used on these streams:
    • Dog Fork, Wolfe County.
    • Parched Corn Creek, Wolfe County.
    • oor Fork, Letcher County, from the headwaters to Highway 932.
  • Only artificial lures may be used on these bodies of water in Kentucky:
    • Dix River (Herrington Lake tailwater). Fishing is permitted with artificial baits only. Live or organic bait may not be possessed while fishing this two-mile section of Dix River. The only public access to Dix River below Herrington Dam is via the Kentucky River.
    • Cumberland River below Lake Cumberland, from the Wolf Creek Dam downstream to the Tennessee state line. A 20-inch minimum size limit and one-fish daily creel limit apply to brown trout. A 15- to 20-inch protective slot limit on rainbow trout is in effect for the same section of the Cumberland River. All rainbow trout caught between 15 and 20 inches must be immediately released. Only one rainbow trout of the five fish daily creel limit may be longer than 20 inches. Brook trout have a one-fish daily creel limit, with 15-inch minimum size limit. All anglers on this section of the Cumberland River, including all tributary streams up to the first riffle and all of Hatchery Creek, must possess a valid Kentucky trout permit (regardless of species sought). Anglers may not chum or cull trout.
    • Hatchery Creek in Russell County. The upper section, as designated by signs, is open under Cumberland River trout regulations. The newly constructed lower section is open for catch-and-release only for all trout species, and only artificial baits may be used.
    • Paint Creek in Johnson County (Paintsville Lake tailwater). There is a 16-inch minimum size limit and one-fish daily creel limit on trout from the KY 40 bridge downstream to the first U.S. 460 bridge crossing. Only artificial baits may be used.
    • Chimney Top Creek, including Right Fork Chimney Top Creek (Wolfe County). There is a 16-inch minimum size limit and one-fish daily creel limit for brown trout, and only artificial baits may be used.
    • Trammel Creek in Allen County, there is a 16-inch minimum size limit, and a one-fish daily creel limit on brown trout.
  • For more information about fishing regulations in Kentucky click here.
  • Androscoggin River, from the New Hampshire border downstream to the bridge crossing at Gillead. Single-hook artificial lures only. All trout, salmon and togue (lake trout) must be immediately released.
  • Messalonskee Stream, from the Union Gas Dam to the confluence with the Kennebec River. Open-water fishing, single-hook artificial lures only. Total daily bag limit on landlocked salmon and trout is one fish. Minimum length for landlocked salmon, rainbow trout and brown trout is 16 inches.
  • Sebasticook River, from the Benton Falls dam, Benton to the confluence with the Kennebec River. Open-water fishing open to fishing with single-hook artificial lures only. Total daily bag limit on landlocked salmon and trout is one fish. Minimum length for landlocked salmon, rainbow trout and brown trout is 16 inches. Minimum size for brook trout is 12 inches.
  • Kennebec River, from the upstream side of the Donald Carter Bridge in Waterville to the downstream side of the power lines located about 4,200 feet above the Calumet Bridge in Augusta. April 1 through June 30. Single-hook artificial lures only. Brook trout must be 12 inches. Landlocked salmon must be 16 inches.
  • For a complete listing of special regulations for fishing in Maine, which includes an artificial lures only provision in many places click here.
  • Savage River, mainstem from the downstream side of the Route 135 bridge upstream 2.7 miles to the lower suspension bridge (Allegany Bridge). Single-hook artificial lures only. Limit is two trout, with a 12-inch minimum size for brook trout and an 18-inch minimum size for brown trout.
  • More special regulations information click here.
  • Only artificial lures are permitted on several trout stream sections in Michigan. Sections listed below all fall under that designation and offer very good opportunities. See regulations for seasons and additional restrictions, which vary by stream section
    • Au Sable River, main stem from South Wakeley Bridge to McMasters Bridge and from Mio power line to McKinley Bridge at Evans Road.
    • Escanaba River, from Boney Falls Dam to the mouth of Silver Creek.
    • Manistee River, from County Road 12 to M-72. The Manistee, incidentally, produced a former world record brown trout.
    • Pere Marquette, seasonally, from the downstream edge of the boat ramp/slide at Gleason’s Landing to the upstream edge of the boat ramp at Rainbow Rapids.
  • For complete information about Michigan trout streams with special designation click here.
  • Kraut Lake. Catch-and-release for trout. Single-hook artificial lures only.
  • North Shady Lake. Catch-and-release for trout. Single-hook artificial lures only.
  • Peanut Lake. Catch-and-release for trout. Single-hook artificial lures only.
  • Squash Lake. Catch-and-release for trout. Single-hook artificial lures only.
  • Tomato Lake. Catch-and-release for trout. Single-hook artificial lures only.
  • Turnip Lake. Catch-and-release for trout. Single-hook artificial lures only.
  • Lawndale Creek, 3 1/2-mile posted section within Atherton Wildlife Management Area. Catch-and-release only for book trout. Barbless hook artificial lures only.
  • For more special regulations information click here.
  • White River, below Table Rock Dam to the mouth of Fall Creek (on Lake Taneycomo). Rainbow trout between 12 and 20 inches must be released. Only artificial lures may be used. Live bait, soft-plastic baits and scented baits are prohibited. For brown trout, a one-fish limit and 20-inch minimum size applies throughout the tailwater.
  • Several Missouri trout streams are open only to fishing with artificial lures, with soft-plastic baits and scented baits prohibited. Harvest restrictions vary. The most consistently productive streams are denoted in regulations as “Blue Ribbon.”
  • For more special regulations information for Missouri click here.
  • Many Montana stream sections, including some of the nation’s most fabled trout waters, may only be fished with artificial lures. Stream sections listed below are open only to catch-and-release fishing with artificial lures.
    • Bitterroot River, from Woodside Bridge FAS to Florence Bridge.
    • Clarks Fork River, upstream from Perkins Lane Bridge, near Warm Springs.
    • Mill Creek (Clarks Fork River tributary), downstream of the Stewart Street Bridge in Opportunity.
    • South Fork Flathead River, from Meadow Creek bridge to Spotted Bear footbridge and tributaries.
    • Madison River, from Quake Lake To Varney Bridge. Catch-and-release for trout, except that anglers under 14 years old may keep one trout. Open seasons and boating restrictions vary by section within this stretch of river.
  • For more details on special regulations stream click here and choose general information for the district that interests you. Most special regs waters are in the Western or Central District
  • South Fork of the Humboldt River, from the Lucky Nugget Subdivision causeway upstream to Lee. Open year-round. Limit is one trout. Barbless single-hook artificial lures only.
  • Smith Creek Reservoir. Open season is April 1 to November 15. Limit is one trout. Barbless single-hook artificial lures only.
  • Marlette Lake, tributaries and outlet stream. Season July 15 to September 30, one hour before sunrise to two hours after sunset. Limit is zero fish. Catch-and-release. Barbless single-hook artificial lures only.
  • Knott Creek Reservoir, including inlet and outlet streams. Season is the second Saturday in June to November 15. Limit is one trout, with a minimum size of 18 inches. Barbless single-hook artificial lures only.
  • Catnip Reservoir, tributaries and outlet stream. Season is second Saturday in June to November 15. Limit is one trout. Barbless single-hook artificial lures only.
  • Hobart Reservoir and tributaries. Season is May 1 to September 30, from one hour before sunrise to two hours after sunset. Limit is five trout, only one of which may be more than 14 inches long. Barbless single-hook artificial lures only.
  • For more special regulations information for Nevada click here.
  • Alder Brook. Single-hook barbless artificial lures and catch-and-release only for trout. Open January 1 through Labor Day.
  • Androscoggin River, Berlin to Shelbourne. Single-hook artificial lures and catch-and-release only for trout year-round.
  • Carroll Stream. Single-hook artificial lures and catch-and-release only for trout between January 1 and Labor Day.
  • Dead Diamond River. Open year-round. Catch-and-release for only for trout. Barbless single-hook artificial lures.
  • Flints Brook. Single-hook barbless artificial lures and catch-and-release only for trout. Open January 1 through Labor Day.
  • Gulf Brook. Single-hook barbless artificial lures and catch-and-release only for trout. Open January 1 through Labor Day.
  • Lamb Valley Brook. Single-hook barbless artificial lures and catch-and-release only for trout. Open January 1 through Labor Day.
  • Long Mountain Brook. Single-hook barbless artificial lures and catch-and-release only for trout. Open January 1 through Labor Day.
  • Loomis Valley Brook. Single-hook barbless artificial lures and catch-and-release only for trout. Open January1 through Labor Day.
  • Meadow Brook. Single-hook barbless artificial lures and catch-and-release only for trout. Open January 1 through Labor Day.
  • Pond Brook. Single-hook barbless artificial lures and catch-and-release only for trout. Open January 1 through Labor Day.
  • Sand Brook. Single-hook barbless artificial lures and catch-and-release only for trout. Open January1 through Labor Day.
  • West Branch Mohawk River. Single-hook barbless artificial lures and catch-and-release only for trout. Open January 1 through Labor Day.
  • Witches Spring Brook. Single-hook barbless artificial lures and catch-and-release only for trout. Open January 1 through Labor Day.
  • For a complete list of waters with special regulations in New Hampshire click here.
  • Big Flat / Flat Brook (Sussex County), from Route 206 bridge downstream to the Roy Bridge on Mountain Road. 4.2 miles of stream. Catch-and-release. Only artificial lures may be used.
  • Raritan (Hunterdon County), Ken Lockwood Gorge. 2.2 miles of stream. Catch-and-release. Only artificial lures may be used.
  • For more information about New Jersey trout fishing regulations click here.
  • Several “Special Trout Waters” in New Mexico are open only to fishing with barbless single-hook artificial lures. Except as noted, only catch-and-release fishing is permitted in these waters.
    • Black Canyon, upstream from waterfall barrier at Black Canyon Campground. Unlimited take of brown trout upstream of barrier. Open season, July 1 to August 31.
    • Cabestro Creek, upstream from Cabestro Canyon to headwaters. Catch-and-release for cutthroat trout. Unlimited take of other trout.
    • Capulin Creek, Bandelier National Monument and on USDA Forest Service property.
    • Doctor Creek, upstream from ¼ mile above confluence with Holy Ghost Creek to its headwaters.
    • Jacks Creek, from the waterfalls located ¼ mile downstream of the Highway 63 crossing upstream to its headwaters.
    • Mogollen Creek, from barrier at waterfalls near USDA Forest Service Trail 153 to confluence of Trail Canyon. Open from July 1 to October 31
    • Nabor Creek and Nabor Lake, on the Sargent Wildlife Area
    • Pecos River, at the Pecos Wilderness above Pecos Falls
    • Rio Cabello, upstream from the Seven Springs Day Use Area to the headwaters. Unlimited take of brown trout allowed from McKinley Pond upstream to the headwaters.
    • Rio Costilla, from Valle Vidal boundary 2.4 miles downstream to Latir Creek.
    • Rio Guadalupe, from Porter Landing Bridge 1.3 miles downstream to the Llano Loco Spring.
    • Rio Las Animas, within the Gila National Forest, Black Range District.
    • Rio Valdez, in the Pecos Wilderness from ¼ mile below Smith Cabin upstream to its headwaters.
    • San Antonio River, from the Valles Caldera Preserve boundary downstream 2 miles.
    • San Juan River, from Navajo River downstream 3.5 miles as posted. The San Juan, which is New Mexico’s most famous trout fishery, is mostly fished by fly-fishermen in the special regulations section, but lures equipped with a barbless, single hook can be very effective.
    • Tingley Beaches, southernmost pond.
    • Valley Vidal, all streams.
  • For a complete listing of special regulations waters click here.
  • Central Park Lake, Manhattan. Yes, in the middle of famous Central Park, you can have a great fishing experience. Bass, bluegill, crappie and other species are in this lake. For more information click here.
  • Dozens of New York stream sections are open only to catch-and-release fishing with artificial lures seasonally or year-round. Examples include:
    • West Branch Delaware River, from Route 17 overpass at Deposit downstream 2 miles. Closed to fishing October 16 to March 31 to protect spawning trout.
    • Salmon Creek
    • West Branch Ausable River, from mouth of Holcombe Pond Outlet downstream to marked boundary 2.2 miles downstream of Monument Falls, and from the Whiteface Ski Center bridge downstream to the Route 86 bridge at the Flume.
    • Spring Creek
    • West Canada Creek, from Trenton Falls Dam downstream to the first bridge below the mouth of Cincinnati Creek.
    • Owego Creek
  • To see a complete listing of special fishing regulations for every county in New York click here.
  • Delayed Harvest Trout Waters: thirty-one stream sections and one small lake stay heavily stocked with rainbow, brook and brown trout and are open only to catch-and-release fishing with single-hook artificial lures from October 1 through the first Saturday in June. Some of the largest and most popular delayed harvest stream include:
    • Nantahala River, from Whiteoak Creek to the Nantahala hydropower discharge canal.
    • Tuckasegee River, from downstream Highway 107 bridge downstream to the falls located 275 yards upstream of the Highway 23-441 bridge (marked by signs on both banks).
    • Helton Creek, from Virginia state line to New River.
    • Wilson Creek, game land portion below Lost Cove Creek to Phillips Branch.
    • North Toe River, U.S. 19E bridge to the NC 226 bridge
    • East Fork French Broad River, Gladys Fork to French Broad River
  • Wild Trout Waters: fishing allowed only with single hook artificial lures. North Carolina has hundreds of miles of wild trout waters, and all designated trout waters on game lands that aren’t otherwise specially listed are considered Wild Trout waters.
  • Some wild trout waters have added protection. Here are some catch-and-release areas where only single-hook, artificial lures can be used:
    • Tuckasegee River, in Jackson County above the Clark property.
    • Flat Creek, in Jackson County.
    • Carter Creek, game land portion in Buncombe County.
    • Big Horse Creek, Virginia State line to Mud Creek at State Route 1363, excluding tributaries, in Ashe County.
    • Unnamed tributary of Three Top Creek, game land portion.
    • Henry Fork, portion on South Mountains State Park in Burke County.
  • For complete trout regulations in North Carolina click here.
  • Lower Mountain Fork River, below Broken Bow Dam. Red Zone areas are clearly marked and are limited to barbless lures only. Possession of any trout of less than 20 inches is prohibited. Strong numbers of rainbows are in these areas, with a solid population of brown trout as well.
  • Lower Illinois River, below Tenkiller Dam. From the Simp and Helen Watts Management Unit downstream to the Gravel Pit Country Road. Lures with barbless hooks only.
  • For more information about special regulations in Oklahoma click here.
  • Special regulations in Oregon vary not only by water body and section, but by season and at times species targeted, especially in regard to steelhead and salmon. Only artificial lures may be used on dozens of waterways, and at times only barbless hooks may be used. Look at regional regulations and at special regulations by waterway and section to find the best special-regulations area and learn all applicable laws by clicking here.
  • Trophy Trout Projects, numerous bodies of water statewide:
    • Minimum size, 14 inches, caught on, or in possession on, the waters under these regulations from 8 a.m. on the opening day of the regular trout season through Labor Day.
    • The daily creel limit is two trout, combined species, from 8 a.m. on the opening day of the regular trout season through Labor Day. From the day after Labor Day to 8 a.m. on the opening day of the regular trout season of the following year, no trout may be killed or had in possession on the waters under these regulations.
    • Fishing may be done with artificial lures only, constructed of metal, plastic, rubber or wood, or with flies and streamers constructed of natural or synthetic materials. All lures may be used with spinning or fly fishing gear.
    • The use or possession of any natural bait, baitfish, fish bait, bait paste and similar substances, fish eggs (natural or molded), or any other edible substance is prohibited.
    • Taking baitfish or fishbait is prohibited.
  • Here are a few examples of catch-and-release, artificial lures only areas:
    • Yellow Breeches Creek – 1.17 miles; 0.17 miles of the unnamed tributary to Yellow Breeches Creek (from the outfall of Children’s Lake to the confluence with Yellow Breeches Creek at Boiling Springs); and 1.0 mile of Yellow Breeches Creek from the confluence with the unnamed tributary at Boiling Springs downstream to the vicinity of Allenberry.
    • Spruce Creek – 0.5 mile; Penn State Experimental Fisheries Area (about 0.6 mile above the village of Spruce Creek).
    • Penns Creek – 3.9 miles, from approximately 650 yards downstream of Swift Run downstream to approximately 550 yards downstream of Cherry Run.
  • For a complete listing of waters in the Pennsylvania Trophy Trout Project click here.
  • Falls River, from the bridge at Austin Farm Road downstream approximately 2 miles to the bridge off Brook Trail. Catch-and-release only. Barbless single-hook artificial lures.
  • For complete Rhode Island fishing regulations click here.
  • Chattooga River, from Hwy. 28 bridge upstream to the confluence of Reed Creek. Single-hook artificial lures and catch-and-release only during delayed harvest period (November 1 through May 14). Good numbers of trout, with the possibility of catching rainbows, browns and brooks.
  • Chauga River, from Cassady Bridge upstream to its confluence with Bone Camp Creek. Single-hook artificial lures only and catch-and-release only during delayed harvest period (November 1 through May 14). Good numbers of trout, with the possibility of catching rainbows, browns and brooks.
  • Estatoe Creek, from the backwaters of Lake Keowee upstream to Roy Jones Road. Single-hook artificial lures and catch-and-release only during delayed harvest period (November 1 through May 14). Good numbers of trout, with the possibility of catching rainbows, browns and brooks.
  • Middle Saluda River. Single-hook artificial lures only (year round). From Hugh Smith Bridge to the foot bridge at Jones Gap State Park. Mostly wild trout (not stocked).
  • For more information about special regulations and delayed harvest opportunities in South Carolina click here.
  • Rapid Creek, below Pactola Dam, including the stilling basin, downstream to the footbridge at Placerville Camp and the area in Rapid City from Park Drive downstream to Jackson Boulevard. Catch-and-release only. Artificial lures. No use or possession of organic bait within 100 feet of stream.
  • Spearfish Creek, the area from Homestake Hydro Plant No. 2 downstream to the face of the Maurice Intake Dam. Catch-and-release for rainbow trout. No use or possession of organic bait within 100 feet of stream.
  • Yates Pond, Cheyanne Crossing. Catch-and-release only. Artificial lures. No use or possession of organic bait within 100 feet of pond.
  • For complete information about special regulation in South Dakota click here.
  • Tennessee trout areas that have special regulations are as follows:
    • Polk County: Big Lost Creek, Goforth Creek, Spring Creek, Greasy Creek and their tributaries in Polk County. Closed to fishing on Fridays from March 1 through June 1 except for state and federal holidays. Only one single-hook lure or baited single hook is permitted. Possession of lures or baits with multiple hooks is prohibited.
    • Slickrock Creek, Portion of Slickrock Creek that constitutes the boundary between Tennessee and North Carolina. Appropriate licenses from either state are valid. Rainbow, brown and brook trout: Daily limit of four in combination, with a 7-inch minimum length limit. Only single-hook artificial lures are permitted. Use or possession of bait or multiple hook lures is prohibited.
    • Wild trout streams where only single-hook artificial lures permitted:
      • North River and tributaries (Monroe County).
      • Bald River and tributaries (Monroe County).
      • Sycamore Creek (tributary to Tellico River in Monroe County) and tributaries.
      • Laurel Fork and tributaries beginning at the cable crossing ½ mile upstream from the USFS Dennis Cove Recreation Area and extending upstream (Carter County).
      • Beaverdam Creek and tributaries from its confluence with Birch Branch downstream to Tank Hollow Road (USFS Road 300) (Johnson County).
      • Paint Creek and tributaries from USFS campground upstream to USFS Boundary line south of Highway 70 near Munday Gap (Greene County).
      • Rocky Fork and tributaries upstream of Rocky Fork Rd. and State Park Entrance Road junction. (Greene/Unicoi Counties).
      • Left Prong (tributary to Hampton Creek in Carter County).
  • Delayed harvest areas (seasonal catch and release, artificial lures only):
    • Hiwassee River, Apalachia Powerhouse downstream to L&N Railroad Bridge. Catch-and-release season is October 1 through last day of February.
    • Paint Creek, Paint Creek Campground downstream to mouth at French Broad River. Catch-and-release season is October 1 through last day of February.
    • Piney River, Cumberland Trail State Park downstream to Highway 27 Bridge. Catch-and-release season is November 1 through last day of February.
    • Tellico River: Mouth of Turkey Creek upstream to the mouth of North River. Catch-and-release season is October 1 through March 14.
    • Gatlinburg area trout streams (must have Gatlinburg permit; fishing is catch-and-release only between December 1 and March 31. Only single-hook artificial lures may be used. Possession of bait or lures with more than one single hook is prohibited):
      • West Prong Little Pigeon River from Park Boundary to Gnatty Branch except those sections set aside as children’s streams.
      • Dudley Creek from Park Boundary to West Prong Little Pigeon River, except for those sections set aside as children’s streams.
      • Roaring Fork from the Park Boundary to the West Prong Little River.
      • Leconte Creek from Painter Branch to West Prong Little River.
  • For more information about special regulations areas in Tennessee click here.
  • Guadalupe River, from 800 yards from Canyon Dam Release downstream to east bridge on Highway 306. Five fish combined limit for rainbow and brown trout, with a 12 to 18 inch protected slot. Only one fish in a limit may be more than 18 inches long. Artificial lures only.
  • Guadalupe River, from east bridge on Highway 306 downstream to second crossing on River Road. One-fish combined limit for rainbow and brown trout, with an 18 inch minimum size. Artificial lures only.
  • For complete Texas fishing regulations click here.
  • Several Utah stream sections and lakes are open only to fishing with artificial lures, with varying harvest restrictions. Noteworthy examples include ports of the Green and Provo rivers, which are the state’s most acclaimed trout rivers.
    • Green River, from the Colorado state line in Browns Park upstream to the Flaming Gorge Dam, including Gorge Creek. Limit is three trout, including two under 15 inches and one over 22 inches. Trout between 15 and 22 inches in length must be released. Burbot, northern pike, smallmouth bass and walleye may not be released and must be killed immediately.
    • Provo River, from Olmstead Diversion Dam upstream to Deer Creek Dam and from Legacy Bridge on Midway Lane in Midway upstream to Jordanelle Dam. Two-trout limit. 15-inch maximum size.
    • Provo River, from Jordanelle Reservoir upstream to the confluence of the north and south forks of the Provo River. Limit is two brown trout, with a 15-inch maximum size. Catch-and-release only for rainbow trout, cutthroat trout and hybrids.
  • Fishing is legal in designated streams year-round, but with artificial lures only, and fish must be immediately released if the season is not open. Season is open from the second Saturday in April through October 31 annually.
  • For more information about fishing regulations click here.
  • Roaring Run, Botetourt County in Southwest Virginia (near Roanoke). Single-hook artificial lures only. Two trout daily limit, 16-inch minimum size. The 1-mile special trophy trout section is located in the Jefferson National Forest between the third footbridge upstream of the Roaring Run Furnace Day Use Area and the Botetourt/ Alleghany County line. The stream can be accessed by taking Route 615 off U.S. Route 220 west of Eagle Rock to Route 621 at Strom. The lower section of Roaring Run (within the National Forest) remains catchable stocked trout water.
  • Snake Creek, Carroll County. Single-hook artificial lures only. Limit seven trout per day, with a 12-inch minimum length. Includes all of Big Snake Creek below Hall Ford and all of Little Snake Creek below the junction of routes 922 and 674. These streams are located just north of Fancy Gap. Parking and angler access are only permitted along Route 922 and at the Route 58 bridge (unless an individual is a landowner or guest).
  • Garth Run, Madison County. Single-hook artificial lures only. Limit seven trout per day, with 9-inch minimum length. Includes that portion of stream within the Rapidan Wildlife Management Area. The stream can be reached by Route 615 from Graves Mill. Most of the stream is accessible only by foot as the stream enters a gorge.
  • Thirty-six “special regulations streams” in Virginia may be fished only with single-hook artificial lures. Additional regulations range from a 7-inch minimum size to total catch-and release. Catch-and-release streams where only single-hook artificial lures may be used include portions of the following:
    • Big Stoney Creek
    • Brumley Creek
    • Dan River
    • East Fork Chestnut Creek
    • Little Stoney Creek
    • Little Tumbling Creek
    • North Creek
    • North Fork Moormans River
    • Rapidan River
    • Roaring Fork
    • South Fork Holston River
    • Spring Run
    • Stewarts Creek
    • Venrick Run
    • Wildcat Hollow
  • For a complete list of special regulations trout waters in Virginia (single-hook artificial only) click here.
  • Watch for the term “Selective Gear Requirment” in the Washington fishing regulations. Virtually all Washington waters that are open to fishing fall under some type of special regulations, and dozens fall under the Selective Gear Requirement, which allows only barbless, single hook artificial lures to be used. Because seasons and rules vary by region from one fishery to the next, and at times by season or by species targeted, it’s vital to research rules for specific waters you intend to fish. Click here for more information.
  • Numerous sections of streams in West Virginia have been set aside as special regulations areas for trout. These may be fished with artificial lures only with either barbless treble hooks or barbed single hooks. All of these areas are catch-and-release only:
    • Back Fork of Elk River in Webster County. 0. 4-mile section.
    • Blackwater River in Tucker County. 3.5-mile section.
    • Cranberry River in Webster, Pocahontas and Nicholas counties.
    • Elk River in Randolph County.
    • Glade Creek of New River in Raleigh County.
    • North Branch of Potomac River in Grand and Mineral counties.
    • North Fork of Cherry River in Nicholas County.
    • North Fork of Cranberry River in Pocahontas County.
    • North Fork of South Brand in Pendleton County.
    • Shavers Fork of Cheat River in Randolph County.
    • Slatyfork section of Elk River in Pocahontas County.
    • South Branch of Potomac River in Pendleton County.
    • Williams River in Pocahontas County.
  • For a complete list of trout waters that are either for barbless treble hooks or barbed single hooks click here.
  • Portions of numerous streams, including those listed below, are open only to catch-and-release fishing with artificial lures.
    • Cap Creek
    • Schultz Spring
    • Boydtown Creek
    • Buck Creek
    • Ducharme Creek
    • Pickatee Creek
    • Black Earth Creek
    • Big Green River
    • Big Spring Branch
    • Blue River
    • Castle Rock Creek and Spring
    • Doc Smith Branch
    • Grant River
    • Little Grant River
    • Little Platte River
    • Gordon Creek
    • Mill Creek
    • Otter Creek
    • Pompey Pillar Creek
    • Lovetts Creek
    • Steiner Creek
    • Wolf Creek
    • Ash Creek
    • Pine River
    • Smith Hollow Creek
    • Willow Creek
    • Beaver Creek
    • Dell Creek
    • Fiddler Creek
    • Namekagon River
    • Stress Springs
    • Big Rib River
    • Esophea Branch
    • Kickapoo River
    • Seasbranch Creek
    • Paradise Spring Creek
    • Scuppernong Springs
  • For a complete listing of Wisconsin’s special regulations trout streams click here.
  • Only artificial lures may be used on many Wyoming streams, with harvest allowances varying from stream to stream. The acclaimed trout waters listed below are among those sections where only artificial lures may be used. Additional regulations apply.
    • Snake River proper, from 1,000 feet below Jackson Lake Dam downstream to the Wyoming Highway 22 bridge.
    • Clarks Fork River, from the Wyoming/Montana border downstream to the Shoshone National Forest boundary (at the mouth of Clarks Fork Canyon).
    • Green River, from Warren Bridge downstream to Swains Bridge and from the Sweetwater County Road 8 bridge, 4.5 miles below Fontenelle Dam, downstream to the Big Sandy River
    • North Platte River, from the Colorado/Wyoming state line downstream to the Saratoga Inn bridge; from the vehicle bridge .8 mile downstream from pathfinder dam downstream to Alcova Reservoir; and from Gray Reef Dam downstream eight miles to the upstream boundary of the Lubsay Fishing Area.
  • For a complete listing of special regulations waters in Wyoming click here.