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Snorkeling in Monroe County, TN

You might not expect a mountainous region like ours to be a place to go snorkeling but you can in Monroe County! Tellico River and Citico Creek are the best places to see all the different aquatic animals shown on the right. Here are some tips for how to safely enjoy your time snorkeling in the rivers.

Materials Needed

  • Swim Mask

  • Snorkel

  • Swim Attire

  • Swim Towel

  • Optional: Wetsuit​

  • Also Optional: Gills

An Ideal Snorkeling Site Includes:

  • Clean, clear water

  • No whirlpools or strong currents

  • A diversity of aquatic organisms

  • Different types of aquatic microhabitats such as slow, deep pools, and flat, shallow riffles

  • Sections with large woody debris


  • Set snorkeling boundaries

  • Be aware of wildlife

  • Watch for sharp objects in water

  • Be cautious of slips, trips, or falls

  • Have a first aid kit available

  • Do not panic if water leaks into your mask

River Snorkeling Tips:

  • Avoid excessive splashing

  • Avoid movement that disturbs sediments, rocks, or habitats​

  • Kneel in water, place hands at the bottom of the stream, place face in water, push feet back to float, and begin snorkeling

For more information, we suggest contacting the Forest Service at (423) 253-2520 or visiting their office at 250 Ranger Station Road.

Citico Creek Road follows the creek and has areas to pull over. Young Branch Wrangler Camp on Citico Road is a good meeting area for groups. Any slow moving water should be safe but don't forget our safety tips.

Bass Fish

Photo of a bass fish.

Spotted, largemouth, and redeye; calm, deep water

Bullfrog Tadpoles

Photo of a bullfrog tadpole.

Shallow water, sitting on bottom


Photo of a darter.

Many species; fastest riffles, perched on rocks

Drum & Redhorse Sucker

Photo of a redshorse sucker fish.

Largest fish in area, deep pools


Photo of a hogsucker fish.

Shallow water, sitting on bottom

Mobile Logperch

Photo of a mobile logperch.

Slow currents, gravel bottom


Photo of a shiner fish.

Many species; water riffles in schools


Photo of a stoneroller fish.

Always in riffles, very large pools


Photo of a sunfish.

Redbreast, longear, and bluegill; calm water


Photo of a turtle.

Stripped neck musk, river cooter, and snapping; calm water

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