The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will open approximately 1,100 miles of Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters in 25 western counties at 7 a.m. on April 6. The season will run through Feb. 28, 2014.
While fishing on Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters, anglers can harvest a maximum of seven trout per day, with no minimum size limits or bait restrictions.
Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters, marked by green-and-white signs, are stocked from March until August every year, depending on the individual stream. A list of numbers and species stocked by month and county can be found on the Commission’s website. Many of these waters are stocked monthly, although some heavily fished waters are stocked more frequently.
Commission personnel will stock nearly 894,000 trout, with 96-percent of the stocked fish averaging 10 inches in length and the other fish exceeding 14 inches.
Stocked trout are produced primarily in two mountain region fish hatcheries operated by the Commission and are distributed along hatchery-supported streams where public access for fishing is available. While Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters are open to public fishing, many of those miles are privately owned.
“Opportunities to fish on many of these hatchery-supported trout streams are only available through the support and generosity of landowners,” said David Deaton, fish production supervisor for the Wildlife Commission. “It’s important for anglers to respect the property that they’re fishing on and remember that landowners can take away access if they feel their property is being misused.”
Deaton said that anglers can help prevent the loss of public access to fishing by:
Respecting private property and landowners at all times;
Removing all trash and litter from fishing and parking areas;
Parking only in designated areas and leaving driveways open for pass-through traffic;
Closing and/or locking gates after use; and,
Reporting wildlife violations by calling 1-800-662-7137.
For a complete list of all Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters as well as trout maps and weekly stocking summaries on Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters, visit the Commission’s trout fishing page. Weekly stocking information appears online for seven days, and updates are posted on Fridays after fish are stocked.
For more information on fishing in public, inland waters, visit the Commission’s website or call the Division of Inland Fisheries, 919-707-0220.