The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding fishermen that Trout Lake in Ashe County remains closed to the public.

      The pond, which is owned by the Ashe County Wildlife Club and managed by the Commission as a delayed-harvest trout fishery, was closed in February due to needed repairs to the dam.

      The repairs, as well as a broken water-control structure, are still spending the approval of necessary permits, and work has still not begun. Biologists with the Commission expect that repairs will begin in July, although the actual date the lake will reopen for fishermen will depend on when permits are issued.

     The work to repair the dam and water-control structure will be performed in two phases. Repairs to the dam will be finished first, then the lake will re-open to public fishing on a temporary basis so fishermen can harvest as many trout as possible before the lake is partially drained to repair the water-control structure.

     "Our goal is to have the water-control structure repaired and the lake refilled in time for Delayed Harvest trout stockings, which resume in October," said Kin Hodges, a fisheries biologist who oversees Northwestern North Carolina for the Commission. "We'll continue to issue periodic press releases to keep angles informed on the status of the fishery at Trout Lake."