April 2 marks the beginning of trout season for North Carolina’s approximately 1,000 miles of hatchery-supported trout waters across 25 counties in the western part of the state. Anglers can begin fishing that day at 7 a.m., and the season runs through Feb. 28 of next year.
Beginning April 2, anglers fishing on these waters, which are marked with green and white signs, can keep a maximum of seven trout each day. There are no bait restrictions during the season, and there is no minimum size limit on the fish.
Throughout this year, the NCWRC will stock over 900,000 trout. While the vast majority of these fish average around 10-inches in length, some will be over 14-inches long when stocked.
The Commission stocks hatchery-supported trout waters monthly, with some streams that are heavily fished being stocked more than once a month.
The NCWRC reminds anglers that while hatchery-supported waters are open to public fishing, much of those areas are actually privately owned by landowners who work in conjunction with NCWRC to allow fishing to the public.
“Opportunities to fish on many of these hatchery-supported trout streams are only available through the support and generosity of landowners. “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,” said David Deaton, who works as the NCWRC’s Fish Production Supervisor.
Click here if you’d like to see which waters are being stocked on particular days. The Commission posts daily updates at noon for all waters stocked that day. You can also click here for a complete list of all hatchery-supported trout waters, as well as maps and other information.