Delayed Harvest trout season will open on June 6

Delayed Harvest
North Carolina's 2020 Delayed Harvest season will begin on June 6.

Delayed Harvest season will run through end of September

Editor’s note: this is an archived article from 2020. Please consult for up-to-date information.

The NCWRC will open 34 trout streams and two lakes classified as Delayed Harvest to trout harvest on June 6, 2020. The season runs through Sept. 30.

From 6 a.m. until 11:59 a.m. on opening day, Delayed Harvest waters are open only to anglers 17-years-old and younger. At noon, waters open to all anglers. During this time, anglers can keep up to seven trout per day. No gear limits, bait restrictions, or minimum size limits apply on Delayed Harvest waters. As a reminder, due to COVID-19 all anglers should practice social distancing and maintain a distance of 6 feet between themselves and others. Anglers must also refrain from gatherings with more than 10 people.

Due to the fluid situation caused by COVID-19, some Public Mountain Trout Waters have not received normal stockings this spring. The Commission has temporarily removed the full stocking schedule for the season from the Commission’s website. However, the agency is posting weekly stocking updates so that anglers may find locations of stocked waters by week.

Also, some trout waters have been closed by local cooperators, due to COVID-19. Visit the agency’s COVID-19 webpage for an updated list of trout waters that have been closed by local cooperators.

Delayed Harvest trout waters are posted with diamond-shaped, black-and-white signs.

Purchase your fishing license online at NCWRC’s website

While fishing, anglers should consider these minimal steps to help prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species like gill lice, whirling disease and didymo:

CLEAN equipment of all aquatic plants, animals and mud

DRAIN water from boats, live wells and equipment

DRY equipment thoroughly

NEVER MOVE fish, plants or other organisms from one body of water to another

Learn more about aquatic nuisance species by visiting the Commission’s Aquatic Nuisance Species webpage.

The Commission established the youth-only fishing period in the morning of “opening day,” which is always the first Saturday in June, to promote trout fishing among young anglers and to provide special opportunities for young anglers to catch and keep fish.

For more information on trout fishing, including a list of Delayed Harvest trout waters, regulation information and trout maps, visit

Due to the COVID-19 virus, the sales counter at the Wildlife Commission’s headquarters in Raleigh remains closed. We encourage the public to visit our website,, to purchase fishing, trapping and hunting licenses and to renew a vessel registration.

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