NC’s Delayed Harvest Trout Waters open Oct. 1

Delayed Harvest

2023 Delayed Harvest Trout Waters regulations begin Oct. 1

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will implement Delayed Harvest Trout Waters regulations on 33 trout waters on Oct. 1, 2023.

Under Delayed Harvest Trout Waters regulations, no trout may be harvested or possessed from identified waters between Oct. 1 and one half-hour after sunset on June 1, 2024. No natural bait may be possessed, and anglers can only fish with artificial lures with one single hook. An artificial lure is defined as a fishing lure that neither contains nor has been treated with any substance that attracts fish by the sense of taste or smell.

Wildlife Commission staff stock Delayed Harvest Trout Waters from fall through spring with high densities of trout to increase anglers’ chances of catching fish. Delayed Harvest Trout Waters, posted with diamond-shaped, black-and-white signs, are popular fishing destinations for anglers who enjoy catch-and-release trout fishing.

While fishing, anglers should consider these best practices to help prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species like gill licewhirling 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 agency’s Aquatic Nuisance Species webpage. For a complete list of Delayed Harvest Trout Waters, the trout stocking schedule, inland fishing regulations and trout fishing maps, visit the Wildlife Commission’s trout fishing page.

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