North Carolina’s Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters to open April 7

Anglers can fish North Carolina's Hatchery Supported Trout Waters with no bait restrictions and a seven-fish limite beginning April 7, 2018

No bait restrictions, seven trout per day limit for each angler

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will open Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters in 25 western counties at 7 a.m. on April 7. The season will run through Feb. 28, 2019.

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. On page 17 of the 2017-2018 North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest, the closed season date of March 1 through April 1 for Hatchery Supported Trout Waters is incorrect. The correct dates are March 1 through April 7.

To give trout anglers opportunities to plan fishing trips in advance, the Commission has posted the full Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters stocking schedule on its website that provides information on what days each water is being stocked. Anglers can search by county and by month. The agency also posts daily updates at noon for all waters stocked that day. Information can be searched by county, by month, or both.

Hatchery Supported Trout Waters, which are marked by green-and-white signs, are closed from March 1 until April 6 so that Commission staff can stock the waters with trout. Staff will continue to stock certain streams through June. Staff will stock many of these waters monthly, although they will stock some heavily fished waters more frequently. Over the four months, staff will stock nearly 916,000 trout — 96 percent of which will average 10 inches in length, with the other 4 percent exceeding 14 inches in length.

Stocked trout are produced primarily at 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 so the Commission urges anglers to respect the property they’re fishing on and remember that landowners can take away access if they feel their property is being misused.

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 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, the complete stocking schedule, and daily stocking updates on Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters, visit the Commission’s trout fishing page.

For more information on fishing in public, inland waters, visit the Commission’s fishing page or call the Inland Fisheries Division, 919-707-0220.

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