Trout Fishing in North Carolina

Trout Fishing in North Carolina

Today’s program is on trout fishing in
North Carolina. There are three trout species in North Carolina. All three
species are considered game fish, require cold water streams, and are found in the
western 26 counties of the state. The only native trout to North Carolina, the
Brook Trout has seen a range reduction of 85 percent from historic levels,
however, North Carolina has more populations of brook trout than anywhere
else in the southeast; therefore, it’s very important fishery in
our state and our agency focuses on sound conservation of this species. Trout
also have a cultural importance due to a long history of trout fishing in North
Carolina. WRC’s public mountain trout waters program has a huge economic
benefit for the state. In 2014 it drew a hundred and forty nine thousand anglers,
generated millions of dollars in tourism and equipment expenditures, and supported
3,600 jobs for our state. Because the trout fishery is so important, WRC has a
big program to support it. I will now turn it over to Jake Rash, our cold water
research coordinator, to tell you about it. Thank you very much and to highlight
the Commission’s trout management efforts I’m going to walk through our
trout management plan that the chair’s program areas and objectives that help
us manage trout waters across the western 26 counties which roughly 5,300
miles and 2,200 acres of waters within the Commission’s public mountain trout
waters program. First paragraph program areas trout management and as North
Carolina is only native trout species the conservation of brook trout’s of
utmost importance so a lot of attention is given to the species and we also want
to provide sound regulations to manage our trout resources to ensure that
continued successful angling opportunities for generations to come.
The second program areas resource protection and habitat enhancement. Here you see two streams are severely degraded that we want to make sure that
we can help prevent habitat loss and degradation to ensure clean cold water
for trout species and we want to improve habitat quality. Here you see the Ararat River, which in 1992 was one of our first to late harvest trout
waters the waters became so degraded it was removed from our program. However thanks to restoration efforts, the stream has been brought back into our public
mountain trout waters program and is now one of our more popular to late harvest
trout fisheries. And we also want to work to minimize the spread of aquatic
nuisance species, such as gill I’ve shown on the top left, and then a fish infected with whirling disease here on the bottom right. The eradication is
almost impossible once these species are established so we want to focus on
preventing the spread and to do that the clean drain dry never moved campaign
helps Scott anglers and provide information to them about cleaning the
gear and taking care of their boats or anything that comes in contact with
water and certainly reminding folks to never
move fish plants or other organisms between waters. The third program areas
research our staff conducts a lot of research to help evaluate potential
current management activities and those from biological samples like many of you
see here, to also the collection and extensive socio-economic data. And
certainly access to trout waters of utmost importance to the Commission and
also to our constituents. So we work consistently with the landowners and other major partners to try to secure public access. And we also work to improve access for for
all anglers regardless of abilities The last program area is education and
communication. We we want to provide a memorable and successful opportunities
to ensure that we’re recruiting and retaining anglers and we strive to
increase public awareness of our fisheries resources. Certainly we utilize signage and outreach materials but is a location that all things related to trout can be found. And so now part of
the module will answer some of the frequently asked questions from from
staff. The first regards well where do we stop
here you see depiction of the western half of the state and the counties noted
and those with green and black diamonds are the counties where we actually have
stockings. One place where you can find additional information about stockings
again is our website and at the top of the page
you can find actual interactive fishing maps, the search module, and essentially
functions and interactive rigs digest. This information about the stockings
themselves which can be found on the page here towards the bottom. And then we also have the regulatory classifications for folks to view. Then in terms of the
regulatory classifications here are seven that govern our public mountain trout
waters program, and they vary from from gear restrictions, to size restrictions,
and encourage folks to visit the trout page to learn more about them. And
the key thing to remember is that folks need to be prepared before they head to
the water so understanding the regulations and the boundaries
associated with them before you go is the key to any successful fishing
experience. The license requirements on some other resources within North
Carolina and one of those is the Blue Ridge Parkway and to fish the Blue Ridge
Parkway and angler needs a battle at North Carolina or Virginia fishing
license and you do not need our special trout privilege to fish Blue Ridge
Parkway water. Similarly with the Smoky Mountains National Park
a valid North Carolina or Tennessee license is required and again the
special trout privilege is not. And finally questions arose regarding
fishing on North Carolina State Parks and the Commission works with the North
Carolina Park systems to provide public mountain trout waters on many of our
western state parks and where public mountain trout waters are present you
simply need a valid North Carolina license with the trout privilege as you
do everywhere else the fish goes on trout waters and and that’s valid
regardless of the park. Thank You Jake. For more information on trout fishing in
North Carolina please visit or contact Jake at the
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local_offerevent_note October 22, 2019

account_box Gilbert Heid


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