Hatchery supported trout waters open April 1

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 5, 2023

RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will open approximately 1,000 miles of hatchery supported trout waters at 7 a.m. on April 1. The season will run through Feb. 29, 2024.

The Wildlife Commission has posted the full  stocking schedule on its website to give trout anglers opportunities to plan fishing trips in advance. The schedule is searchable by county and month and provides information on what days each water is being stocked.

Hatchery supported trout waters, which are marked by green-and-white signs, have been closed since Feb. 28 for stocking. Most trout are stocked April through June, with a few streams selectively stocked in July. Overall, staff will stock nearly 964,000 trout — 96 percent of which will average 10 inches in length, with the other 4 percent exceeding 14 inches in length.

These waters are open to public fishing; however, many of those miles are privately owned so officials with the Wildlife Commission urge anglers to respect the property they are 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.
  • Reporting wildlife violations by calling 800-662-7137.

For a complete list and trout maps, visit the Wildlife Commission’s trout fishing page.

Wildlife biologists are also asking anglers to report any sightings of hellbenders and mudpuppies.  If sighted, they should be left alone and reported with the location (physical or GPS coordinates), a photo snapped if possible and any other details shared with Lori.Williams@ncwildlife.org. You can also call the Wildlife Commission’s NC Wildlife Helpline, 866-318-2401, and provide details of the observation.