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Rainbow trout (pictured) and other trout species will be stocked in hatchery supported trout waters throughout Western North Carolina through August 2021.

WATAUGA — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will reopen approximately 900 miles of Hatchery Supported Trout Waters to fishing at 7 a.m. on April 3.

According to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, staff will continue to stock certain streams through August. Staff will stock many of these waters monthly, although they will stock some heavily fished waters more frequently. Over the six months, staff will stock nearly 787,000 trout — 96 percent of which will average 10 inches in length, with the other 4 percent exceeding 14 inches in length.

Hatchery Supported Trout Waters are marked by green-and-white signs. Anglers can harvest a maximum of seven trout per day, with no minimum size limit or bait restriction, according to the NCWRC.

Watauga County hatchery supported trout waters include portions of: Beaverdam Creek, Beech Creek, Buckeye Creek, Buckeye Reservoir, Coffee Lake, Cove Creek, Dutch Creek, Elk Creek, Laurel Creek, Meat Camp Creek, Middle Fork New River, Norris Fork, South Fork New River, Stony Fork, Watauga River and Price lake on the Blue Ridge Parkway, according to the NCWRC.

The NCWRC said anglers can help prevent the loss of public 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 1 (800) 662-7137

Hatchery Supported Trout Waters are open from 7 a.m. on the first Saturday in April until one-half hour after sunset on the last day of February the following year.

More information about trout fishing in North Carolina can be found at www.ncwildlife.org/Learning/Species/Fish/Trout/Trout-Fishing or by calling the Inland Fisheries Division at (919) 707-0220.

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