The much awaited fly fishing season is here! This part of western North Carolina, especially the East Fork River is widely known as a hot spot for anglers. Today the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission reported that it will open approximately 1,100 miles of hatchery-supported trout waters in 25 western counties at 7 a.m. Saturday. The season will run until one-half hour after sunset on Feb. 28, 2012.
Hatchery-supported trout waters are marked by green and white signs and the areas are stocked every year from March through August. Many of the areas are stocked monthly but the heavily fished areas are stocked even more frequently.
When you fish in hatchery-supported waters, there is no minimum limits or bait restrictions and you can take home a maximum of seven trout per day.
The section along Linville River that is below the dams on Lake James will not be stocked because of continuing work on the dam. Balsam Lake, which was drained by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to repair a leak in the spillway, will also not receive stockings this year.
But in the other areas, nearly 860,000 trout will hit the waters, averaging 10-14 inches in length.
While hatchery-supported trout waters are open to the public for fishing much of it occurs on privately owned property. The support and generosity of these land owners is invaluable and the Wildlife Resources Commission reminds folks to respect the property they are on.
According to the Commission 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 pass-through traffic;
• Closing and/or locking gates after use;
• Reporting wildlife violations by calling 800-662-7137.
For a detailed list of all hatchery-supported trout waters and regulation information, call the Division of Inland Fisheries at 919-707-0220 or visit www.ncwildlife.org/fishing.
And if you're looking for some tasty recipes for how to cook up these trout once you get them home, email me at email@example.com or visit us at BrevardNCproperty.com ! I'm happy to share my favorite recipe for lemon pepper trout!