The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will implement delayed-harvest regulations on 29 trout waters in 16 western North Carolina counties on Oct. 1. Before Oct. 1, hatchery-supported regulations apply to these waters.

Under delayed-harvest regulations, no trout can be harvested or possessed from these waters between Oct. 1, 2012, and one half-hour after sunset on May 31, 2013. No natural bait is allowed, and anglers can fish only with single-hook, artificial lures. An artificial lure is defined as a fishing lure that neither contains nor has been treated with any substance that attracts fish by the sense of taste or smell.

The Commission stocks delayed-harvest trout waters from fall through spring with high densities of trout to increase anglers’ chances of catching fish. Delayed-harvest trout waters, posted with diamond-shaped, black-and-white signs, are popular fishing destinations for anglers who enjoy catch-and-release trout fishing.

Four new waters were classified as delayed harvest:

  • Alleghany County — Little River (from Whitehead to 275 yards downstream of the intersection of S.R. 1128 and S.R. 1129) in Alleghany County.
  • Ashe County — Big Horse Creek (from S.R. 1324 to North Fork River)
  • McDowell County — Catawba River (portion adjacent to Marion Greenway)
  • Wilkes County – upper Elk Creek (from Watauga County line to lower boundary of Blue Ridge Mountain Club

A complete list of delayed-harvest trout waters, along with stocking dates, is available at  For additional information on delayed-harvest regulations, weekly stocking updates and trout fishing maps, visit the Commission’s fishing page.

Logo courtesy North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

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