North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Hatcheries and Stocking

Fish hatcheries are an important component of freshwater fisheries management in North Carolina. The Wildlife Resources Commission uses hatchery-reared fish for a variety of purposes, including enhancing existing fisheries and establishing new populations. Each year, Commission staff stocks approximately 6 million fish in public lakes, ponds, streams and rivers throughout the state. The sections below provide more information on the agency’s six fish hatcheries and multiple stocking programs. 


NCWRC Hatcheries

Information on fish hatcheries, including locations and species reared at these facilities, is available here.


NCWRC Stocking

Each year, NCWRC stocks approximately 6 million fish in public lakes, ponds, streams, and rivers.  Use the pages in this section to find out what, where, why, and when we stock.


Stocking Your Lake or Pond

The Wildlife Commission stocks only public fresh waters. Information on stocking private waters, including fish suppliers for private ponds, grass carp information and fish stocking permits, is available here.


Stocking Permits

Anyone interested in stocking inland, public fishing waters (public freshwaters) with fish, mollusks or crustaceans must obtain a stocking permit issued by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.