North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Native Brook Trout License Plate in Production

Brook trout are the only native coldwater trout in North Carolina.  These trout generally exist in cold, clean mountain streams above 1,500-feet in elevation; however, most populations of wild brook trout are in streams over 3,000-feet in elevation.

In 2013, the General Assembly authorized the creation of a special license plate to promote the Native Brook Trout. All proceeds from the sale of this plate will be used to fund public access to and habitat protection of brook trout waters in the state.

The Commission’s 2013 North Carolina Trout Resources Management Plan identified increasing public access and habitat protection as two primary program areas. The funds generated from the sale of this special license plate will support projects to pursue permanent easements or property acquisition to conserve brook trout and provide angling access. Funds also may be used to remove or replace stream barriers for brook trout passage, stabilize stream banks to limit sedimentation and limit the effects of acid deposition in high-elevation streams.

Mountain trout fishing is an important component of North Carolina’s economy. Based on a 2008 report, North Carolina had 92,789 mountain trout anglers who had a total economic output of $174 million.


100% of all proceeds will be used for brook trout habitat and fishing access.

Please note:

  • The 500 application quota was met by July 1st, 2015.
  • Once the DMV processes the initial 500 applications and produces those plates, it will become available for purchase through all DMV locations throughout the state.
  • The DMV projects this will occur around January 2016.