RALEIGH, N.C. (Sept. 22, 2010) – Two cities recently joined the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Mountain Heritage Trout Waters Program.
In Old Fort, located in McDowell County, a .7-mile section of Mill Creek that runs through the downtown area now is classified as a Mountain Heritage Trout Water. Because it is delayed-harvest trout water, anglers must use single-hook artificial lures and cannot harvest or possess any trout from Oct. 1, until one half-hour after sunset on June 3, 2011. The section will then remain closed to fishing until 6 a.m. on June 4 when it reopens to anglers 15 years and younger under hatchery-supported regulations, with no bait restriction, no minimum length limit and a 7-trout-per-day creel limit. The section will open to anglers of all ages at noon on June 4. Hatchery-supported regulations remain in effect until Oct. 1 each year.
In Burnsville, the .75-mile section of the South Toe River located in the Yancey County Toe River Campground now is classified as a Mountain Heritage Trout Water. It is hatchery-supported water where anglers have no bait/lure restrictions, no size limit restrictions and a 7-trout-per-day creel limit from 7 a.m. on the first Saturday in April until the last day of February. Hatchery-supported waters are closed to fishing from March 1 until the first Saturday in April.
The Mountain Heritage Trout Waters program, established in July 2008, promotes trout fishing as a North Carolina Heritage Tourism activity.
The Mountain Heritage Trout Waters license is available only from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission by calling 1 (888) 248-6834 or ordering online. This $5 license is available for anglers 16 years and older and is only valid for three consecutive days in Mountain Heritage Trout Waters.
Anglers who currently hold a valid resident or non-resident North Carolina trout fishing license can fish Mountain Heritage Trout Waters at no additional cost.
For visitors who do not have fishing equipment, loaner rods and reels are available free of charge on a first-come, first-serve basis through the Commission’s Tackle Loaner Program, which offers rods and reels, including spincast, ultra-light and fly rods, for the day.
In Burnsville, anglers register at the Toe River Campground office, located on Patience Park Road, to receive a tackle-loaner identification card and check out a rod and reel for the day. In Old Fort, visitors can borrow a rod and reel at Mountain Gateway Museum, located at 102 Water Street in Old Fort.
After returning the loaner rod and reel, first-time participants under 16 receive a free mini-tackle box containing tackle, such as lures, flies, spinners. Tackle loaner program registrants can use their identification cards at any participating tackle loaner site across the state, including the six tackle loaner sites associated with the Mountain Heritage Trout Waters program: Spruce Pine, Maggie Valley, Waynesville, Bakersville, Burnsville and Old Fort. Rods and reels must be returned to the original loaner site.
Download Mountain Heritage Trout Waters maps or found out more information about the program here.