Bobby N. Setzer State Fish Hatchery Flooding Impacts

Updated 9/15/2021


The Bobby N. Setzer State Fish Hatchery, the agency’s largest trout hatchery, was severely impacted by flooding on Aug. 17 by Tropical Depression Fred. Approximately 67% of all hatchery trout were lost, and many buildings and hatchery systems sustained some level of storm damage.  

The agency is mitigating the trout losses by obtaining replacement trout from various sources and will continue to look for opportunities to obtain trout to fulfill stocking obligations and provide public recreational opportunities. 

The Bobby N. Setzer State Fish Hatchery remains closed to the public.

As staff continue to evaluate the full extent of the fish losses and options to mitigate for those impacts, they have developed plans to address trout stockings for this fall and next year. Please note conditions at the hatchery are still being affected by post-storm issues, and it is possible that stocking numbers could be impacted at a future date.

The Wildlife Commission will provide real-time updates to keep anglers informed of any possible changes. Bookmark this page to see updates as they become available.

Delayed Harvest and Hatchery Supported Impacts

  • October and November Delayed Harvest stockings are on schedule to begin on Oct. 1 without any planned reductions in the numbers of trout stocked. 
  • The Wildlife Commission normally stocks a ratio of 40% Brook Trout, 40% Rainbow Trout, and 20% Brown Trout by number on each stocking truck run. 
    • Species ratios will be affected for both the October and November Delayed Harvest stockings and will vary substantially by location. 
  • The Wildlife Commission typically stocks a small portion of trout greater than 14 inches in length on each truck (typically 4% the total stocked by number); however, impacts from the hatchery flooding disproportionately impacted the largest trout.
    • The number of “large” trout stocked in the October and November Delayed Harvest stockings will be reduced.
  • The following Hatchery Supported reservoirs will not be stocked during fall 2021 as previously scheduled: Bear Lake, Wolf Creek Lake, Tanassee Lake, and Cedar Cliff Lake.
    • They are currently scheduled to be stocked again in spring 2022.
  • Spring 2022 Delayed Harvest and Hatchery Supported trout waters are currently on track to be stocked as scheduled. 

Small Impoundments and Fall/Winter Stockings

  • Fall/Winter 2021 stockings at numerous small impoundments throughout North Carolina have been canceled; however, other fishing opportunities are available statewide.
    • This popular winter trout stocking program in small impoundments is scheduled to resume in December 2022, pending fish availability.   

Catawba River Brown Trout Stocking (Bridgewater Tailrace)

  • Fall 2021 stocking of Brown Trout into the Catawba River below Lake James (i.e., Bridgewater Tailrace) has been postponed. 
    • The agency is currently looking to meet this stocking obligation for this Special Regulation trout water in winter 2021-2022 pending fish availability. 

Storm Impacts

Video of Flooding Impacts