Scientific Name: Salvelinus fontinalis

Classification:  Game Fish
Abundance: Mountain region in the western part of the state (green).

Species Profile (pdf)
Sport Fish Profile (pdf)

 

Brook trout are native to the eastern United States and Canada. Two strains of brook trout exist, and both are now found in North Carolina. The southern strain, although identical in appearance to the northern strain, is genetically unique and is native to North Carolina. Brook trout can be distinguished by the olive-green coloration of the upper sides with mottled, dark green “worm-like” markings on their backs and tails. The lower sides are lighter with yellow spots interspersed with fewer spots of bright red surrounded by blue. The lower fins are orange with a narrow black band next to a leading white edge. Wild brook trout are most abundant in isolated, high-altitude headwater streams where the water is free of pollution and rich in oxygen. Brook trout prefer streams with stable water flows, silt-free gravel for spawning and an abundance of pools and riffles with sufficient in-stream cover, such as logs and boulders. Young brook trout feed on small aquatic and terrestrial insects. Adults eat a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial insects, as well as crustaceans, fish and other small vertebrates. Learn more by reading the Brook Trout species profile.

 

North Carolina offers some great fishing opportunities. If you are a resident or visitor to the state, please review the links below to ensure that you understand the rules, regulations and other guidelines.

The following fishing regulations are effective August 1, 2019 to July 31, 2020.

Inland Fishing

Inland Fishing Regulations
Regulatory authority between the Wildlife Resources Commission and Division of Marine Fisheries. Inland game fish regulations include Manner of Taking, Seasons and Using Trotlines and Set-hooks.

 

 

Saltwater Fishing

Fishing techniques: Fishing dry flies, streamers and nymphs that imitate natural food items works well. This method is especially popular in North Carolina’s many streams that support wild trout. Fishing baits, such as worms and corn, work well for hatcheryreared brook trout. Spin casting small spinners, spoons and crankbaits can be productive as well. Check the current trout fishing regulations on the type of lures allowed as well as the size limit and creel limit for a particular trout water before fishing.

Good places to fish: Check out the interactive Public Mountain Trout Waters map to find good places to catch trout.