PISGAH FOREST, N.C. (Dec. 8, 2021) – Officials with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, the agency that manages the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, announced that their board voted to not rebuild the education building ravaged by floods in August. Instead, the agency will expand the Bobby N. Setzer State Fish Hatchery and increase trout production.
The Wildlife Commission is committed to implementing a new educational model that utilizes the talents of the existing Center staff to conduct programs across western North Carolina.
“We will continue to offer the public educational opportunities in a variety of ways,” said Travis Casper, chief of the agency’s Wildlife Education Division. “We’ve had success with hands-on programming in local schools, partner facilities and on the water along the many streams and rivers throughout the region. Our staff are excited about the opportunity to get creative and serve more members of the public.”
This flexibility will enable wildlife educators to offer programs at the agency’s hatcheries, public fishing access areas and other partner facilities throughout western North Carolina. Being more mobile will increase outreach efforts and better serve the mission of the agency’s Wildlife Education Division.
The hatchery, which is adjacent to the damaged education building, was already scheduled for renovations starting in late 2022. The renovations will now include an educational component. The Wildlife Commission is working with the Setzer Hatchery design team and U.S. Forest Service personnel to explore increasing the footprint of the hatchery to gain efficiencies in operation and maximize fish production. Educational opportunities related to trout propagation, management and fishing skills will be considered.
In addition to public classes, the Center staff also offer various other programs for private groups, educators and community leaders. Groups can schedule the date, time and program topic of their choice, such as fly fishing. Contact Lee Sherrill to learn more at 828-384-5270.