Deferred harvest Opening of trout waters on October 1st | Local


RALEIGH – The North Carolina Wildlife Commission will implement delayed-harvest trout water regulations in 36 trout waters on October 1.

Under the Deferred Trout Fishing Waters Regulations, no trout may be harvested or held in these waters between October 1 and half an hour after sunset on June 3, 2022.

No natural bait can be possessed and anglers can only fish with artificial single hook lures. An artificial lure is defined as a fishing lure that does not contain or have been treated with a substance that attracts fish through the sense of taste or smell.

The Wildlife Commission stores late harvest trout waters from fall through spring with high trout densities to increase anglers’ chances of catching fish. The delayed harvest waters for trout, displayed with black and white diamond-shaped signs, are popular fishing destinations for anglers who enjoy catch-and-release trout fishing.

On August 17, the Bobby N. Setzer State Hatchery, which is the Commission’s largest trout hatchery, was severely affected by flash floods caused by Tropical Depression Fred.

Although the hatchery remains operational, approximately 67 percent of all trout in the hatchery have been lost. The agency mitigates these losses by obtaining replacement trout from various sources.

Although deferred harvest restockings are expected to take place as planned in October, hatchery staff are still grappling with the impacts of damage to the facility and future restockings may be disrupted. Impacts from the flooding and any changes to trout stockings will be posted on the agency’s website at

Some trout waters may be closed by local cooperators due to COVID-19. Visit the agency’s COVID-19 webpage for an updated list of trout waters that have been closed by local cooperators.

While fishing, anglers should consider these minimum steps to help prevent the spread of harmful aquatic species like gill lice, spinach disease and didymo:

  • CLEAN equipment of all aquatic plants, animals and mud
  • DRAIN water from boats, tanks and equipment
  • Dry the equipment thoroughly
  • NEVER MOVE fish, plants or other organisms from one body of water to another

Learn more about harmful aquatic species by visiting the Aquatic Nuisance Species Commission webpage.

For a complete list of deferred trout fishing waters, information on trout fishing regulations and cards, visit the Commission’s trout fishing page.

About the North Carolina Wildlife Commission

Since 1947, the NC Wildlife Resources Commission has been dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of the state’s fish and wildlife resources through research, scientific management, wise use, and public contribution. The Commission is the state regulatory body responsible for enforcing fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws and provides programs and opportunities for educational, recreational and athletic activities related to wildlife.

Thadd White is Group Editor for Bertie Ledger-Advance, Chowan Herald, Perquimans Weekly, The Enterprise & Eastern North Carolina Living. He can be contacted by email at [email protected]


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