Delayed Harvest Trout Streams in NC

Posted in Trout Streams.


  • Use barbless hooks. If you use a net, use one made of rubber. It is less harmful to fish scales, gills and eyes. Only net your fish if it is the only way to control it.
  • Wet your hands when handling fish. Dry hands and gloves will remove its protective mucous (slime) coating and scales. These protective layers help prevent infection by waterborne disease. Do not beach a fish or let it flop around the deck of the boat.
  • Try not to remove the fish from the water. If you must, be quick and gentle, do not squeeze the fish. Needle nose pliers, hemostats, de-hookers etc., will speed up the removal of a deep set hook.
  • To revive the fish, hold it under the belly and by the tail, keep it in an upright position underwater, do not move the fish back and forth (this is also a good time to get a measurement and take a photo). If you are fishing in a river or stream, hold the fish facing the current. Be patient and give the fish as much time as it needs to recover and swim away on its own.
  • Stocking Schedule Dates Delayed Harvest...PDF file

Delayed Harvest Trout Streams

Ashe County
Trout Lake
Helton Creek (Virginia state line to New River)
Big Horse Creek-S.R.1324 Bridge to North Fork New River

Burke County
Jacob's Fork Creek (Shinny Creek to South Mountains State Park Boundary)

Caldwell County
Wilson Creek (game lands boundary downstream of Lost Cove Creek to Phillips Branch)

Haywood County
West Fork Pigeon River (Queens creek at game lands to up stream to lake Logan)

Henderson County
North Fork Mills River (game land portion below Hendersonville watershed dam)

Jackson County
Tuckasegee River (NC 107 bridge at Love Field to NC 116 bridge at Webster)

Macon County
Nantahala River (Whiteoak Creek to NP&L powerhouse discharge canal)

Madison County
Big Laurel Creek (NC 208 bridge to the US 25-70 bridge)
Shelton Laurel Creek (NC 208 bridge at Belva to the confluence with Big Laurel Creek)

McDowell County
Curtis Creek -(game land portion downstream of the U.S. Forest Service boundary at Deep Branch)
Mill Creek (U.S. 70 bridge to I-40 bridge)

Mitchell County
Cane Creek (N.C. 226 bridge to N.C. 80 bridge — also classified as Mountain Heritage Trout Waters, please refer to the Commission’s Regulations Digest(PDF document) for additional information)
North Toe River (U.S. 19E bridge to N.C. 226 bridge — also classified as Mountain Heritage Trout Waters, please refer to the Commission’s Regulations Digest(PDF document) for additional information)

Polk County
Green River (Fishtop Falls access area to the confluence with Cove Creek)

Surry County
Mitchell River (0.6 miles upstream of the end of SR 1333 to Kapps Mill Dam)

Transylvania County
East Fork French Broad River (Glady Fork to French Broad River)
Little River (confluence of Lake Dense to 100 yards downstream of Hooker Falls)

Watauga County
Watauga River (adjacent to intersection of S.R. 1557 and S.R. 1558 to N.C. 105 bridge and S.R. 1114 bridge to N.C. 194 bridge at Valle Crucis)

Wilkes County
East Prong Roaring River (mouth of Bullhead Creek downstream to Stone Mountain State Park boundary line)
Stone Mountain Creek (from falls at Alleghany County line to confluence with East Prong Roaring River and Bullhead Creek)
Reddies River (Town of North Wilkesboro water intake dam to confluence with Yadkin River)