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Life Outdoors
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Spring Into Fishing and Take a Kid with You
by Kevin Hining

Latest Update: April 9, 2015

NC Wildlife Resources Commission Fishing Access Map

With the warming weather, longer days, and recent opening of N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission managed Hatchery Supported Trout Waters, there’s no better time to take a kid fishing. If you live in or near one of the 25 western counties in North Carolina, then there’s likely a great spot to go nearby.

If you are new to fishing, here are a few pointers for finding a spot to fish.

Check the Commission’s Fishing Access Map . You can search for places to fish by county, species, waterbody, etc. All of the Public Mountain Trout Waters are shown on the map as well. A useful tool if you are planning a trip with small children is to find a location with a fishing pier. Just click the “Fishing Pier” icon at the top of the map and then select a pier near you for additional information about the fishing access area. You can even get directions and buy a license by clicking the links at the top of the page. Note - youth under age 16 do not require a fishing license.

If you are specifically interested in trout fishing, another option is to check the North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting, and Trapping Regulation Digest. It’s available online along with information on fishing regulations, or you can obtain a copy anywhere that fishing licenses are sold. Commission managed Trout Waters are listed by county within the digest. I’d suggest locating a Hatchery Supported Trout Water that you’d like to try, and then check the Commission’s stocking information, available on the Commission Trout Fishing webpage. There are some new features this year to give trout angler’s better opportunities to plan fishing trips in advance. The Commission now posts stocking dates for the entire stocking season by week, and daily updates are provided at noon for all waters stocked that day. Information can be searched by county, by month, or both.

A third option is to contact a fisheries biologist with the Commission (my contact information is below). We are here for you and more than happy to provide fishing information. In addition to providing some tips on locations and times to go fishing, Commission staff are also aware of special youth fishing events that occur throughout the year. These events offer a fun opportunity for kids to catch a fish and become more acquainted with a great recreational past time.

Best of luck fishing to you and those you take with you,

Kevin Hining
Fisheries Biologist
NC Wildlife Resources Commission

NC Wildlife Resources Commission Trout Fishing webpage

An avid angler on the South Fork New River