I mentioned this when first announced but with late season trout stockings reduced it may be a useful tool to find some good waters. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has developed a new online search tool for anglers who are interested in fishing for trout in western North Carolina. Using the Public Mountain Trout Waters Search, anglers can find places to fish for trout by county or by regulation classification. Waters in the Commission’s Public Mountain Trout Waters Program fall into one of seven classifications, each with its own set of regulations: Delayed Harvest Trout Waters; Hatchery Supported Trout Waters; Catch and Release/Artificial Lures Only Trout Waters; Catch and Release/Artificial Flies Only Trout Waters; Wild Trout Waters; Wild Trout /Natural Bait Waters; and Special Regulation Trout Waters.
After anglers enter their search criteria, they can sort results alphabetically by county, classification, and stream name. When they have identified a water of interest, they can click on the map link, which takes them to an interactive map that zooms directly to the selected water. The search tool also provides a link to additional information about rules, regulations, and season dates specific to selected waters. Anglers also can download and print a list of waters within their search, along with rules and regulations, to take with them when fishing.
“Through this new search tool, we wanted to provide anglers with a new way to explore the numerous public mountain trout waters the Commission manages in western North Carolina,” said Jacob Rash, the Commission’s coldwater research coordinator. “By allowing anglers to customize their search, establishing direct linkages to maps, and providing a diversity of information throughout the search tool and associated maps, we are optimistic that anglers will find it easier to go trout fishing.” The new search tool can be accessed in several locations on the Commission’s website, including the Trout Fishing Page, which also provides additional information about trout fishing resources in North Carolina.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is seeking public comment on its draft 2015 North Carolina Wildlife Action Plan — a comprehensive document that identifies Species of Greatest Conservation Need and other priority fish and wildlife species as well as their habitats. The document is available for public review and comment from July 20 until Aug. 18, 2015.
The Commission is updating its 2005 Wildlife Action Plan with the assistance of numerous state and federal agencies, conservation organizations and citizen stakeholders. The 2015 draft describes the threats facing Species of Greatest Conservation Need and their habitats, and recommends measures to address current and emerging threats over the next 10 years. The plan also provides information about ongoing efforts to protect and conserve the state’s fish and wildlife species and their habitats — from mammals to fish, crustaceans, and reptiles and amphibians.
Wildlife Action Plans are the result of a Congressional mandate that each state develop a comprehensive conservation strategy to be eligible for federal funding under the State Wildlife Grants Program. Each year, North Carolina receives around $1.5 million to support implementation of conservation actions laid out in the plan. Among those projects are survey and monitoring efforts that help fish and wildlife biologists understand the status of nongame species as well as enhancement and restoration efforts that involve propagation of rare aquatic species that are released into native habitats. I have perused the plan (www.ncwildlife.org/conserving). It is quiet lengthy. I recommend finding a particular habitat type you are interested in by reviewing the index. Commends are due by August 18.