This year, Commission personnel will stock approximately 916,000 trout — 96 percent of which average 10 inches in length, with the other 4 percent exceeding 14 inches in length. While fishing on Hatchery Supported Trout Waters, anglers can harvest a maximum of seven trout per day, with no minimum size limit or bait restriction. Hatchery Supported Trout Waters are open from 7 a.m. on the first Saturday in April until one-half hour after sunset on the last day of February the following year.
We have a great Wildlife Education Center run by the WRC near Brevard. They host a wide variety of educational opportunities for differing outdoor skill levels. As weather improves and folks thoughts turn to outdoor activities there are several being offered over the next few months that are worth checking out. On March 8 and 21st is Introduction to Fly Fishing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open to participants 12 and older. Learn the basics of fly fishing, such as equipment, knots and casting. Finish up by the workshop by spending a couple of hours fishing the Davidson River. All materials are provided. Participants should bring a lunch. Then on March 24 there is Fly-Fishing Skills: Casting for Beginners from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open to participants 12 and older. Participants learn at their own pace at Lake Imaging in DuPont State Recreational Forest. All equipment provided. Participants should bring a lunch.
If you are looking for kids activities these are worth checking out. On March 29 they offer Kids’ Introduction to Fly Fishing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open to participants 8-15. Learn the basics of fly fishing, such as equipment, knots and casting. Spend a couple of hours fishing the Davidson River. All materials provided. Participants should bring a lunch. Then on March 31 is Archery from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Open to participants 8 and up. Learn the ins and outs of archery. Topics covered include safety and types of bows and arrows. Lots of time will be spent target shooting. At the end of the month on March 31 they have BB Gun Shooting Range from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Open to participants 8-15. Work with experienced center staff to learn firearm safety and shooting. Participants will practice shooting on an outside BB range. If you want to get more involved in the outdoors, check out these and other offerings at their website www.ncwildlife.org/learning/educationcenters/pisgah.
I will probably write more extensively about this later, but something not getting much attention in the local press has to do with the Forest Service Pisgah/Nantahala Plan Revision. Several environmental groups proposed a couple of months ago that certain areas be set aside for Recreational use and included Wilderness Designation. As a response to that several county commissions, encouraged by wildlife conservationists, had gone on the record opposing any new Wilderness Designation. By my count ten Commissions which have National Forest Land in their boundaries have signed unanimous resolutions against new Wilderness Area or Recreational Use designation.
Their reasoning is simple. Those designations will take land out of active use and restrict access to those lands. Some counties still have timber and lumber companies that are part of their economic system. There are no timber harvests allow on Wilderness land. Did you also know that mountain bikes are not allowed in Wilderness Areas? That’s right, they are mechanical devices which are strictly verboten. Hopefully by now the environmentalists see the handwriting on the wall. They don’t have the support of the vast majority of mountain residents who want the National Forests to be managed for multiple uses as they were designed. We will continue to keep you posted on developments for the Plan Revision. A new draft plan should be coming out soon.