900 pounds of trout released into Green River

Published 5:30 pm Monday, March 4, 2013

A member of Pisgah Chapter of the Trout Unlimited tosses a bucket of trout into the Green River. (photo by Samantha Hurst)

A member of the Pisgah Chapter of Trout Unlimited tosses a bucket of trout into the Green River. (photo by Samantha Hurst)

NC Wildlife Resources Commission workers and volunteers released 900 pounds of sterile non-native trout into the Green River Monday, March 4 in an effort to shore up numbers for anglers and protect the native trout population.

“This is one of the best trout rivers there is, but it’s just been overfished,” said Trout Unlimited volunteer Dave Maxwell.

Maxwell went fly-fishing for the first time on the Green River with his father when he was 12 years old. He and other volunteers congregated at the Fishtop put-in off Green River Cove Road to assist NCWRC officials for the first of three delayed harvest stocking dates.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Through the stocking day the commission released buckets full of brook, brown and rainbow trout into the mountain water.

Polk County wildlife resources officer Toby Jenkins said the stocking days are essential to keeping the population strong.

“It allows people to go to the river and fish with a better chance of catching fish,” Jenkins said. “Once the river temperatures get really warm you get a higher mortality rate. If we didn’t stock [the river] you wouldn’t catch any fish.”

Chris Ellis is vice president of the Pisgah Chapter of Trout Unlimited.

He said releasing the sterile, non-native trout into the waters allows there to be ample fish available to anglers but prevents native fish from being gleaned.

“Coldwater conservation is important to our environment in general. If we make sure the waters provide a suitable environment for trout then you’ve improved water quality for everything around from bugs to even humans,” Ellis said.

Mountain waters that support trout and are open to public fishing are designated as “Public Mountain Trout Waters” by the commission. Anglers interested in fishing these waters designated as delayed harvest waters must be mindful of the regulations: they cannot harvest or process trout from these waters between Oct. 1 and May 31; they may only use artificial lures with a single hook and no scent; and no fishing is allowed between half an hour of sunset on May 31 and 6 a.m. on June 1.