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A colorful green/brown and red trout covered in small red spots.
Information icon A wildlife biologist holds a small eastern brook trout. Photo by Steve Droter, Chesapeake Bay Program.

North Carolina heritage trout waters

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Greetings and welcome to the Southern Appalachian Creature Feature

Three Jackson County, North Carolina towns — Sylva, Webster and Dillsboro — recently joined the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Mountain Heritage Trout Waters Program.

The program was established in July 2008 and promotes trout fishing as a North Carolina Heritage Tourism activity. In addition to Dillsboro, Sylva and Webster, eight other cities are in the program — Spruce Pine, Maggie Valley, Waynesville, Bakersville, Burnsville, Newland, Hot Springs and Old Fort.

Nearly 9 miles of trout streams in Sylva, Webster and Dillsboro are now classified as Mountain Heritage Trout Waters, where anglers can fish with a $5 Mountain Heritage Trout Waters license. This special license is valid for three consecutive days and only for the portions of streams marked with green and black signs. Anglers who currently hold a valid resident or non-resident North Carolina fishing license can fish Mountain Heritage Trout Waters without purchasing the special license.

For visitors who don’t have fishing equipment, loaner rods and reels are available free of charge through the Commission’s Fishing Tackle Loaner Program.

After returning the loaner rod and reel, first-time participants under 16 receive a free mini-tackle box containing tackle, such as flies and spinners. There are nine tackle loaner sites associated with the Mountain Heritage Trout Waters program: Spruce Pine, Maggie Valley, Waynesville, Bakersville, Burnsville, Old Fort, Sylva, Dillsboro and Webster. Rods and reels must be returned to the original loaner site.

For WNCW and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, this is Gary Peeples.

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