The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation are again partnering to stock the Hanging Rock State Park lake with 1,200 trout on Oct. 7.
This will be the second time the lake has been stocked this year.
“The April stocking this year was a huge hit with anglers,” said District 7 Fisheries Biologist Kin Hodges. “Park staff reported that there was a major increase in fishing activity on the pier as soon as the trout were stocked and they regularly observed anglers catching trout throughout the spring.”
Hodges noted that the stocking at Hanging Rock provided anglers with a unique opportunity.
“While almost all other trout waters stocked in the fall are under our ‘Delayed Harvest’ trout management program in which trout cannot be harvested from Oct. 1 through the first Saturday in June, trout stocked in Hanging Rock Lake are eligible to be harvested immediately, making it a great destination for anglers looking to keep a few trout at this time of year,” he said. “Anglers can keep seven trout per day with no size limit or bait restrictions. There is also no requirement for a special trout fishing license and anglers only need a basic N.C. fishing license.”
He said even that basic fishing licence is not required for anglers under 16 years old.
The stocking effort complements a new, handicapped-accessible pier built in 2013 in a cooperative effort between the Commission and State Parks to enhance fishing opportunities in the park.
“For less mobile anglers, fishing for trout in lakes is much simpler than fishing in streams,” said Kin Hodges, fisheries biologist for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “The opportunity to fish in a lake, combined with a handicapped-accessible fishing pier, makes Hanging Rock Lake an ideal location for handicapped anglers to fish for trout. These same qualities also make it the perfect place to introduce small children to trout fishing.”
Hodges said Hanging Rock Lake will become the easternmost trout fishery in the state, making it attractive to anglers from the Piedmont who might not have the time or means to visit mountain streams for trout fishing.
The lake also supports populations of largemouth bass, bluegill and redear sunfish and the state park offers boat rentals in warm-weather months.
Hodges added that anglers could keep an eye on when the lake would be stoked by visitingwww.ncwildlife.org/Learning/Species/Fish/Trout/TroutFishing.aspx.
“By clicking the link for “Weekly Trout Stocking Schedule” and selecting “Stokes County,” anglers can see which weeks in April and October the lake will be stocked each year,” he said. ” This information is updated well before the spring trout fishing season begins, allowing anglers to plan their trips well ahead of time.”
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.