Fridays on the Fly: Trout Fishing Heats Up as Delayed Harvest Comes to an End

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Tomorrow marks the end of the Delayed Harvest (DH) season in Western North Carolina as the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) will open 34 trout streams and two lakes classified as DH to regulated harvest.

Delayed Harvest streams are marked with with diamond-shaped, black-and-white signs. In North Carolina, Delayed Harvest will begin to come back into effect on Sep. 30, 2017.

Catch and release is usually the mantra espoused by fly fisherman in these parts, but the end of Delayed Harvest season offers a rare opportunity to fill the freezer with some of the hard-earned and wild-caught fruits of your fly fishing labor.

According to NCWRC Fish Production Supervisor David Deaton, Commission staff has stocked more than 372,000 trout in waters designated as Delayed Harvest since last fall.

“We stock Delayed Harvest streams in March, April, May and then again in October and November,” Deaton said.

“In early summer, when some streams become too warm for trout to survive, we open these stocked streams to allow trout harvest before stream conditions get too warm.”

Many of these fish will succumb to warming temperatures if they remain in local rivers and streams, so why not ensure that they end up on the dinner plate instead.

NCWRC staff has stocked more than 372,000 trout in waters designated as Delayed Harvest since last fall.

As in years past, the NCWRC has set up a youth-only day to coincide with the end of Delayed Harvest season to promote trout fishing among young anglers and to provide special opportunities for young anglers to catch and keep fish. The youth-only period will run from 6 a.m. until 11:59 a.m. on June 3.

In Virginia, the Delayed Harvest season ended on May 31, while DH trout streams in Georgia and South Carolina began re-allowing regulated harvesting around mid-May.

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