The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission added 1,200 catchable-size rainbow trout Monday to the lake waters at Hanging Rock State Park.
It’s the second release this year of hatchery fish for the 12-acre impoundment in Stokes County, north of Winston-Salem. The lake affords anglers a unique opportunity to fish for trout outside of traditional mountain trout waters.
“The park’s staff reported a major increase in fishing activity on the lake’s pier as soon as the first trout were stocked there in April,” said Kin Hodges, a commission fishery biologist. “Anglers were observed catching these fish throughout the spring.
“The park personnel also noticed a decline in the number of people fishing and taking trout as we got into summer, suggesting that most of the trout stocked in the lake had been harvested by then.”
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Angler success in catching most, if not all the trout stocked, was the outcome that Hodges and the commission hoped would happen. This given that the trout, which prefer cold water, likely would not have survived summer’s hotter temperature and dissolved oxygen in the lake.
The daily catch limit at Hanging Rock is seven trout. There are no bait restrictions nor a size limit. Additionally, no special trout license is required, as it is on other mountain trout waters. Anglers 16 and older need only a basic state fishing license on this lake.
The two annual stockings, set each April and October, complement a new handicapped-accessible fishing pier built in 2013 by the Wildlife Commission and the state park’s agency. Observer News Services
Roads on seven game lands closed by flooding
Vehicular traffic is off limits because of flooding at seven game lands in Eastern N.C. managed by the Wildlife Resources Commission.
The areas included are the Lower Roanoke River Wetlands in Bertie and Martin counties, Buckridge in Tyrrell, Alligator River in Tyrrell, Chowan Swamp in Hertford and Gates, Juniper Creek in Brunswick and Columbus and Holly Shelter in Pender.
Their roads are to remain closed until floodwaters recede and driving conditions improve. Commission officials are monitoring the situation daily.
Our primary goal is to provided safe access to the game lands,” Coastal Ecoregion supervisor Tommy Hughes said. “By closing the roads and allowing them to drain properly, we are able to prevent them becoming rutted and impassable prior to the deer seasons.”--ONS
▪ James Saxon of Iva, S.C. teamed with West Virginian Rich Wimmer to win Cabela’s recent King Cat eastern championship tournament at Lake Wateree. Their two-day, 10-limit catfish catch weighed 183.56 pounds. Georgians Jimmy Holbrook and Layla Ledbetter finished second with 174.36. Clay and Jason Henderson of Fort Mill and Rock Hill, respectively, took third with 170.29 pounds.
▪ Brett Barnes of Wilmington caught a king mackerel scaling 41.85 pounds to win the big Fall Brawl tournament at Ocean Isle, an event that drew anglers aboard 229 boats. Matthew Dupree of Willow Springs was second with a king of 39.9 pounds and Jeff Cunningham of Myrtle Beach took third with a fish of 39.85. The top 19 finishers weighed kings in excess of 30 pounds.
Catches of the week
▪ A 48-inch red drum boated and released near Hatteras Village by Eric Brown of Claremont while fishing from the Sound Bound with guide Rom Whitaker IV.
▪ A white marlin boated and released off Hatteras by Kim Hamlin of Raleigh.
▪ A 39-pound cobia near the Little River jetties by June Strickland.
▪ A 54-pound wahoo off Ocean Isle by Frank Johnson.