State seeks public comment on fish hatchery renovations | News

The North Carolina National Forest is seeking public comment on an environmental assessment of proposed renovations to the Booby Inn Fish Hatchery. Setzer in the Pisgah Ranger District.

Setzer’s hatchery operates through a North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission special use permit on 44 acres of national forest land in the Pisgah National Forest. NCWRC proposes significant improvements using modern technology to operate the hatchery more efficiently and with increased fish production capacity, according to a Forest Service news release.

The renovations will replace outdated and failing infrastructure to ensure Setzer Hatchery’s continued operation, increase the efficiency of operations, maximize the production of healthy fish and increase the reliability of the water supply. The renovations will also improve water quality for use at the hatchery and downstream of the Davidson River.

“To say trout fishing is important to North Carolina is an understatement, as it brings a $1.38 billion economic impact to our state’s economy,” said Cameron Ingram, Executive Director of NCWRC. “They are enjoyed by more than 300,000 North Carolinians annually, not to mention thousands of out-of-state anglers. Most of the trout stocked in our public waters come from this hatchery. Renovating the Setzer hatchery will ensure a robust trout fishing experience remains a reality in North Carolina And ensuring continued economic opportunities, especially for our mountain communities.

“We appreciate the 40-year partnership with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission at the hatchery,” says James Mylonas, forest supervisor. “With these proposed improvements, forest visitors will be able to enjoy visiting the renovated, modern fish hatchery, improved restroom facilities and the high-quality recreation experience they have come to expect in the Pisgah National Forest.”

The public is invited to comment on the hatchery improvements that began Sunday and will last 30 days.

Visit to review the environmental assessment and comment on the project.

Setzer Hatchery produces and stocks over 600,000 catchable trout annually across 13 western North Carolina counties to provide trout fishing opportunities. It was originally built in the late 1950s by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and operated as a national fish hatchery until 1983 when the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission took over operation of the facility. In the mid-1990s, NCWRC renovated and modernized the Setzer hatchery, adding a liquid oxygen aeration system to increase production capacity from about 175,000 pounds to 400,000 pounds of trout per year.

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