Trout fishing in NC? You could see more trout, and better streams, soon.

ASHEVILLE – With fall fishing underway, the U.S. Forest Service is seeking feedback on a plan that would expand and renovate North Carolina’s largest trout hatchery – the Poppy Inn Hatchery. Setzer Fish in Transylvania Province.

The renovations will increase the hatchery’s efficiency in trout production and will improve existing corridors along the Davidson River in the Pisgah National Forest, according to an environmental assessment study conducted by the Forest Service.

“Cumulative impacts from the Setzer hatchery renovations will include improved water quality, increased trout production in the area, and potentially increased flow in sections immediately below the dams on Grogan Creek and the Davidson River,” the study stated.

A trout swims in the water at the Setzer State Fish Hatchery in the Pisgah National Forest on August 29, 2019.

The environmental assessment study notes that the renovations could increase the population of the rare hellbender salamander, as “proposed improvements to water quality and sediment transport directly beneath the facility could improve the habitat of the hellbenders.”

The hatchery suffered damage from Tropical Storm Fred in 2021, which flooded the Davidson River and caused the hatchery to lose about 67% of its trout. The flooding affected the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Wildlife Education Center, which was demolished later that year after renovations were proposed.

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