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South Carolina - DNR to Stock Trout in March

South Carolina - DNR to Stock Trout in March South Carolina - DNR to Stock Trout in March

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources will begin stocking coldwater trout, including brook trout, brown trout and rainbow trout, in the state's upcountry waters in March.

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will begin stocking coldwater trout in mountain streams during March in Oconee, Pickens and Greenville counties. According to upstate regional fisheries biologist Dan Rankin at DNR's Clemson office, the trout species to be stocked include brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout. All of the fish are reared at the DNR's Walhalla State Fish Hatchery in Oconee County.

The DNR will release an estimated 350,000 to 400,000 trout this year to provide anglers with expanded fishing opportunities during 2004. Trout stocking in mountain streams will begin in March and continue through fall. Stream stocking days are randomly selected and unannounced. Streams are stocked on an average of about every seven to 10 days during spring months. Tailwaters stocked include the Lake Hartwell Tailwater below Hartwell Dam in Anderson County, and the Lower Saluda River below Lake Murray in Lexington County.

Fishing for stocked trout is popular in South Carolina. A recent statewide angler survey estimated that more than 40,000 anglers fish for trout, and the fishery contributes about $18 million annually to the state's economy. The effects of trout fishing can be felt in many segments of Upstate and Midlands communities, from motels and restaurants to gas stations and sporting goods stores. Trout fishing in mountain streams is popular. Biologists estimate more than 100,000 angler trips are made each year fishing for trout in mountain streams.

Delayed-harvest trout streams are available to South Carolina anglers on two streams: two miles of the Chattooga River from the SC 28 bridge upstream to the confluence of Reed Creek and a one-mile section of Cheohee Creek within the boundaries of the Piedmont Forestry Center. Both are in Oconee County. Delayed-harvest streams are strictly catch and release between Nov. 1 and May 14. During that period, only artificial lures with a single hook can be used. Fishing on the Cheohee is on Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays only, while the delayed-harvest section of the Chattooga is available all week.

Water levels, stream temperatures, and hatchery inventories will dictate trout stocking locations and frequency during the summer months. Fall stocking will occur on the same streams at an average rate of two to three stockings per month. The statewide daily creel limit on mountain trout streams is 10 fish, except for Chattooga River, which has a daily limit of eight fish.

Mountain trout streams are located in the northern-most portion of Oconee, Pickens, and Greenville counties. Streams regularly stocked include: Brasstown Creek, Chauga River, Chattooga River, East Fork Chattooga, Little Eastatoee Creek, Eastatoee River, Little Canebrake, Oolenoy River, Rocky Bottom Creek, Middle Saluda River, North Saluda River and South Saluda River. Remote streams stocked less frequently include Laurel Fork Creek, Thompson River, Devils Fork Creek and Cane Creek.

Many stocked areas are on private land, where the landowner is generous enough to allow public access. Officials with DNR urge the public to treat these areas with respect and refrain from littering.

Park and national forest lakes and tailwater fisheries are stocked during winter and early spring months. Creel limits on park lakes vary. Anglers are encouraged to check with each park to ascertain limit information prior to fishing. Park lakes stocked are located at Oconee State Park in Oconee County, Oolenoy State Park in Pickens County, Paris Mountain State Park and Pleasant Ridge County Park in Greenville County. Lake Jocassee in Oconee County is stocked during winter and early spring months. Lake Jocassee is managed as a trophy trout fishery. The minimum size limit on Jocassee trout is 15 inches with a five-fish creel limit.

For more information, call the Walhalla State Fish Hatchery at (864) 638-2866.


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dan jones | Posted: March 19, 2009

good article. informative and encouraging for the out-of-state transplant like myself who just needs to know the basics to get started on appilachian southern trout fishing.