An early present for anglers was delivered yesterday at Bass Lake Park!
A couple thousand brown, rainbow and brook trout were released into the lake Monday, Dec. 17. The trout come from a hatchery in Brevard as part of a N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission program that aims to prevent an overabundance of excess trout in hatchery tanks, which could result in disease and other problems among fish populations.
While most trout released into Bass Lake are sized at 10-12 inches, about 5 percent of the trout are between 16-20 inches.
With no size limit, each angler can keep up to seven trout per day. And, because Bass Lake is not a stocked trout water, anglers do not need a fishing stamp. All anglers age 16 and older need at Bass Lake Park is a valid North Carolina inland fishing license. No fishing pole? No problem! Sign up for the Tackle Loaner Program to borrow equipment at the park free of charge. The park is open 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Park Naturalist Steve McElhaney says the trout come to Bass Lake ready to bite. He recommends anglers use small- to medium-sized hooks with mealworms, corn kernels or crickets. A piece of a red worm or night crawler, which the park office sells, also could hook a trout, he said.
Streams in the western part of the state typically are stocked with trout from hatcheries during October, January and February. Excess fish are not placed in those streams at this time of the year to keep those more sensitive environments controlled and to allow fish at the hatcheries to grow larger before releasing them into the streams at the beginning of the fishing season, McElhaney said. Simpkins Pond near Lake Wheeler also received trout from the hatchery.
According to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, biologists determined which locations would receive the trout. The locations chosen were mostly small impoundments typically stocked with catfish in summer months – locations where anglers are expected to harvest the fish in a timely fashion. Find more information on the commission’s Facebook page.
For more information about fishing at Bass Lake, visit the park website or call the park office at (919) 557-2496.