trout hatchery.jpeg

PISGAH FOREST — See the teaming raceways churning with the silver flashes and splashes of brook, brown and rainbow trout while learning about the impressive hatchery operation at the Pisgah Wildlife Center at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 12.

The free drop-in tour includes a chance to hand feed the fish, no doubt the best part for kids.

The hatchery operated by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission outside Brevard is the largest in the state. It has 16 indoor rearing tanks for fingerlings and 54 outdoor raceways, where the fish are grown until they are "catchable" size — at least 10” long.

The hatchery also has its own strains of brook, brown and rainbow trout broodstock — fish that supply the fertilized eggs used to produce successive generations of trout. The fertilized eggs are maintained in incubators until hatching, usually 30-40 days. Sixteen months after the eggs are spawned, 10-inch trout are ready for stocking.

The trout reared at the Bobby Setzer State Fish Hatchery are used to stock streams and rivers in 15 mountain counties. Fingerlings are also used to supply other trout hatcheries in the state, as well.

Stop by a drop-in program at the hatchery at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 12, to learn all about the fascinating operation, the lifecycle of a trout and the economic impact of trout.

The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education campus is also home to interpretive walking trails and indoor exhibits.

Located at 1401 Fish Hatchery Road, Pisgah Forest. Click here for more info.