Copyright 2013 James Marsh
Fishing Journal
Premiere Issue August 2013
t seems that every state in the nation where trout are stocked has come up with at least one "Delayed Harvest" trout stream.
Some of them call it a different name but the principal behind it is the same. In streams and lakes where there is not enough
natural production to sustain a population of trout, and where the water becomes too warm for a substantial number of trout
Most Delayed Harvest streams are heavily stocked, usually in the months of October and November. The catching is usually very
good throughout the cold months of the year. I think North Carolina has the most delayed harvest streams of any state. I say I
think, because several states are adding them faster than I can keep up with them. The first North Carolina stream to be set up
under these regulations was in 1992. The program was patterned after a similar program in Pennsylvania. It is probably the most
popular program every established by the N. C. Wildlife Resources Commission. It has been very successful in terms of
acceptance and the numbers of participating anglers. The first streams consisted had "catch and release" rules in effect during he
Delayed Harvest Gone Wild
A Good Thing Or Not?
to survive during the hot months of the year, the states are favoring "catch and release" and "catch and keep" regulations.on the
same stream or lake.
I think most of the trout are usually caught
during the first couple of weeks of the
"catch-and-keep" season. It depends on the
stream. The keep season is usually set to
just prior to the time the water would
normally become too warm for the trout to
survive. Most of the trout probably wouldn't
survive during the hot months but there are
some that do survive, again, depending on
the particular stream. Some of the Delayed
Harvest streams have a good number of
holdovers and some have few to none.
Angie Marsh /  
Tuskasegee River,
North Carolina