Photo Courtesy of NC Wildlife

Photo Courtesy of NC Wildlife

Growing up within the heart of the mountains, I spent many afternoons and mornings fishing with father in the lakes, rivers, and streams. Enjoying the outdoors is one of the many reasons to visit the beloved Smoky Mountains and part of the reason we’ve been able to keep our wildlife abundant and our mountains beautiful is thanks to the wildlife conservation efforts of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

The Pisgah Forest Fish Hatchery is dedicated to breeding and preserving the fish found within our streams and lakes. The hatchery breeds and raises over 500,000 brown, brook, and rainbow trout annually for stocking in area streams during the month of March when no trout fishing is permitted. This ensures that the population is maintained despite the attraction of fisherman to the area.

At the hatchery, you can walk along the troughs where the fish are raised and see their various stages of growth. Displays provide more in depth information on how the fish are raised and the hatchery. Best of all, this is free to the public and makes for a very educational experience. The hatchery also includes aquariums filled with native species to the mountain region and a short, paved trail that provides a look at other wildlife.

Preservation and conservation is an important part in maintaining the beauty that draws so many people to the area each year. I remember when I was younger, my father taking me to the hatchery and explaining how the populations are maintained and the importance of closed seasons for animal development and maturity. If you have a spare afternoon, I highly recommend stopping by and exploring the complex work involved in raising these fish and the importance for continuing the care for our wildlife. It’s a memory of a lifetime that costs only your time.

Photo Courtesy of NC Wildlife

Photo Courtesy of NC Wildlife

Pisgah Forest Fish Hatchery

1401 Fish Hatchery Road
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

Pisgah Forest Fish Hatchery

1401 Fish Hatchery Road
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768