(a)  Generally. Except as otherwise indicated herein, fishing on game lands that are open to fishing shall be in accordance with the North Carolina rules. All game lands are open to public fishing except restocked ponds when posted against fishing, Hunting Creek Swamp Waterfowl Refuge, Grogan Creek in Transylvania County, and in the case of private ponds where fishing may be prohibited by the owners thereof. No trotline or set-hook or any net, trap, gig, bow and arrow, or other special fishing device of a type mentioned in 15A NCAC 10C .0404(b),(c),(d), and (f) may be used in any impounded waters located entirely on game lands. Bow and arrow may be used to take nongame fishes in impounded waters located entirely on game lands with the exception of those waters mentioned in 15A NCAC 10C .0404(a). Blue crabs taken by hook and line (other than set-hooks) in designated waterfowl impoundments located on game lands shall have a minimum carapace width of five inches (point to point) and the daily possession limit is 50 per person and 100 per vessel.

(b)  Designated Public Mountain Trout Waters

(1)           Fishing Hours. It is unlawful to fish in designated public mountain trout waters on any game land and in all waters on the Dupont State Forest Game Land from one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise, except in Hatchery Supported Trout waters as stated in 15A NCAC 10C .0305(a), Delayed Harvest waters as stated in 15A NCAC 10C .0205(a)(5), game lands sections of the Nantahala River located downstream from the Swain County line, and in the sections of Green River in Polk County located on Green River Game Lands from Cove Creek downstream to the natural gas pipeline crossing.

(2)           Location. All waters located on the game lands listed in this Subparagraph are designated public mountain trout waters except Cherokee Lake, Grogan Creek, Big Laurel Creek downstream from the US 25-70 bridge to the French Broad River, Pigeon River downstream of Waterville Reservoir to the Tennessee state line, Nolichucky River, Mill Ridge Pond, Cheoah River downstream of Santeetlah Reservoir, Little River from 100 yards downstream of Hooker Falls downstream to the Dupont State Forest boundary, Lake Imaging, Lake Dense, Lake Alfred, Lake Julia, Fawn Lake, North Fork Catawba River downstream of the mouth of Armstrong Creek, Green River downstream of the natural gas pipeline crossing, and Spring Creek below US Forest Service road 223.

Dupont State Forest Game Lands in Henderson and Transylvania counties.

Three Top Mountain Game Land in Ashe County.

Nantahala National Forest Game Lands in Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Jackson, Macon, Swain, and Transylvania counties.

Pisgah National Forest Game Lands in Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Haywood, Henderson, Madison, McDowell, Mitchell, Transylvania, and Yancey counties.

Thurmond Chatham Game Land in Wilkes County.

Toxaway Game Land in Transylvania County.

South Mountains Game Land in Cleveland and Rutherford counties.

Cold Mountain Game Land in Haywood County.

Green River Game Land in Henderson and Polk counties.

Pond Mountain Game Land in Ashe County.

Rendezvous Mountain State Forest Game Land in Wilkes County.

(3)           All designated public mountain trout waters located on the game lands listed in Subparagraph (b)(1) of this Rule are Wild Trout Waters unless classified otherwise. [See 15A NCAC 10C .0205(d)]

(c)  Ponds. In all game lands ponds, it is unlawful to take channel, white, or blue catfish (forked tail catfish) by means other than hook and line and the daily creel limit for forked tail catfish is six fish in aggregate.


History Note:        Authority G.S. 113-134; 113-264; 113-272; 113-292; 113-305;

Eff. February 1, 1976;

Amended Eff. July 1, 2000; July 1, 1998; July 1, 1996; July 1, 1995; July 1, 1994; July 1, 1993; July 1, 1992;

Temporary Amendment Eff. July 1, 2002; July 1, 2001;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2002 (approved by RRC on 06/21/01 and 04/18/02);

Temporary Amendment Eff. June 1, 2003;

Amended Eff. August 1, 2017; August 1, 2015; August 1, 2014; August 1, 2010; May 1, 2009; August 1, 2004.