Hanging Rock State Park decided its new fishing pier needed a little something extra…new fish. Rainbow trout are being introduced today in the 12-acre lake in a joint effort of the state parks system and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
The stocking program provides a unique opportunity for recreational trout fishing outside of traditional mountain trout waters and is particularly accessible to children, older anglers and mobility-impaired individuals. The wildlife agency will stock the lake with 2,400 catchable-sized rainbow trout in April and October of each year. The stocking effort complements a new, accessible pier built in 2013.
Although a North Carolina fishing license is required for anglers 16 years old and over at the lake, a separate trout fishing license will not be required. Anglers may harvest seven trout per day with no size limit, and there are no restrictions on bait or type of hooks used. Also, there is no closed season associated with this fishery, so anglers can fish the lake year round.
“For less mobile anglers, fishing for trout in lakes is much simpler than fishing in streams,” said Kin Hodges, fisheries biologist for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. “The opportunity to fish in a lake, combined with a handicapped-accessible fishing pier, makes Hanging Rock Lake an ideal location for handicapped anglers to fish for trout. These same qualities also make it the perfect place to introduce small children to trout fishing.”
Hodges said Hanging Rock’s lake becomes the easternmost trout fishery in the state, making it attractive to anglers from the piedmont who might not have the time or means to visit mountain streams for trout fishing.
The lake also supports populations of largemouth bass, bluegill and redear sunfish and the state park offers boat rentals in warm-weather months.