Rivers by Category

Rivers by Category

Hatchery Supported Waters:


(stocked, no size limit or bait restrictions, seven trout per day) Too numerous to mention. Consult the North Carolina Hunting and Fishing regulation for information or consult The Back Roads Map of the Blue Ridge Parkway for creek regulations and locations.

Wild Trout Waters:

(natural waters, with only one trout over ten inches included in the four fish creel, artificial lures with a single hook)

  • Watauga County -- Howard's Creek (downstream to lower falls)
  • Avery County -- Birchfield Creek, Buck Timber Creek (entire creek excluding Flat Land Branch), Cary Flat Branch (entire stream, excluding Archi Coffey and Boyde Coffey lakes), Cow Camp Creek, Jones Creek, Kentucky Creel, North Harper Creek, Wilson Creek (upper Bill Crump property line downstream to the game land property boundary)
  • Ashe County -- Big Horse Creek (Virginia State line to SR 1361 bridge).

Special Regulated Trout Waters:

(managed to meet specific objectives, waters limited to artificial lures or flies with single hook, creel limits and lengths vary) Lost Cove Creek and South Toe River.

  • Catch and Release / Artificial Lures Only: Big Horse Creek, excluding tributaries (Virginia State Line to SR 1361 Ashe County); Three Top Creek (portion on Bluff Mountain Gmae Land, Ashe County); Wilson Creek (headwaters to game land boundary above Edgemont, including tributaries, Avery County)
  • Catch and Release/Fly Fishing Only: Boone Fork (portion between Blue Ridge Parkway boundary and Watauga River, Watauga County); Lost Cove Creek (game land portion, excluding Gragg Pond and Rockhouse Creek, Avery County)

Consult The Back Roads Map of the Blue Ridge Parkway for exact locations of these waters.

High Country Rivers: A Precious Natural Resource

With pollution becoming a critical problem in North Carolina's Piedmont and coastal waters, the High Country's relatively clean rivers are an even more precious resource than ever before. The year 2000 has been designated the Year of the Rivers by the North Carolina Office of Environmental Education as a way of raising awareness about the ecological significance of the state's rivers and the need to protect them.

In the High Country, the New River was named a Natural Heritage River and former President Clinton and former Vice-President Gore came to officially acknowledge the occasion. Wilson's Creek has been nominated for a Wild & Scenic Designation, and the Watauga River has the distinction of being the least polluted river in the state.

You can help preserve these natural resources by not littering and respecting any environmental restrictions or guidelines in effect along the rivers. Make sure our rivers are clean for future generations to enjoy!

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