It's getting better all the time, we're years behind the west as far as promoting C&R ,stream conservation, designating a lot more rivers and streams as FF only. The delayed harvest streams, and rivers are definitely a good starting point. The hardest part we've faced is changing the mentality of bait fisherman. It's difficult for them to get on board with C&R tactics. :beathead:
Seems like a great day on the river; thank you for sharing. I have had some wonderful times in some mountain streams in North Carolina. For those who don't know, many southern streams are stocked in the winter and opened for a catch and release season until late spring / early summer. Then, they are opened up for harvest through the summer. One explanation for this approach is that many of the streams have too little water flow or have too elevated water temperatures in the summer to support trout populations, at least at stocked numbers.
Regarding angler attitudes, there is strange disconnect between a gear fisherman who is targetting bass and a gear fisherman (sometimes the same individual!!!) who is targetting trout (and this is not restricted to the southeast). The tournament bass ethic of catch and release has led to a major turnaround in "kill em all" attitude toward bass and the fishermen have seen increases in the size of fish which they can catch, over and over again. One might hope that folks would see that the same would apply to trout as well, but it just hasn't taken hold. At the same time, those CNR bass fishermen will catch a mess of catfish, or crappies, or bluegills for a fish fry without batting an eyelash. Somehow, bass have been placed into a different category in their minds and trout have not yet make the transition (if they ever will). Perhaps, we need to initiate more trout tournaments?? Nah.
Good to see that the Delayed Harvest season is alive and well in NC. I vividly remember going to testify at the Wildlife Commission hearings when this season was being proposed. The hearing was in some back of beyond burg where the local state representative/local baptish minister opened the hearing by preaching that members of TU were the devils spawn. Those of us that testified for the season chose not to use the men's room down in the basement of the meeting hall due to the large number of good 'ole boys hanging around on the stairs commenting on how right the preacher was about the devil and TU. It was the only meeting I have ever attended where the men, women, and children all wore camo pants and camo wifebeater T-shirts
A couple of years after the season was instituted, the same preacher/representative was screaming to get some streams in his voting area designated delayed harvest so his constituents could harvest the large hatchery fish that were being stocked in the delayed harvest season once the season was over.