Fall trout fishing opportunities abound in SC mountains

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources manages numerous Upstate streams and lakes across specifically for fall and winter trout fishing opportunities.

Delayed Harvest Trout Waters

Delayed Harvest streams are managed under catch-and-release regulations from Nov. 1 through May 14, and are stocked periodically throughout the fall and winter months.

“The DNR manages five stream segments under special regulations called Delayed Harvest,” said Dan Rankin, Upstate regional fisheries biologist. "These streams are stocked generously with all sizes of brook, brown and rainbow trout. Our delayed harvest stream segments emphasize high catch rates and angler satisfaction.”

South Carolina’s Delayed Harvest trout stream segments are:

• Chattooga River from US Highway 28 upstream about 2.5 river miles to the confluence with Reed Creek, Ga. (Oconee County)

• Chauga River from Cassidy Bridge Road upstream about 3 river miles to the confluence with Bone Camp Creek (Oconee County)

• Cheohee Creek within the property boundary of Piedmont Forestry Center (Oconee County)

• Devils Fork and Howard Creeks upstream from Lake Jocassee to the confluence with Limberpole Creek (Pickens County)

• Eastatoee Creek upstream from Lake Keowee to Roy F. Jones Road Bridge, also known as Dug Mountain Angler Access Area (Pickens County)

Put-Take Trout Streams

In addition to the Delayed Harvest areas, SCDNR also stocks more than 30,000 catchable trout each fall and winter into streams where harvest of five fish per day per person is allowed. For more information on the location of these streams and accessible sites, check out DNR's Trout Fishing Guide (.pdf).

Mountain Lakes

Some anglers may prefer to admire the reflection of fall colors in the still waters of a mountain lake. South Carolina DNR also stocks more than 10,000 trout during fall and winter months into small mountain lakes in Upstate South Carolina. These lakes include: Pleasant Ridge County Park, Table Rock State Park, Oconee State Park, and Bursons Lake.

From the SCDNR website: SCDNR stocks more than a half-million million trout in South Carolina waters each year. Studies indicate that more than 40,000 anglers fish for trout in the Palmetto State each year resulting in an economic impact of more than $14 million dollars annually. All of South Carolina's trout are produced at Walhalla State Fish Hatchery in northern Oconee County.