Brook trout are the only native coldwater trout in North Carolina. These trout generally exist in cold, clean mountain streams above 1,500-feet in elevation; however, most populations of wild brook trout are in streams over 3,000-feet in elevation.
In 2013, the General Assembly authorized the creation of a special license plate to promote the Native Brook Trout. All proceeds from the sale of this plate will be used to fund public access to and habitat protection of brook trout waters in the state. (The final design will be very similar to the prototype pictured.)
The Commission’s 2013 North Carolina Trout Resources Management Plan identified increasing public access and habitat protection as two primary program areas. The funds generated from the sale of this special license plate will support projects to pursue permanent easements or property acquisition to conserve brook trout and provide angling access. Funds also may be used to remove or replace stream barriers for brook trout passage, stabilize stream banks to limit sedimentation and limit the effects of acid deposition in high-elevation streams.
Mountain trout fishing is an important component of North Carolina’s economy. Based on a 2008 report, North Carolina had 92,789 mountain trout anglers who had a total economic output of $174 million.
Click here to download an application to apply for the Native Brook Trout License Plate. The above rendering is for illustration purposes only and the final design must be approved by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.