Native Brook Trout I caught and Released In Maine
North Carolina Wildlife Commission has decided that in 2009 only sterile trout will be stocked in to NC waters in an effort to protect native wild brook trout. Native Brook Trout have been in decline across the eastern United States mostly due to the loss of habitat for the fish through human development. North Carolina has taken steps to protect the fish from the impact of development as well as protecting the remaining wild trout streams throughout the mountains. In the 1970’s stocking of trout was stopped in streams where native brook trout was present to help preserve the genetic integrity of the Southern Appalachian Brook Trout. The current genetic makeup of the trout population in NC according to the N&O is;
Genetic assessments show 39 percent of N.C. brook trout are pure natives, 9 percent are direct descendants of northern brookies and 52 percent are a mixture. Sterile trout can reduce hybridization.
The switch to sterile fish will reduce the chance of hatchery raised fish getting into native trout waters and further reducing the Southern Appalachian Brook Trout strain. Sounds like a good plan I wonder if some of the neighboring states will also implement a similar plan.
NCWC Articles about the Southern Appalachian Brook Trout