Thursday, November 02, 2006

Trout where they normally aren't

Chapel Hill North Carolina is known for many things. Michael Jordan, Dean Smith, and Roy Williams have all called the University of North Carolina located here home at one time or another. Chapel Hill is in the Piedmont area of the state of North Carolina where the temps can get pretty hot during the summer. It is for this reason that Chapel Hill has not been known for its trout fishing. Until now, that is.

His venue is unusual. Clearwater Lake is a former limestone quarry that the Chapel Hill YMCA bought in 1970. A sum of $25,000 purchased about 25 acres with a 5-acre spring-fed lake. Spring water seeps into the lake, which remains much cooler than comparable bodies of water in the area and can support trout until late spring.

For the past two years Richard Hagen has stocked this pond with trout and charged anglers a small fee to fish for mountain trout. The fishing is catch and release until warm weather when special days are held when kids and families are allowed to harvest the fish. The fishing sounds like it is pretty good.

The fishing was fantastic," Dan Orr, who was traveling last week, said via cell phone from an airport in Georgia. "We caught 30 or 40 fish, and they were all big and had life."

Link to the Raleigh News and Observer Article

In a related story of sorts, the Richmond Times Dispatch has an article about Virginia's urban trout stocking program.

Wednesday morning's delivery of 1,000 trout to Shields Lake in Richmond and another 1,000 to Dorey Park Lake in eastern Henrico County marked the return of a program begun in 1993 and suspended a decade later because of budget cuts.

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