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NC State Extension


Trout fish


Since the late 1880’s, western North Carolina has supported the production of a vibrant and nationally recognized rainbow trout industry. With comercial trout farming beginning almost 60 years ago, NC is second in the nation for commercial trout production.

With pure, clean mountain water, 40 NC producers harvest close to 4,000,000 lbs annually, with each farmer prodicing on average 120,000lbs. This amounts to a farm gate value of nearly $9,000,000. 2018 industry value for farm gate and processed products exceeded $22,000,000. Most NC trout production is done in concrete raceways, however there are farmers that use earthen ponds. While trout producing in dominated by the Rainbow trout the natvie ‘Brook’ trout (actually a char) and european Brown trout are produced on a smaller scale locally, usually for fishing clubs.



For more information on trout aquaculture please see:

Trout Production in Western North Carolina

N.C. Cooperative Extension: Care of Fingerlings 

Other sites of interest:

U.S. Trout Farmers Association

USDA: Annual Trout Production Publication 

USDA: Cool and Cold Water Aquaculture Research