Restoration of Linville River continues; seedling planting and trout stocking to be in next phase

CROSSNORE, NC (February 28, 2020) — The N.C. Forest Service and partnering agencies have restored 2,450 feet of the Linville River channel as it flows through Gill State Forest and beyond Crossnore Mountain Training Facility and Linville River Nursery.

Additionally, the NCFS has enhanced 500 feet of an unnamed stream that discharges to the river by planting understory growth that will eventually shade the stream.

In the next phase of the project, tree seedling planting and trout stocking will begin in March. Forest Service staff have already placed signs on river and stream banks advising fishermen and visitors of the new understory vegetation already planted and of the future tree plantings.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will stock the restored river reach for opening day of trout fishing season, the first Saturday in April. Due to restoration construction, the Commission suspended stocking of hatchery trout in the summer of 2018. According to Commission officials, this portion of the river will be stocked with trout in March; restocked twice during April and May, and once in June and July.

“The improved aquatic habitat means more places for trout to call home and a sustained fishery throughout the spring and summer,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “We restored the river in the fall and winter months to minimize impacts on fishing and other recreation that occurs at Gill State Forest.”

For fishing and hiking enthusiasts, visitor parking is available just off Linville Falls Highway, adjacent to the high-water bridge. This summer, a river trail and self-interpretation kiosks will be established to inform forest visitors about the many benefits of river restoration. You can learn more about the restoration by visiting the N.C. Forest Service website at www.ncforestservice.gov/water_quality/wq_streamrestoration.htm.