THE BENEFITS FROM TROUT GROWN NORTH OF WALHALLA
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Freshwater Fisheries division has started the process of stocking thousands of catchable-sized trout into the lower Saluda River near Columbia. The rainbow and brown trout that are raised and transported from the Walhalla State Fish Hatchery in Oconee County will be delivered by trucking fish to four locations in the upper two-thirds of the river. The cold waters released from the bottom of Lake Murray provide suitable habitat for the trout creating a unique and very popular fishery in the Midlands of South Carolina. SCDNR stocks nearly 30,000 trout each year in the lower Saluda from December through February in what’s called a “put, grow and take” fishery that relies on stocking to maintain populations. Trout grow rapidly after stocking and can exceed 20 inches in one to two years after stocking, which is considered trophy size for this type of fishery. Anglers should keep in mind that the lower reach of the Saluda River, from the eastbound I-20 bridge downstream to Stacey’s Ledge, is year-round catch and release fishing for all species of coldwater trout. It is unlawful to take and retain trout at any time in this section of the river.