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Frequently Asked Questions – Commercial Trout Production in Western NC

  1. How many pounds of trout are produced in North
    Carolina?

    North Carolina produces about 5 million pounds of trout each year. This is equivalent to about 2300 metric tonnes.

  2. How many pounds of trout are produced in the United
    States?

    The United States produces 60-65 million pounds of trout each year. This is equivalent to 27,273-29,545 metric tonnes.

  3. How does North Carolina rank in the United States in trout
    production?

    North Carolina ranks second in the United States to Idaho. Idaho produces about 40 million pounds and North Carolina produces about 5 million pounds.

  4. How many trout farms are in North Carolina?

    North Carolina has about 40 trout farms, which is highest in the United States.

  5. Which kinds of trout are farmed in North Carolina?

    North Carolina produces rainbow, brook, brown trout and golden rainbow trout. Most of the production (90-95%) is rainbow trout produced as food fish for restaurants, seafood markets and grocery stores. Most of the brook, brown and golden rainbow trout are sold to fishing clubs.

  6. How old is the trout industry in North Carolina?

    The trout industry in North Carolina began about 1956.

  7. Are Rainbow, Brook, and Brown trout native to North
    Carolina?

    Rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are native or indigenous to the west coast of North America, from California to Alaska. Rainbow trout were first stocked in North Carolina in the late 1800’s and are closely related to Pacific salmon (king, silver, sockeye salmon, etc.).

    Brown trout (Salmo trutta) is native to Europe and was first introduced to the United States in 1883. This fish is closely related to Atlantic salmon.

    Brook or speckled “trout” (Salvelinus fontinalis), are the only salmonid native to western North Carolina and is actually a char, not a trout. This fish is closely related to arctic char, dolly varden, and lake trout, which are found further north.

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