What is a wild trout stream? The NC “Wildlife Resources Commission” has one definition, the NC “Division of Water Quality” has another. For the water quality community, trout are a bit like the “canary in the coal mine”, signalling (via propagation and survival) that water quality is still OK.
Source: NC Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, 19981201, onemap_prod.SDEADMIN.fdtwwrc_arc: NC Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, Asheville, NC; North Carolina Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, 20060209, Statewide 24k hydrography (lines): North Carolina Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, Raleigh, NC. Google Earth
The Wildlife Commission’s definition is shown with blue lines. The Division of Water Quality’s is shown as various “off color” features. Clearly, Wildlife’s list is less than half the streams that hold trout in the state. This is fairly obvious if you studied the “fish survey” data (see: “NCDWQ Fish Surveys”), which no doubt the DWQ did in determining its list.