Strategy RC1.6: Investigate the potential for a regional designation of "trout-friendly" developments.
Trout fishing has been especially beneficial to the regional economy. A study in 2009 by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission estimated that trout fishing had an annual total economic impact of $174 million in Western North Carolina. Supporting continued enforcement of existing Trout Buffer regulations is essential to sustaining the health of mountain trout fisheries. Additional strategies that encourage trout-friendly development practices include voluntary designation for developments or private land owners that exceed minimum requirements and demonstrate a commitment to protecting trout habitat on or downstream from their property. Potential partners include private developers, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, local land trusts, Trout Unlimited, and local Trout Unlimited chapters.