The 23rd Annual Great Smoky Mountain Trout & Heritage Festival is a unique, family-oriented, outdoor event to introduce lessons in aquatic ecology, fishing ethics, water safety and the respect for the outdoors as well as helps educate event goers about the various needs to conserve and protect our natural resources. Rooted in education, this year’s festival is expanded to include more focused heritage and live demonstrations. Festival funds make donations possible to community partner and sponsor, Haywood County Community College and Haywood Waterways Association.
Two FREE CATCH youth fishing clinics are offered, one each morning and afternoon session. Sponsored by the Natural Resources Division of Haywood Community College and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, clinics are limited to children ages 6-15. Each registered child and one accompanying adult is admitted FREE. Space is limited and pre-registration required. Download Application or call Karen Batick, 828.926.0866 x117 to reserve space.
The CATCH (Caring For Aquatics Through Conservation Habits) program is designed to teach young people how, when, and where to fish as well as introducing lessons in aquatic ecology, water safety, fishing ethics, and respect for the outdoors. Many youngsters in our community have never had a chance to learn how to fish or to explore aquatic habitats. CATCH provides this environmental education opportunity.
The Trout Race is a fun and exciting event for all ages. Each ticket purchased also comes with a small, floating, wooden replica trout (sorry, not for keeps!). At 5pm during PlottFest, all "trout" are simultaneously tossed into Jonathans Creek, the stream that borders the Maggie Valley Fairgrounds. The first five trout across the finish line win a prize. This year's prizes include:
1st PRIZE - Half Day Guided Fly Fishing Trip for 1
courtesy of Waynesville Fly Shop
2nd PRIZE - Love Birds Spa Package
courtesy of Balsam Spa at the Waynesville Inn Golf Resort and Spa
3rd PRIZE - Learn to Ski Package for 2
courtesy of Cataloochie Ski Area
4th PRIZE - 2 passes for zip-line Canopy Tours over the Pigeon River
courtesy of Wildwater, Ltd.
5th PRIZE - 4 passes for whitewater rafting the Pigeon River
courtesy of Wildwater, Ltd.
Tickets are 1 for $3 or 2 for $5 and can be purchased at PlottFest or through Haywood Waterways.
Race proceeds support Haywood Waterways Association and water quality improvement projects throughout Haywood County.
Haywood Waterways Association is a 501(c)3) nonprofit, conservation organization. Our mission - protect and improve our water resources by reducing non-point sources of pollution. We are known by local government and community leaders as a valuable resource and credible advisor on resolving water resource issues.
HWA practices a common sense approach to land and water conservation. We are local folks solving local problems.