Scroll To Top

Appalachian Rivers Aquarium

The Appalachian Rivers Aquarium is currently in the final stages of construction and is expected to be open in the Fall.

Aquarium Update - July 2018

Opening, Fall 2018 — Located on the Tuckasegee River, the new Appalachian Rivers Aquarium will complement and expand the Museum with more exhibits and tanks with many of the species of Southern Appalachian fish. The building has been completed and we have begun construction on the aquarium tanks downstairs and more museum exhibits. Here is what you will see in the Aquarium:

A 'Mountain Stream' Top Tank with a waterfall, plunging into an Upper Tank with brook trout. The Middle Tank will contain rainbow trout (sponsored by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians); The Lower Tank will contain large freshwater species such as musky.

There will be four 300-gallon and one 750-gallon bottom tank along the left and back wall, each with various species of freshwater gamefish (brown trout, smallmouth, white bass, striper, etc.) and other tertiary fish (redhorse sucker, pickerel, etc.).

There will be more 125- to 200-gallon tanks along the walls with more smaller sized species of freshwater fish and mountain minnows, darters, shiners, etc.

There are potentially over 250 freshwater species to exhibit and realistically maybe 60+ of these at a given time.

We are in the process of being approved for a Hellbender tank and acquiring two young hellbenders to be in their own 450-gallon tank (sponsored by Chris Holler and the Armstrong Flycasters Club).

Other salamanders, frogs, turtles, lizards and snakes will be exhibited in a Living Wall (sponsored by NCWF)

Upstairs, a working Trout in the Classroom exhibit will be part of an ongoing program to support regional schools in any of the southeastern states. Over 40 different classes have been slated to be offered in the coming years as the museum seeks to create a center of activity for those who want to enjoy the outdoors as well as fly fishing.

We need your help

With one-third funded and another third pledged we are on our way to completing Phase II of the museum. We hope to have a sneak preview or soft opening during the weekend of the Third Annual Museum Hall of Fame Luncheon on September 8. There is a lot to be done and funding is part of the work in the coming months.

We need three more tanks sponsored, so we are offering joint sponsorships as a collective of donors. A tank sponsorship is $5,000, however we will recognize Platinum ($1000), Gold ($500), Silver ($250) and Bronze ($100) levels of sponsorship first=come, first-served grouped to a tank. Please consider a donation to bring this project to completion. Donation Form

Southern Trout Online Magazine (courtesy of Don Kirk) is running a GoFundMe.com operation to raise monies as a sponsor of the Mountain Stream.

We expect 50,000+ visitors to see these tanks and new exhibits annually. We finished 2017 with almost 20,000 visitors.

The future aquarium revenue will be the operating funds to perpetuate the fly fishing museum. Sponsorship assures that the museum remains open and viable.