A rare bird and mountain trout will be the focus of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s exhibit at the Mountain State Fair, which runs from Sept. 8-17.

The exhibit will showcase the Henslow’s sparrow, a small brownish sparrow that has been declining at a steep rate in recent decades. Once abundant in North Carolina, the sparrow is now state listed as a species of special concern. However, a large population of Henslow’s sparrows can be spotted at the Commission’s newly acquired Voice of America Game Land, located in Beaufort County. While at the exhibit, visitors can pick up birding tips, as well as this year’s Wildlife in North Carolina magazine button — a free, traditional State Fair keepsake, which depicts the Henslow’s sparrow.

For visitors who love to fish, the exhibit also features mountain trout, specifically where to catch them, and seasons, limits and other regulations regarding trout in North Carolina. They also can register to win one of three guided fishing trips sponsored by Carolina Outdoor Journal host Joe Albea. Trip choices are: river fly fishing for striped bass; Piedmont lake fishing; or a mountain river float trip for trout. 

The exhibit will highlight education programs at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, current wildlife research and projects conducted by the Commission, and information about fishing, hunting, trapping, wildlife watching and other outdoor-related opportunities available in North Carolina. 

The agency’s exhibit will be located in the Davis Center exhibition building on the grounds of Western North Carolina Agricultural Center, located at 1301 Fanning Bridge Road, in Fletcher, which is just west of Asheville. The Commission’s exhibit will open from 3-10 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., Friday through Sunday, except Sunday, Sept. 20, when the exhibit will close at 9 p.m.

Find out more about the Mountain State Fair, including daily schedules, opening and closing hours, pricing and directions, by visiting www.mountainfair.org, or calling 828-687-1414.