North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
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Conserve & Protect
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Author: Created: 11/30/2011 10:30 AM
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Blog
By NCWRC blogger on 1/30/2012 1:20 PM
Earlier this month, we heard from Dave Yow, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s warmwater research coordinator, on walleye fishing in western North Carolina. This week, we’re going to stay on topic, but we’re moving east to talk about a little-known, but surprisingly good, walleye fishery at Lake Gaston.

As many of you bass anglers probably already know, Lake Gaston, which is located in portions of Halifax, Northampton and Warren counties, provides really good fishing for largemouth bass and striped bass. But walleye fishing can be good too, despite the fact that the species is known as a coolwater fish typically found in the mountains in this state.

Kirk Rundle, the Commission’s district 3 fisheries biologist, is quite familiar with the Lake Gaston walleye fishery, having surveyed the lake frequently since 2005. He and fellow biologist, Bill Collart, target walleye in the early spring during their spawning run just downstream from the John H. Kerr Dam. From the surveys, Rundle and Collart collect data on walleye age, growth, abundance, sex ratio, and length and weight distribution. 

By NCWRC blogger on 1/26/2012 10:27 AM
Wildlife Commission personnel will staff the agency’s Mobile Aquarium at the upcoming Carolina Boat & Fishing Expo, Feb. 24-26, at the Greensboro Coliseum located at 1921 West Lee St. in Greensboro.

The Mobile Aquarium allows the Wildlife Commission to display live fish — trout in a “mountain stream” tank and bass, bluegill and longnose gar in a “coastal river” tank.  You can’t go fishing in the tanks, but it’s a good chance to see live game fish and non-game fish up close and personal.

You also can talk about fishing and the latest fisheries management work being conducted locally with the Commission biologists and technicians responsible for the fisheries in the Triad’s reservoirs and rivers. See...
By NCWRC blogger on 1/20/2012 1:26 PM
So, you went out and went hunting, and now you have a freezer full of fresh game.

If you’re stumped as to how to cook it, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has the solution.  The agency’s cookbook is chock full of recipes, ranging from easy venison meatballs to fried muskrat.

Learn to roast opossum. Find out how to make fricasseed raccoon. Even the pickiest eaters will find something they like.  The book’s recipes, which also include fish, shrimp and crabs, were submitted by Wildlife employees, former and current, and their families.

For additional recipes and resources on field dressing, processing game and caring for equipment, visit After the Hunt on

By NCWRC blogger on 1/19/2012 12:33 PM
Do you know someone who ...

... has made outstanding contributions to wildlife diversity in North Carolina?

... is considered a leader in wildlife resources conservation?

If you know someone, or are someone, who meets the qualifications above, you’ll want to note that the deadline for submitting a nomination for the seventh annual Thomas L. Quay Wildlife Diversity award is fast approaching.

The deadline is Jan. 30 to complete and submit a nomination form and a detailed explanation of the nominee’s contributions to wildlife conservation. Please limit the explanation to two pages (8 ½ x 11-inch paper, with 1-inch margins, single spaced and 12-point font). Submissions that exceed the 2-page limit will be disqualified and returned to the nominator.

You can download the form here and submit it, along with the explanation, by:

·         E-mailing;...
By NCWRC blogger on 1/18/2012 4:47 PM
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission always has an interesting lineup of programs and classes at its Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education near Brevard. For the DIY fly-fishing crowd, Commission staff will offer a fishing leader building class on Saturday, Jan. 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Some spaces remain.

Fishing leaders are a shorter length of fishing line, which attaches to a heavier, main fishing line. Anglers then tie flies to tippet, attached to the leaders, which are intended to be virtually invisible to fish, making the fish less wary about striking the flies.

Participants will construct both furled leaders and hand-tied leaders for fly fishing. All materials will be provided. The program is free and open to ages 12 and older. Space is limited and pre-registration is required by calling 828-877-4423 or signing up online.

By NCWRC blogger on 1/17/2012 11:15 AM
Although most people think of trout fishing when visiting the mountains — and no doubt North Carolina has some of the best trout fishing opportunities in the Southeast — fishing for walleye also can offer some exciting fishing action as well as some excellent table fare — if you’re lucky enough to land one.

Walleye, also known as pike and jackfish, thrive in cooler waters. While most of North Carolina’s mountain reservoirs have walleye populations, the best walleye fishing can be found in Fontana and Hiwassee reservoirs and in Lake James. That’s according to David Yow, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s warmwater-research coordinator and an expert on walleye fisheries.

Fontana Reservoir, located on the southern edge of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park near Bryson City, is a large, deep reservoir...
By NCWRC blogger on 1/13/2012 9:05 AM
Some of the most important people for the outdoors work indoors.

Dispatchers with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission spend their careers in an insulated, security-sealed room on the fourth floor of headquarters in Raleigh, but the work they do enables Wildlife Officers in the field to do their job more effectively and safely.  Dispatchers are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year for the Wildlife Commission.  The dispatch center holds phones, radios for a statewide network, computers that link to licenses files, criminal records and boating registration.  They receive hundreds of calls a day from the public, other agencies and with wildlife officers.

Telecommunications supervisor Kelvin Moses says when it comes to watching out for conservation and sportsmen, “you can’t underestimate the role of the general public....
By NCWRC blogger on 1/11/2012 1:42 PM
As savvy visitors to western North Carolina know, a fishing rod and tackle box can be as essential as ski poles and a down jacket in the winter — a time when, if you know where to go and what to fish for, the fishing can be as good, if not better, than other times of the year.

We asked two fisheries biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to give us their recommendations for where to fish and what to use if you’re visiting the western part of our state this winter, or, if you’re lucky enough to call this area home year-round.

This week, we’ll talk about trout fishing with Kin Hodges, a fisheries biologist with the Commission. Hodges, who lives and works in the northwestern part of the state in Surry County, suggested that trout anglers try the Ararat River in Mt. Airy, between the N.C. 103 Bridge and Hwy. 52.

This 2-mile section...
By NCWRC blogger on 1/9/2012 10:49 AM
Congratulations to Lane Smith, a 12-year-old from LaGrange, N.C. who took a rare albino deer while on a Nov. 26, 2011 hunt in Halifax County with his father, Kendall Smith.

Albino deer, like the 85-pound button buck Lane took, lack pigmentation and have a completely white hide and hooves, pink eyes and nose, traits observed in one in 30,000 deer. Piebald deer, while unusual, aren’t rare, with studies showing the trait may show up in one in 1,000 deer. Piebald deer are deer that have blotches of white coloration on portions of their hide that are usually dark in color.

 Lane is in his second year of active hunting and sets a good example in conservation for his classmates at Woodington Middle School in Lenoir County. The Hunter Education Program believes it is important for sportsmen to encourage others...
By NCWRC blogger on 1/5/2012 9:08 AM
Joe Schmoe knows a guy who knows guy whose brother was a game warden who swears when he was on staff at the Wildlife Commission, biologists dropped dozens of rattlesnakes from helicopters. Many folks tell this story.

Sometimes, the story is “legitimized” by adding details:  Wildlife dropped the snakes (with parachutes?) to control the deer population, and the rattler-stocking project was conducted under the cover of night from black, stealth helicopters to stay off the public’s radar screen.

Still others weave a tale of biologists wanting to replenish a dwindling population of rattlesnakes in Hanging Rock State Park.

Sounds exciting. Unfortunately — or fortunately, depending on how much you like snakes — it’s not true. This is one of a few rumors that circulate around North Carolina, despite the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s  persistent efforts to...

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