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Author: Created: 11/30/2011 10:30 AM
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Blog
By NCWRC blogger on 2/27/2013 10:40 AM
By: Al Kittredge

The weather advisory for Saturday dampened the turnout for our 4th Basic Fly Fishing Clinic hosted by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center, which is located in Fayetteville. We had 40+ folks registered but apparently many of them were fair-weather fishermen because only 25 showed up. Not to worry, we have only canceled once in the past 10 years and that was because the ponds froze over. Nevertheless, Saturday's forecast was troubling.  We kept a wary eye to the sky and our cell phone apps, which displayed radar of a fast-approaching front of plunging temperatures, rain, sleet and snow.

We start all our clinics with an overview of fly fishing by two of our experienced volunteers. While at least half the participants to our basic fly-fishing clinics do not have a clue about balancing the size of their gear to the species and fishing conditions, by the end of the day, they are informed consumers. They are now able to head to their local fly shop or search out the Internet and not be overwhelmed by the choices available.

By NCWRC blogger on 2/18/2013 3:18 PM
A rabbit hunter in eastern North Carolina recently tested positive for tularemia, also commonly called rabbit fever. Another rabbit hunter in the same party also became ill and it is suspected he also has tularemia. Both hunters appear to be recovering, but this serves as an important reminder to all rabbit hunters to learn more about tularemia and to take precautions to prevent contracting the disease.

What is tularemia?Tularemia is a disease caused by a bacteria, Francisella tularensis. The disease occurs naturally worldwide. Itcan be fatal if left untreated.

How can I get tularemia?The most common way people have been infected with tularemia in North Carolina was by handling infected rabbits, a bite from an infected cat, and from a tick bite.  Transmission is also possible from ingestion of undercooked meat, drinking contaminated water,...
By NCWRC blogger on 2/18/2013 10:37 AM
"Okay soldiers listen up! 1300 hours formation on the second Wednesday of the month will be held in the lower parking lot of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center, located at the end of Reilly Road on the west side of Fayetteville.  Be there standing tall and ready to have some fun. Civilian clothing optional."

Maybe those weren't the exact words but this is approximately what the First Sergeant of one of Fort Bragg's Warrior Transition Companies announced to his soldiers earlier this week.

And what a difference a little command emphasis makes. We have been doing these Wounded Warrior / Military Appreciation Days for four years. Attendance has been up and down with a lot more down than up. Today's attendance of more than 75 soldiers filled the parking lot and gave us hope that our efforts are not wasted. The Wildlife Resources Commission provides a wonderful venue. Volunteers, many of whom are veterans themselves, provide the oversight and instruction. All fishing gear is provided and a fishing license is not required.

By NCWRC blogger on 2/5/2013 2:29 PM
By Al Kittredge

It was a “stick-your-hands-in-your-pockets” temperature at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center on Saturday morning when we hosted the 3rd Basic Fly-Fishing Clinic of the season. The sun was out most of the day but it only got up to the mid-40s by noon.

Brrrrrrr - we certainly will not have to worry about the ponds warming up too much for the trout anytime soon.Thankfully the wind was not too bad.  

 In spite of the brisk conditions, we once again had a full house. By the time everyone signed in, we had more than 40 folks who wanted to learn the basics of how to fish with a fly rod.

We've changed the format a little this year. Participants receive a comprehensive handout that reviews, in picture and word, most of what is taught throughout the day. Those who arrive early can practice...
By NCWRC blogger on 2/2/2013 7:05 AM
Groundhog. Woodchuck. Whistle pig. Marmot. Call it what you like, the groundhog is the animal of the day and harbinger of spring. However, it is also an interesting wildlife species native to North Carolina that can be hunted, and may be quite a nuisance to people who would prefer them to refrain from feasting on gardens and burrowing along sidewalks, building foundations and driveways,maybe causing severe structural damage.

Whatever you think of this furry critter, it sure gets a lot of media play. Here are some places we found the whistle pig in pop culture:

-         The ever popular tongue twister. You know it. How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Turns out, someone knows. Though woodchucks don’t eat wood, they have...
By NCWRC blogger on 2/1/2013 9:24 AM
Talking Hybrids with Piedmont Region Fisheries Supervisor Brian McRae

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission currently stocks 162,500 striped bass annually into Lake Norman, which is located in Iredell, Catawba, Lincoln and Mecklenburg counties. Brian McRae, Piedmont Region fisheries supervisor, answers a few commonly asked questions about Lake Norman’s striped bass and hybrid striped bass fisheries.

Is the Commission stocking 162,500 hybrid striped bass into Lake Norman this year?

Yes, we are replacing the striped bass fishery at Lake Norman with a hybrid striped bass fishery.  We will stock 162,500 hybrids into Lake Norman this summer instead of 162,500 striped bass.

The hybrids will be the traditional cross between white bass males and striped bass females. 

Why is the Commission stocking hybrid striped bass instead of striped bass at Lake Norman?

This change is an effort to address the increased frequency and magnitude of the striped bass kills that occur...
By NCWRC blogger on 1/25/2013 3:01 PM
Baby, it’s cold outside. But that doesn’t mean you have to stay inside.

If the sky is clear and the sun is warm, winter boating can be sublime. The waters are quieter, with fewer fellow boaters.

The fresh air is a welcome respite from the indoors. And, of course, winter is the season of waterfowl hunting, a hobby often combined with boating.

But with the colder weather and colder water, boaters, hunters and anglers should take special precautions. While drowning is a potential hazard of boating any time of year, the often-frigid icy winter waters bring special dangers. Within two minutes of falling into cold water, a person can be essentially paralyzed, and unable to move to keep himself afloat. The person may gasp and hyperventilate,and have trouble holding his breath. His muscles may cramp, and he may have difficulty swimming.

Within 15 minutes, hypothermia can set in. More waterfowl hunters die from drowning and hypothermia — the loss of body heat — than gunshot wounds. Thrashing about in the water can increase heat loss and cause exhaustion, which may lead to drowning.

By NCWRC blogger on 1/24/2013 2:37 PM
 By Al Kittredge

With Jan. 19, 2013 crossed off the calendar the 2nd Basic Fly Fishing Clinic offered at the N.C.Wildlife Resources Commission's John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center is now history. It was a bit nippy in the morning but the sun came out and warmed things up nicely by early afternoon.

These clinics are very popular and fill quickly. We learned from the airlines and overbook the 35 available slots — combine that with our policy of not turning away "walk-in's" and we continue to have a full house.

We have a new curriculum that emphasizes the importance of casting. If you can't cast your fly to your intended target, you will have a frustrating day on the water.

The overview is followed by a series of hands-on stations that teach proper line pick up, timing, casting arch, power...
By NCWRC blogger on 1/22/2013 12:32 PM

2013 is the Year of the Snake, both on the Chinese calendar and as designated by Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, an organization dedicated to the conservation of reptiles and amphibians.

PARC designated 2013 as the Year of the Snake to help raise awareness about these truly magnificent animals and the threats and human perceptions that contribute to their decline.

Perhaps no other animal on this planet is as maligned as the snake, mostly due to the many, varied and often comical misconceptions people have about snakes. Jeff Hall, a biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission who is also the coordinator of the N.C. chapter of PARC, is here to dispel a few common myths about snakes.

Snakes are slimy.This is perhaps one of the most common misconceptions about snakes and the answer is, no, they’re not. In fact, they are dry and usually cool to the touch.

By NCWRC blogger on 1/18/2013 5:20 PM
Bald eagle watching is exciting any time of the year, but if you need some motivation to watch these majestic birds, we have it. January is National Bald Eagle Watch Month across the country.

North Carolina is now agood place to watch bald eagles, thanks to restoration projects begun in the early 1980s.

The Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund, through the North Carolina income tax check-off, helped fund the Wildlife Resources Commission’s first nongame wildlife biologist. One of the first conservation projects undertaken by the nongame wildlife biologist was restoring bald eagles at Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge in 1983.

Because of the eagle restoration work, and the expansion of eagle populations from neighboring states, North Carolina now has more than 125 nesting pairs. (Editor's note: as of 2016, nesting pairs are estimated...

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