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Conserve & Protect
The Blog of N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

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By NCWRC blogger on 6/14/2016 1:40 PM
By: Daniel Manget

If you have caught a good size trout in Western North Carolina, the chances are pretty good that it was raised at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Bobby N. Setzer fish hatchery in Pisgah National Forest, the largest cold water hatchery in the state. The Commission is responsible for managing the state’s wildlife from bear to salamanders to fish to ensure that they will always be there for the enjoyment of the public and for the health of the environment. One way that we accomplish this mission is by stocking hundreds of thousands of trout into 80 different lakes and streams in the 15 most western counties in North Carolina. In order to raise so many fish successfully, the hatchery must recreate the natural life cycle of trout in a very unnatural...
By NCWRC blogger on 4/15/2016 4:11 PM

Shooting sports enthusiasts in western North Carolina will soon have a new place to practice when the long-awaited Foothills Public Shooting Complex opens this month. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and Cleveland County, along with the National Rifle Association (NRA), invite the public to an open house with a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday, April 19 at noon to celebrate the grand opening.

By NCWRC blogger on 3/9/2015 8:03 AM
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. And where there’s fire, at least on a N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission game land, there’s usually a prescribed burn — one of the best and most cost-effective methods of managing habitat for wildlife.

A prescribed burn, or an intentional burning of vegetation under strict and specific circumstances, helps restore and maintain wildlife habitat. It is a cost-effective tool that Commission staff uses to create and maintain suitable and ample wildlife habitat in old fields, native grasslands and open-canopy woodlands on game lands throughout the state.

The most common prescribed burns Commission staff conducts are restoration burns and maintenance burns. Restoration burns, as their name implies, are done on fire-dependent habitats that haven’t been burned in years. These habitats include longleaf,...
By NCWRC blogger on 12/8/2014 5:23 PM

Take a break from all the holiday shopping and head outdoors with your binoculars and bird ID guide to participate in the longest-running citizen-science survey in the world — the 115th Christmas Bird Count sponsored by the Audubon Society.  Starting Sunday, Dec. 14, through Jan. 5, the Christmas Bird Count

is a perfect way for you to make an enormous contribution to bird conservation in North Carolina, regardless if you’re a backyard birder or a serious field observer. Best of all, it’s free and pretty easy to do, too. Just visit Audubon’s website to sign up and find a count near you.

According to Audubon, which organizes the annual count, the count takes place within “count circles,” which focus on specific geographical areas. Each circle is led by a count compiler...
By NCWRC blogger on 12/2/2014 12:03 PM
Go “Wild” this Holiday Season with Gifts that Benefit Wildlife in North Carolina


Looking for affordable, wildlife-related gifts that will appeal to that special hunter, angler, birder or outdoor enthusiast on your holiday gift-giving list? Look no further than the Wildlife Commission’s Wild Store where cool gifts are just a click away.

Best of all, a portion of the proceeds from the products go to support the Wildlife Commission’s projects and programs that benefit wildlife. Place your order by Dec. 12 for Christmas delivery. A few must-have items include:


The 2015 Wildlife Calendar ($9), which combines outstanding wildlife art with useful information such as fishing days, moon phases and wildlife migration and rut peaks. Wildlife Diversity T-shirt, $15 for adults, $12 for youth. The shirt’s front features a tundra swan flying across the agency’s wildlife logo and the back features a large rendition of the tundra...
By NCWRC blogger on 2/7/2014 8:07 AM
Little Washington is the place to be this coming weekend as the East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships gets underway, starting on Friday at 6 p.m. with a special preview event and oyster roast. Tickets for this event are $40 per person, and include admittance to the entire festival, which opens to the public on Saturday at 9 a.m. and Sunday at 9:30 a.m. Tickets the weekend are $12.

During the special preview on Friday night, festival organizers will unveil the portrait that will become the 2014 North Carolina Waterfowl Conservation Stamp and Print, also known as the North Carolina duck stamp.

Along with more than 75 other vendors and exhibitors, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will have a booth at the festival, in the sportsman tent, located in front of the North Carolina Estuarium at 223...
By NCWRC blogger on 8/15/2013 11:55 AM
 By:  Al Kittredge

The August Wounded Warrior / Military Appreciation Day was held on Aug. 14 at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center, which is located on the west side of Fayetteville.

The turnout was a little sparse yesterday with about 35 or so people in attendance. The Commission and volunteers have been doing these events for the past five or six years on the second Wednesday of each month to show their appreciation to those who stand in harm’s way so the rest of us can live in this great country.

We’ve found that soldiers who suffer the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) enjoy the challenge of fly tying,which is offered at the beginning of the event.

A lot of kids were in attendance although those numbers are expected to taper once school...
By NCWRC blogger on 4/26/2013 7:30 PM
As the sun rises upon the Millstone 4-H Center near Ellerbe in Richmond County, hundreds of young folks eagerly anticipate the day’s competition about to take place. 

They come from every corner of North Carolina to display the skills they have honed from countless hours of practice over the years of their young lives. They have learned to aim small and score big.  They’ve made sacrifices just as their parents and coaches have to reach this level.  The skills they will display have required discipline and control to master, but master they have.  They have proven themselves as the best within their division and district.  Now they wait, with butterflies in their stomachs.

Finally, an arrow cuts the morning air and strikes itsmark.  A sporting clay explodes into black dust following the report of a shotgun blast. 

It has begun.  

If their prowess proves enough, they and their teammates will walk away from the day as the North Carolina Youth Hunter Education Skills State Champion. ...
By NCWRC blogger on 4/26/2013 11:42 AM
Written by Al Kittredge:

With all the troubles being portrayed in our current twenty-four hour news cycle we need to pause once in awhile to look for something good going on around us. The second weekend of the 2013 turkey season the farming community of Caldwell NC gave a  small group of Wounded Warriors the opportunity to do just that.  The Caldwell Hunting Club have organized the entire community around a Wounded Warrior spring turkey hunt and fall deer hunt for the past six years. I participated as mentor to one of the Wounded Warriors during the second annual deer hunt and was deeply honored when they asked if I would volunteer to act as their liaison with the military in procuring deserving participants for future hunts.

 As a retired Vietnam Vet I remember how we were treated when we came...
By NCWRC blogger on 4/25/2013 8:38 AM
Now that spring is in the air, you might be hearing some strange noises coming from your backyard at night. If you live near any type of water, you might be hearing LOTS of strange noises at night.

Is that a pack of dogs barking in the distance, or is it a barking treefrog? 

Did you hear someone pluck a banjo string, or was that a green frog you heard?

Was that a cricket trilling in the distance or a Cope’s gray tree frog crooning a love song to his lady?

When the winds grow warmer and the nights grow shorter, frogs and toads, like the birds and bees, are eager to make a love connection. So, that strange noise you’re hearing might be one of 29 frog and toad species native to North Carolina. Technically, there are 30 species native to the TarHeel state, but one, the river frog,...
By NCWRC blogger on 4/12/2013 2:38 PM
Are you the kind of person who enjoys listening to frogs call at night? Do you brake for turtles crossing the road? Do you see a snake on the ground and go running — for your camera?   If you love reptiles and amphibians, you should become a member of North Carolina Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation, or NCPARC. It’s free to join and with your free membership, you get to interact with a great group of individuals who, although they may come from different walks of life, professions and herpetological skill levels, have one thing in common: a love of reptiles and amphibians, collectively and affectionately known as “herps.” Their shared passion for herps, in fact, is matched only by their mutual desire to conserve and protect reptiles and amphibians in the Tar Heel state.  

While NCPARC emphasizes conserving...
By NCWRC blogger on 4/3/2013 12:37 PM
By Al Kittredge

The trout,which are cold water species, have completed their fly-fishing clinic mission at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center. With the onset of warmer weather, they are available for harvest at events coordinated with church groups, assisted living homes and veterans groups. We scheduled an extra Wounded Warriors / Military Appreciation Day the afternoon of March 27 for some "fish and keep." Any legal method of fishing, i.e., fly, spinner or bait fishing, is allowed at these end-of-season events. Per North Carolina regulation, there is a limit of seven fish per participant.

By 12:30 p.m., the lower parking lot was full and 100+ soldiers and retired veterans were waiting for the signal to head to the ponds.

The number of fishermen beating the water soon drove the fish to the bottom but just about everyone who stuck it out at the trout ponds came away with a few fish.

We have a variety of fish in the other ponds, which...
By NCWRC blogger on 3/21/2013 3:07 PM
By Al Kittredge

The fishing was good but the"catching" left a lot to be desired. 

That's a good description for the 2nd Boy Scout Fly-Fishing Merit Badge Clinic held on March 16 at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center,located on the west side of Fayetteville.

Not to worry, we had a good group of scouts and scout leaders. Everyone learned something and had a good time. Most of the scouts were familiar with spin cast and cane poles but very few had seen or assembled a fly rod.  After classroom demonstrations on rod assembly, it was time to move outside for more discussion about the basics of casting along with demonstrations of what good and poor techniques look like.  Everyone nodded in agreement that they could emulate what our volunteer caster so gracefully demonstrated....
By NCWRC blogger on 3/11/2013 10:54 AM
by Al Kittredge

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission's John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center,located on the west side of Fayetteville, hosted several Boy Scouts troops last weekend as they finalized their requirements for the Boy Scout Fly-Fishing Merit Badge.

We've held these Fishing Merit Badge events for the past several years. They are so popular that we’re always at capacity for these camping/fishing weekends reserved for Scout Troops.  Most troops make a weekend of it by arriving Friday evening early enough to pitch tents, build afire pit and have a grand old time.

The troop leaders were provided teaching materials at the time of enrollment, which helps focus the scouts' attention to the requirements of the merit badge. Once they meet up with our cadre of volunteer instructors, we follow the same format...
By NCWRC blogger on 2/28/2013 4:36 PM
RALEIGH (Feb. 28, 2013) — We are getting locked and loaded for the Dixie Deer Classic that starts tomorrow at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh.  As y’all might guess, a big event like that means a big “To Do” list.

Sure enough, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is going to be there in a big, B-I-G way.  We’re sending folks from Wildlife Management, Law Enforcement, Conservation Education, Wildlife Diversity, Publications, even Inland Fisheries. Yep, fisheries staff at the Dixie Deer Classic. That’ll be a first for us.

Stop by and say “Hi” at any of a number of Wildlife Commission booths, tables, seminars and exhibit trailers that we’ll be staffing.  While you’re chatting it up with us, be sure to register for the many prizes that we’ll be giving away. Check us out:

Wildlife Management biologists...
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 2/5/2013 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 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 1/17/2013 2:49 PM
By Al Kittredge

FAYETTEVILLE (Jan. 16, 2013) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center, located in Fayetteville, opened its doors for Fort Bragg’s Wounded Warrior Transition Battalion, the North Carolina  Handicapped Sportsmen and military personnel and their families for the first Wounded Warrior/Military Appreciation Day of 2013.  The event was held at the center from 1 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 9.

Commission staff stocked trout in two of the center’s ponds back in December for folks who want to fly fish, and there was a variety of different fish in the other ponds too.All fishing is on a catch-and-release basis. We offer basic fly-tying instruction as well. The Pechmann Center provides all equipment for these Wounded Warrior/Military Appreciation Day events; however, participants are encouraged to bring and use their own gear. If you’re not into fly fishing, we have spin cast outfits and bait for use on the catfish ponds. A North Carolina fishing license is not required for these events. The Commission provides the venue, and local volunteers, many of whom are veterans themselves, provide the instruction.

By NCWRC blogger on 1/9/2013 11:08 AM

By Al Kittredge

FAYETTEVILLE (Jan. 9, 2013) — The New Year is here and with it comes the annual series of fly-fishing clinics hosted by the N.C.Wildlife Resources Commission at the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center located on the west side of Fayetteville in Cumberland County.

By NCWRC blogger on 10/30/2012 10:09 AM
RALEIGH,N.C. (Oct. 30, 2012) — Chalk up this topic as one of the things that make you go, “Hmmmmmmmmmmm.” Think about it. It wasn’t that long ago when we all would have yawned at the idea of buying, selling and trading water rights as a natural resource commodity as valuable as timber rights or mineral rights. And we would have outright LOLed (had we known what the acronym stood for) at the thought of going to the grocery store to buy bottled spring water, water filters, flavored water, and just plain ol’ drinking water.

But these days water is, indeed, a limiting factor — an important resource to consider in community planning for humans, and an integral factor in the equation of fish and wildlife management. Nowhere is this more important than in the arid Southwest of the United States where wildlife managers and biologists...
By NCWRC blogger on 9/11/2012 12:11 PM
With archery season for deer opening on Saturday in most of the state and on Monday in the western counties, the Home From The Hunt™ safety campaign lists the following recommendations:
• Always point your crossbow, longbow, compound bow in a safe direction.
• Only release an arrow after positively identifying your target and what’s beyond it.
• Know your equipment’s capabilities and limitations.
• Never carry a bow with a notched arrow.
• Keep your fingers and thumb below the rail of a crossbow at all times.
• Never “dry-fire” any archery equipment, because releasing without an arrow can cause sudden breakage.

For more information on deer seasons and required hunting education, go to or call 919-707-0031.
By NCWRC blogger on 9/10/2012 11:38 AM
(Editor’s Note: For the past two summers, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Centennial Center for Wildlife Education has offered the “Becoming an Outdoors Diva” camp for girls ages 12 to 17. Madeline Rickard, 14, participated both years. Here, she writes about her experiences. She is in the middle of the photograph.) The days were jam packed and exhausting, and oftentimes sweaty, but it was so much fun that I didn’t even realize how tired I was until I was falling asleep on the ride home every day. That was Becoming an Outdoors Diva camp, and it was a great experience for all types of girls, even ones who prefer to stay inside. The camp was actually split pretty evenly between being inside and outside, so we had plenty of chances to cool off and rest. We were always moving on to something new and trying out a lot of different activities, so you tried...
By NCWRC blogger on 8/30/2012 12:52 PM
Bill Stancil is a hunter education instructor who lives in Rocky Mount. A retired newspaperman and a regular contributor to the Hunter Education Program newsletter, this is an article from the Summer 2012 issue about a particularly adventurous hunting trip last season, and a different perspective from his bird dog’s viewpoint.  The headshot photo shows Stancil. The other photo shows Ginger and a friend. A Hunting Trip, a Bird Dog, Women’s Intuition and a Game Warden The season for quail hunting ended Wednesday, so before the rains came, Frank and I took my bird dog, “Ginger,” to the Tillery Game Lands last Wednesday. Since Ginger has a penchant for wanting to hunt on her own, without the benefit of my company (a trait blamed on her owner and trainer by someone else in this household), I bought a new battery for her training collar. The weather...
By NCWRC blogger on 7/20/2012 12:42 PM
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will present a free, special lunchtime program featuring live birds of prey on Friday, Aug. 3, at the Centennial Campus Center for Wildlife Education in Raleigh.

Join Steve Stone with the American Wildlife Refuge from noon to 1:30 p.m. for this family-oriented program, with live birds that have been rescued and are undergoing rehabilitation. Guests will see these amazing birds, learn about their life histories and hear the stories behind their rescues.

With seating limited, pre-registration is required and children must be accompanied by an adult. Register online here,...
By NCWRC blogger on 6/6/2012 9:36 AM
I’m a desk jockey. I sit at my desk for 7, 8 maybe 9 hours a day cranking out information about wildlife in North Carolina. So, when I had a chance to participate in an education workshop about alligators, I jumped at the chance. After all, it isn’t every day that I get up close and personal with animals that I write about. 

I attended the recent “Alligators in North Carolina” workshop, conducted by Coastal Outreach Education Specialist Mike Campbell at Lake Waccamaw. If you’ve never attended a workshop by Campbell, I recommend doing so. He has an engaging manner and a lecture style that make the workshop informative, funny at times, and always enjoyable. Campbell began the four-hour workshop with a discussion on alligators — their habitats, habits, human interactions, ranges, mating preferences, calls, those sorts of things — an “Alligators for Dummies,” if you will.

By NCWRC blogger on 4/28/2012 9:07 AM

On Saturday morning, teams from schools across the state arrived at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s 34th Hunter Education Tournament.

Here’s how it breaks down, by the numbers:

High school students: 341

Middle school students: 259

Tents in staging area: 36

Rain: None yet

Port-a-johns: 16

Shuttle buses from parking lot: 3

Boxes of skeet: 50

Skeet per box: 135

Bows: About 300

Parents and coaches gathered around the scoreboard at 10 a.m.: 12

By NCWRC blogger on 4/27/2012 7:23 PM
It’s 5:30 p.m. on Friday, and the shooting range is quiet.

So’s the archery range, orienteering course and parking lot, for that matter.

But come 7 a.m. Saturday morning, the situation will change. Here at the Millstone 4-H Center near Ellerbe, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will host the 34th annual Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament.

This popular state championship for pre-collegiate shooting sports annually draws participants and spectators from across North Carolina. An estimated 3,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event.

The parking lot will fill with teams from 54 schools across North Carolina, proud parents, siblings and picnic lunches in tow. Students will be ready to take aim with shotguns and bows, and test their wildlife knowledge and orienteering skills.

Long before the students arrive, however, the several dozen volunteers, Hunter Education Instructors, Hunter Education Specialists, officers from the Commission’s Division of Law Enforcement and other agency staff have shown up to make sure the camp is ready for the students. Ranges have been set up. Archery targets sit in a stack, waiting to be used. Sunscreen, water and television scoreboards are readied.

By NCWRC blogger on 4/26/2012 8:28 AM
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will host the 34th annual Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament on Saturday, April 28, at the Millstone 4-H Center near Ellerbe. This popular state championship for pre-collegiate shooting sports annually draws participants and spectators from across North Carolina. An estimated 3,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event. “This is the highest level of shooting sports competition of its kind in the state,” said Travis Casper, state hunter education coordinator. “Besides the hundreds of participants who qualified to get here at a district level, several hundred more spectators typically show up. We invite anyone with an interest in shooting sports to attend and there’s no admission charge.”

Competition is conducted on senior (high school) and junior (middle and elementary schools) divisional levels, with overall team...
By NCWRC blogger on 4/18/2012 11:09 AM
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will host the 34th annual Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament on Saturday, April 28, at the Millstone 4-H Center near Ellerbe. This popular state championship for pre-collegiate shooting sports annually draws participants and spectators from across North Carolina. An estimated 3,000 people are expected to attend this year’s event.

“This is the highest level of shooting sports competition of its kind in the state,” said Travis Casper, state hunter education coordinator. “Besides the hundreds of participants who qualified to get here at a district level, several hundred more spectators typically show up. We invite anyone with an interest in shooting sports to attend and there’s no admission charge.”

Competition is conducted on senior (high school) and junior (middle and elementary...
By NCWRC blogger on 4/4/2012 8:00 AM
If you missed the first two workshops, Amphibians in North Carolina, there’s still time to register for the third and final workshop this spring. “Amphibians and Reptiles in North Carolina” will be held on April 18, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Carolina Beach State Park in New Hanover County.

N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission personnel Jeff Hall and Mike Campbell once again will be conducting this workshop. Hall is a herpetologist with the Commission, as well as coordinator of the North Carolina chapter of Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation — a partnership dedicated to the conservation of reptiles, amphibians and their habitats. Campbell is an education specialist for the Commission in southeastern North Carolina.

The workshop is free and open to participants 16 years old and older who want to learn more about “herps,” as...
By NCWRC blogger on 4/2/2012 11:50 AM
Fishing from a kayak takes a special set of skills that many anglers would like to develop. If you’re one of them, don’t miss out on the free “Kayak Fish and Float Workshop,” — a full-day workshop that combines the healthy activity of kayaking with the relaxing sport of fishing.

Spots are still open for the workshop, which will be held at the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center in Fayetteville on April 14 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

With the help of Mark Patterson, of the N.C. Kayak Fishing Association, and Capt. Jerry Dilsaver, participants will learn how to rig their gear while in a kayak and learn fishing basics for bass, mackerel and assorted panfishes. 

The workshop, which will also feature demonstrations of popular fishing kayaks, is a partnership between the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the Great Outdoor Provision Company and Get Outdoors of Greensboro.

Participants must pre-register and pay a refundable fee of $25. The fee is refunded in full after the participant...
By NCWRC blogger on 3/26/2012 9:21 AM
Consider it Hunger Games training, without the peril.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will offer two free weeklong day camps for teens, ages 13-17, this summer at its Centennial Campus Center for Wildlife Education in Raleigh.

The first camp, “Becoming an Outdoors Diva,” is for girls only, on June 25-29, and modeled on the popular Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program for adult women.

The second, “Camp-Outdoor-Rageous,” is for boys and girls, on July 9-13.

Both camps build self-reliance while teaching outdoor skills and conservation. Activities take place on the Centennial Campus of N.C. State University and Lake Raleigh. The daily camp times are 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Teens must apply...
By NCWRC blogger on 3/15/2012 3:04 PM
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will be among the exhibitors at the Fourth Annual Cape Fear Wildlife Expo, March 16-18, in the Wilmington Convention Center at 515 Nutt Street in downtown Wilmington.

The Wildlife Expo features outdoor exhibits and demonstrations on hunting, fishing and boating, as well as camping, wildlife art and more.

The Commission’s contributions to the Expo will consist of fish-and-game exhibits and activities with youth- and family-oriented themes, including:

·         A simulated waterfowl hunt called “Mallard Madness” that features laser shot;

·         A Huntmaster mobile lift demonstration to illustrate how the Commission helps provide hunting opportunities for sportsmen and women who are mobility impaired;

·         A magazine display where visitors can subscribe to the award-winning Wildlife in North Carolina magazine;

By NCWRC blogger on 2/24/2012 8:31 AM
What looks like a dragon, swims like a fish and only occurs in two drainages in North Carolina? It’s the Neuse River waterdog, and biologists are surveying for this species of special concern to determine how it is faring in the wilds of North Carolina.


Neuse River waterdogs can reach sizes of up to 11 inches, and, like their name, live in the Neuse River, and also the Tar-Pamlico River. The presence or absence of these fascinating-looking critters in these rivers and their tributaries may indicate the status of the water quality. No waterdogs could mean negative changes have adversely affected the water bodies.


Sadly, biologists suspect the species may be on the decline. About 30 years ago, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences surveyed 360 sites for the salamanders. Today, biologists are going back and resurveying...
By NCWRC blogger on 2/21/2012 3:57 PM

Do you yearn to learn about salamanders, frogs and toads, collectively known as amphibians? What about snakes, lizards and alligators, collectively known as reptiles? If so, join N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission personnel Jeff Hall and Mike Campbell for one of three workshops they are conducting in February and March for anyone 16 years and older who is conservation-minded and doesn’t care about the possibility of getting their shoes wet and dirty.  


Two of the workshops — the Feb. 29 workshop at Camp Agape and the April 5 workshop at Cool Springs Environmental Education Center — will focus on amphibians. Both will start at 9 a.m. and end at 4 p.m., with classroom instruction in the morning on conservation, basic biology and habitat requirements of frogs, toads and salamanders, as well as the effects...
By NCWRC blogger on 2/10/2012 3:09 PM
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has set the schedule for the 2012 Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournaments, marking the 34th year for the popular statewide shooting sports events.  Hundreds of middle school and high school students will participate in this incentive component of Hunter Education Program.

The past 10 years have witnessed a tremendous growth. For example, in 2001 there were 12 teams competing in my district, D-7, and there were 42 teams last year. In 2011, there were 218 teams total in the nine district tournaments.

I recently met with a couple of schools that had inquired on how to start a team. This has become a rather common inquiry this time of year. Here are a few of the more common questions asked by school administrators, potential coaches and community leaders.

How do we get started? Generally, I send the administrator a copy of the rules and schedule a meeting to discuss eligibility requirements, general safety rules, and the basic competition structure. I...
By NCWRC blogger on 2/6/2012 10:32 AM
Traditionalists would have us believe that anniversary presents should follow this pattern: 

·         1st anniversary, paper

·         5th anniversary, wood

·         10th anniversary, tin

·         15th anniversary, crystal

·         20th anniversary, china

·         25th anniversary, silver

·         50th anniversary, gold

·         75th anniversary, diamond

That diamond for the 75th anniversary gift sound good to you?  Willing to trade it for what the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) has behind the curtain?

Hope so, because no diamond can come close to the $14 billion doled out by the USFWS to support fish and wildlife conservation over the past 75 years.

Through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, the USFWS works with state fish and wildlife agencies such as the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission to administer several innovative fish and wildlife restoration and management programs....
By NCWRC blogger on 2/1/2012 12:54 PM
The number of women hunters in North Carolina keeps increasing, statistics from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission show.

While overall hunting license sales have fluctuated somewhat in recent years, the number of women buying hunting licenses in the state has steadily gone up, according to Harvey White with the Commission’s Administrative Services Division.

This can be attributed to numerous factors, but there are a couple we’d like to acknowledge and promote: - The Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program.  This program for women 18 and older provides hands-on experiences in a variety of outdoor instructional activities, including hunting. The next big activity is a weekend workshop on April 13-15 at the Eastern 4-H Conference Center in Columbia, N.C. The...
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 1/18/2012 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 12/29/2011 2:19 PM
With the holidays over and January looking like one big yawn of nothing to do but sit inside and wait for warmer weather, do you need a reason to get outside and get moving? If so, the Wildlife Resources Commission has plenty of reasons — 1,000 to be exact.

That’s how many catchable-sized brown, rainbow and brook trout the agency stocked recently in two ponds at the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center in Fayetteville. Some mighty nice-looking trout went into the ponds. The Commission stocked the trout in anticipation of four fly-fishing clinics that it, in partnership with Fayetteville-Cumberland Parks and Recreation, is conducting in January and February.

Three basic skills clinics are scheduled for Jan. 7, 21 and Feb. 4.  These basic skills clinics are ideal for participants who have very limited or no experience with fly-fishing. Qualified...
By NCWRC blogger on 12/21/2011 11:13 AM
See the Wildlife Commission’s Mobile Aquarium and talk to Division of Inland Fisheries staff at the upcoming Bass and Saltwater Fishing Expo, Jan. 6-8, at the fairgrounds located at 1025 Blue Ridge Road in Raleigh.

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 eat ‘em, but it’s a good chance to see live game fish and non-game fish up close and personal.  You can also get some face time with Wildlife Commission fisheries staff to chat up fishing or the latest fisheries management work being conducted on your favorite reservoirs and rivers. Tight...

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