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

Comments to Conserve & Protect blog site are encouraged.
The site is monitored and we ask that all comments:

  • Be respectful and relevant.
  • Do not defame, threaten or otherwise violate the rights, such as privacy, of others.
  • Do not advertise or promote a product or service.
  • Do not violate any applicable laws or regulations, or promote unsafe or illegal actions.

**This is a monitored site and all comments are subject to public records law. Comments made after the close of business, on weekends and holidays will be posted the following work day.

View Blog

By NCWRC blogger on 10/10/2014 3:22 PM
Fish Catchmore ‏@Catch_more_fish  · Oct 8 

@NCWildlife does anyone know if Lake Norman has Coosa or "Bama" spotted bass? We know there is Kentucky spotted bass but rumor has both.

NC Wildlife ‏@NCWildlife  · Oct 8 

@Catch_more_fish We're forwarding your question to District Fisheries Biologist responsible for Norman & surrounding counties. Stay tuned!

By: Lawrence G. Dorsey, District 6 Fisheries Biologist

In the early years of the spotted bass introduction, the rumor circulated among anglers was that spotted bass in Lake Norman were stocked from reservoirs in Alabama that contained what at that time were classified as a subspecies of spotted bass called Alabama spotted bass. In recent years, these fish, which are endemic to Alabama, have been elevated...
By NCWRC blogger on 9/30/2014 1:32 PM
By Dan Meadows

[Editor’s Note: Dan Meadows is a volunteer Hunter Education Program instructor in District 9 in western NC.] 

I had the opportunity to attend a great seminar last week at the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education, in Brevard (Transylvania Co.). The "Hunter Mentor Seminar," put on by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, was attended by Western North Carolina hunters who truly understand and value the need to focus their mentoring efforts toward North Carolina's new hunters.

I would like to thank Walter "Deet" James, Jr., who traveled from Raleigh to present this Hunter Mentor Seminar to those who were in attendance. Great job Deet!

Hunter mentors, both men and women alike, pass along their knowledge, skills and abilities that are needed for safe hunting...
By NCWRC blogger on 9/11/2014 9:54 AM
By Kacy Cook, Land Conservation Biologist, Division of Wildlife Management, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

Research and survey work conducted by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission often relies on conservation partnerships to share resources, knowledge and staff. So, it should surprise no one that grant applications depend equally on conservation partnerships to succeed.

The Wildlife Commission needs to write many Thank You letters for the $1.1 million that we received earlier this week from the U.S. Department of Interior for conservation of red-cockaded woodpeckers and habitat in the Sandhills. But, first, we want to acknowledge our partners publicly.

By NCWRC blogger on 8/11/2014 7:23 AM
Editor’s Note: Reprinted with permission from the Greenville Daily Reflector (, courtesy of Abbie Bennett, writer.

Download a PDF of the article as it appeared in the Greenville Daily Reflector.

Hunting laws change to deal with population From cuddly plush toy to roaring predator, bears have a reputation that both frightens and fascinates. But the reality lies somewhere between the two extremes, officials said.

There are three species of bears native to North America — the polar bear, the brown (grizzly bear) and the black bear. The only species found in North Carolina — or in the eastern United States — is the black bear.

As the weather turns warmer, more people are encountering black bears. Summer, particularly July and August, is when bears are on the move, according to wildlife officials. Mature males seek females during this breeding period and mother bears drive off juvenile males who must seek their own territory. A family of black bears already made an appearance in Pitt County recently: A mother and cubs explored a residential area off of Corey Road near Boyd Lee Park.

By NCWRC blogger on 7/29/2014 2:14 PM
The muzzleloader deer hunting season has been renamed the “blackpowder season.” (See page 41 of the 2014-2015 Regulations Digest.) The name change has prompted some questions. Here are some clarifying points:

During the blackpowder and archery deer season, the only lawful firearms are blackpowder shotguns, blackpowder rifles and blackpowder handguns.

This means that both blackpowder firearms and archery equipment are lawful methods of take during the blackpowder season, which is the same as it was under previous muzzleloading seasons. It does not indicate that blackpowder is lawful during the archery season. 

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission defines blackpowder firearms as any firearm — including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock,...
By NCWRC blogger on 7/25/2014 9:11 AM
(Editor’s Note: Zakk Royce caught and released this 70+ pound blue catfish earlier this week from Lake Gaston in Northampton County. Zakk did not get the actual weight of the brute before he released it back into Gaston because the blue cat pegged his hand-held scale that maxed out at 70 pounds. Zakk does most of his fishing in Gaston, where he hopes to start a guide service after getting his captain’s license. Keep reading to see Zakk describe in his words how he managed to hook and land this giant blue cat — one of many that the Murfreesboro [Hertford Co.] resident has reeled in from Gaston.)


I was using whole gizzard shad around 8- to 12-inches long that I had caught earlier that morning on the lake using my cast net. I had been fishing since about 5 a.m., but I actually caught the big blue catfish at two in the afternoon. We also caught plenty of other blue catfish but none close to that big that day.

By NCWRC blogger on 6/18/2014 9:07 AM
  COLUMBIA, N.C. (June 17, 2014) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will hold a public hearing this Thursday, June 19, to receive comments on proposed temporary rules regarding coyote hunting in the five-county red wolf reintroduction area in northeastern North Carolina.

The hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the auditorium of Columbia High School, located at 902 East Main Street in Columbia (Tyrrell Co.).

The temporary rules fulfill the requirements of a federal court order that prohibits taking of coyotes in Dare, Tyrrell, Hyde, Beaufort and Washington counties, day or night, except under extremely limited circumstances. The prohibition is already in effect.

Learn more from our news release about Thursday’s hearing.

Read the federal court order (PDF)....
By NCWRC blogger on 6/11/2014 1:13 PM

Why Does the Wildlife Commission Conduct Prescribed Burns?

The Wildlife Commission conducts prescribed burns to improve wildlife habitat. In North Carolina, prescribed burning most commonly is conducted between January and March, when most trees are less active metabolically. However, winter burns do not completely kill young hardwoods, and they promote resprouting from the base of each plant’s stem. Therefore, repeated burns conducted during the growing season (spring) eventually kill hardwood stems, allowing a diversity of grasses, herbs, and wildflowers to develop. These herbaceous plants typically are more valuable to wildlife than the hardwood sprouts.

Why does the Wildlife Commission Conduct Prescribed Burns during Hunting Season (spring)?

We are often asked why we conduct prescribed burns when we do, particularly during hunting season, and in the early spring when ground nesting...
By NCWRC blogger on 6/10/2014 9:03 AM

[Editor’s Note: Linda Chamblee of Raleigh sent us this story and photo about a seemingly abandoned fawn being rescued at Shelley Lake Park in north Raleigh. Keep reading to see who actually “rescued” the fawn, and to learn what you should do if you come across a lone fawn in the wild.]

I spotted this fawn on the evening of June 1 at Shelley Lake in Raleigh, only six feet off the path hidden in the leaves and trees. People kept walking by, but nobody saw the fawn. I brought my husband back, and he said it was only days old and that the mother had left it there to go eat and she would be back.

I was so worried about the fawn, I went back down to the lake the next morning...
By NCWRC blogger on 2/20/2014 9:32 AM
[Editor’s Note:Since the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission started its Facebook page in January 2012, our “What Is It Wednesday?” feature has been a popular weekly feature — sometimes even generating more Likes, Shares and Comments than all other combined FB posts during the same week. Eventually, we knew that we’d come across a WIIW post for which no definitive answer could be provided — even by Wildlife Commission staff. That day is upon us. Read on for the back story of the bear/rabbit/sabre tooth tiger/Yeti track in the snow, and a summary of an informal conversation among four WRC Wildlife Biologists as they hypothesized what the enlarged/distorted track in melting snow might be.]

Message and Photo Sent to WRC FB Page

“I live in the Davidson County part of Clemmons, NC (on the Yadkin River). I found this...

Recent Entries

"Bama" Spotted Bass in Lake Norman?
The Importance of Hunter Mentors
Black Bears Rebound in State by Abbie Bennett
Blackpowder Hunting Clarified
The Monster Blue Cats of Lake Gaston
Prescribed Burns Explained
Shelley Lake Fawn Rescued by Linda Chamblee
“WIIW” Gone Wild!

Search Blog

You must be logged in and have permission to create or edit a blog.