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

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By NCWRC blogger on 2/28/2012 9:57 AM
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will close approximately 1,000 miles of hatchery-supported waters to fishing one-half hour after sunset on Feb. 29 and reopen them at 7 a.m. on April 7. 

 The Commission closes hatchery-supported waters so that personnel can have all the streams stocked for “opening day.” This year, Commission personnel will stock nearly 878,000 trout, with 96 percent of the stocked fish averaging 10 inches in length and the other four percent exceeding 14 inches in length.

Most hatchery-supported waters, which are marked by green-and-white signs, are stocked repeatedly from March until August every year with catchable-size trout that average 10 inches in length. Many of these waters are stocked monthly, although some heavily fished waters are stocked more frequently. 

Find out where to go fishing by downloading a trout fishing map for each county. These maps  give anglers a guide to fishing...
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 2/21/2012 1:25 PM
A Georgia man apprehended in North Carolina was sentenced to pay a $20,000 fine, and ordered to serve six months’ probation for attempting to transport deer illegally from Pennsylvania to Georgia.

Donald Lee Vaughn, 48, of Villa Rica, Ga., had been apprehended in Yadkin County, where wildlife officers with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission determined that there were no transport permits of veterinary health certificates accompanying the deer. He pleaded guilty in federal court in Atlanta on Nov. 30, 2011.

“Shipping wildlife across state lines without testing for illness and disease potentially threatens the health of our wild deer population,” U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates said. “Experts tell us that once diseases spread, they are almost impossible to eradicate.”

Federal law requires that any deer shipped out of state must be tested for tuberculosis and accompanied by proper ear tags and a veterinarian’s certificate. In North Carolina, it is illegal for anyone to possess deer unless they have a proper license or permit and comply with its conditions. Otherwise, the animals are considered contraband and their continued possession is illegal.

...
By NCWRC blogger on 2/21/2012 10:45 AM
The 2012 stocking dates for the delayed-harvest season are now on the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s website as a downloadable PDF.

Delayed-harvest trout waters are stocked annually each March, April and May and again in October and November. This year, the Commission expects to stock more than 311,000 brook, brown and rainbow trout. Of the fish stocked, four percent will be more than 14 inches in length to provide an opportunity to catch larger fish, while the majority will be 10 inches or larger.

 

When anglers are fishing delayed-harvest waters, they cannot harvest or possess any fish from Oct. 1 until one-half hour after sunset on the first Friday in June.  They can only fish with single-hook, artificial lures . No natural bait is allowed. An artificial lure is defined as a fishing lure that neither contains nor has been treated with any substance that attracts fish by the sense of taste...
By NCWRC blogger on 2/16/2012 11:33 AM
The next time you’re fishing Lake Thom-a-Lex, a 650-acre reservoir located in Davidson County, look for white buoys with orange stripes to increase your chances of reeling in a nice catch. That’s because those white buoys mark the spots where staff with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recently dropped fish attractors — in an effort to enhance underwater habitat, attract fish and improve fishing opportunities.

Leading the effort was Keith Hendrickson, a fisheries technician with the Division of Inland Fisheries. He and other division staff placed 20 Mossback fish attractors throughout the lake on Feb. 1, dropping several near the fishing pier, which should help anglers fishing from the bank and the pier catch more fish. 

Unlike Christmas trees or other woody structure often used as fish attractors, Mossback fish attractors are made of plastic so they won’t decompose and, Hendrickson added, they should last for years.

...
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 2/7/2012 11:30 AM
If you appreciate art, love wildlife, and enjoy the outdoors, a road trip to Washington, N.C., should be on your itinerary this weekend.  Along the scenic waterfront of this small Inner Banks town is where the 17th Annual East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships gets under way, starting Friday at 9 a.m. 

Stop by the Washington Civic Center Friday night to see the unveiling of the portrait that will become the 2012 North Carolina Waterfowl Conservation Stamp and Print, also known as the North Carolina duck stamp.

This is the first year that the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is offering the print and stamp at a special price of $120 — that’s $25 off the normal price. We’ll have a booth set up in the Civic Center on the stage and will take payments for advance purchases — credit card, personal checks and cash — the entire weekend. The print and stamp will be available on July 1.

Commission personnel also will be selling subscriptions...
By NCWRC blogger on 2/6/2012 12:24 PM
There are a variety of reasons the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is proposing to make night hunting of feral hogs and coyotes legal in North Carolina, not the least of which is that feral hogs are a non-native species and coyotes are an invasive species that can be destructive to the landscape across the state.

And while hunting during daylight hours is one option, both species are very intelligent and adaptable.   “Hunting in daylight can be effective, but it teaches coyotes and swine, which are very intelligent animals, to just come out at night to avoid being hunted,” said Perry Sumner, a biologist and section manager with the Commission. “Plus, at night, it’s easier to spot them without them seeing you.”

Coyotes first made their appearance...
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....

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