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Author: Created: 11/30/2011 10:30 AM
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Blog
By NCWRC blogger on 6/27/2012 12:29 PM
Boating safety means being prepared. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is helping by offering pre-launch boat safety checks this summer to make sure the required equipment is onboard, and to answer any questions that could help prevent a citation or accident.

Here are some recent comments that wildlife officers have heard from boaters after four pre-launch boating safety checks in the Piedmont.

As one boater from Mooresville explained to Master Officer Kenneth Osborne, "This was extremely helpful as our family is fairly new to boating.  We'd much rather make sure that we have everything right before hitting the water than get a ticket and have to pay a fine.  Most importantly, we'll feel much safer on the water now, knowing that we have all the safety equipment that we need.”

Another boater, being assisted by Wildlife Officer Scott Strickland, said, "We were short two life jackets and had no idea.  If something had gone wrong, who knows what could have happened?"  The group went directly to a nearby marina and purchased two PFDs and hit the water.

...
By NCWRC blogger on 6/20/2012 9:47 AM

This weekend is Operation Dry Water 2012, an annual nationwide campaign with law enforcement officers from local, state and federal agencies out in force June 22-24 to remind boaters that it is unsafe, as well as illegal, to operate a boat under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. In North Carolina, penalties upon conviction include a maximum $1,000 fine and possible jail time.

 

Alcohol consumption by boaters affects:

  • Peripheral vision and ability to focus
  • Judgment and rational decision-making
  • Balance and equilibrium
  • Coordination and reaction time

 

Wind and waves, combined with heat, glare, motor noise and vibration can create a condition known as “boater fatigue.”  It can magnify the effects of alcohol on some individuals up to three times.

By NCWRC blogger on 6/14/2012 12:54 PM
Did you remember that Father’s Day is this Sunday? If so, and you’ve already gotten his present — well good for you! If, on the other hand, you forgot that June 17 is that special day to celebrate dad, then check out some of these gift ideas, which are all available at the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s online N.C. Wild Store.

No matter if your dad hunts, fishes or just enjoys the outdoors, the Wild Store has a product we’re sure he will like.

A perfect gift for nearly every dad (or for yourself for that matter), is a subscription to Wildlife in North Carolina, the agency’s award-winning publication, which features stunning photographs and well-written articles on Tarheel wildlife, their habitats, wildlife research, and other interrelated natural resource topics. A one-year subscription is just $12, while a three-year subscription is $30. Both subscription options include two special edition guides — one in the spring on fishing and the other...
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 6/1/2012 10:24 AM
Fishing just got a little easier — well, finding fishing holes just got a little easier now that the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has added a map of nearly 550 fish attractors placed in 50 of the most popular lakes, reservoirs and lakes throughout the state.

Complementing the fish attractor map are GPS coordinates, which anglers can import using a text file, an Excel file or a GPX (GPS Exchange Format) file.

If you’re using a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device, you can access the map using the agency’s new mobile website. Just tap the “Fish Attractors” icon on the Maps tab.

The Commission added another map to its mobile website for anglers who are fishing along the coast and want to know if they’re fishing in joint or coastal waters. The Coastal/Joint Waters Map also is located under the Maps tab on the mobile website.

Check out both maps here.

...
By NCWRC blogger on 5/31/2012 8:36 AM
“How will I recognize it?”  I asked.

We were starting a series of surveys for the federally endangered Cape Fear shiner in 2007.  This unique, golden fish is found only in the Cape Fear river basin of North Carolina, and we were on a mission to ascertain its current status in the state.

“Oh, you’ll know it when you see it,” they assured me.

So I dutifully picked up my end of the seine and proceeded to stare intently at the endless piles of shiners we collected, humming, “Which one of these is not like the other…?”

The Cape Fear shiner is a member of the Notropis genus, approximately 18 of which live in North Carolina. Just within the Cape Fear basin, there are four or five Notropis species that are extremely difficult to distinguish from our target species.

“Look for...
By NCWRC blogger on 5/24/2012 8:15 AM
Last Report of the 2012 Striped Bass Season on the Roanoke River

On Tuesday, biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission completed their last spawning stock assessment of the season. They collected about 75 striped bass while electrofishing at Weldon. According to Jeremy McCargo, a few stragglers are left, but for the most part the striped bass have made their way back down the river to the Albemarle Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.

Many thanks to the folks who made the fishing report possible this year: Jeremy McCargo, Chad Thomas, Ben Ricks and Kevin Dockendorf, who provided valuable field assistance, as well as provided updates for the fishing report throughout the season. Pete Kornegay and Frank McBride provided timely information from the creel survey that greatly assisted the report.

Without their weekly input, these reports could not have been written.

A special thanks to Charlton Godwin and Division of Marine Fisheries staff, as well as Julie Harris with N.C. State...
By NCWRC blogger on 5/17/2012 8:29 AM
Visit the Striped Bass Fishing page for more information on striped bass fishing in the Roanoke River.

After a flurry of heavy fishing activity during late April and early May, fishing effort on the Roanoke River has slowed dramatically this week. The few fishermen giving it a try, however, are still reporting decent catches of striped bass. Jeremy McCargo, Ben Ricks and Kevin Dockendorf, fisheries biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, sampled the river with electrofishing techniques on Tuesday and collected around 400 striped bass. The fish were measured, tagged, and released.  While on the river, McCargo reported only four boats fishing for striped bass.

As in the last few weeks, stripers have been scattered from the Weldon boat ramp downstream beyond Troublefield Gut.  McCargo’s sampling revealed fish were schooled up in pockets, indicating that anglers should...
By NCWRC blogger on 5/10/2012 7:50 AM
Visit the Striped Bass Fishing page for more information on striped bass fishing in the Roanoke River.

The peak of the striped bass spawning season on the Roanoke River has likely passed, but plenty of fish remain on the spawning grounds and anglers are continuing to catch them.

Jeremy McCargo, Ben Ricks and Kevin Dockendorf, fisheries biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, sampled the river on Tuesday and collected approximately 600 fish. As has been the case most of the season, McCargo reported that the fish were scattered from the boat ramp past Troublefield Gut. Although the majority of the sample was smaller fish, the stripers ranged in size from 12 inches through 36 inches and included female stripers that McCargo said were “fresh fish” meaning they had yet to spawn.

Catch-and- release fishing has been good since the harvest season closed at the end of...
By NCWRC blogger on 5/9/2012 10:13 AM
Yes, it’s cute.

It has white spots, a sweet face and skinny little legs, and looks so very alone sitting in the brush by itself.  

What’s a well-meaning person to do, but bring that fawn home, take care of it and make it a pet?

Please don’t.

While that fawn might look abandoned, it’s probably not. White-tailed deer are a “hider species,” meaning a doe hides her young in brush, grass or other vegetation during the first two or three weeks of its life while she feeds. Sometimes, a well-intentioned person might approach the fawn, and, thinking it is abandoned, try and rescue it. This can be hazardous to both the people and the deer. And despite how helpless it looks, a fawn is well-equipped to protect itself. By the time it is 5 days old, already it can outrun a human. At 3 to 6 weeks of age, fawns can escape most predators.

Moving a young fawn can stress it, and cause it illness or death. In addition, a friendly fawn will soon grow into an adult deer, and can become aggressive and dangerous. Also, a deer that is used to people can’t be released — as it is ill-equipped to live in the wild.

...

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