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

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Author: Created: 11/30/2011 10:30 AM
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission Blog
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.

Before 1982, North Carolina had no breeding pairs of bald eagles. Because of the eagle restoration work, and the expansion of eagle populations in neighboring states, North Carolina now has more than 125 nesting...
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 1/3/2013 3:03 PM
It began more than 10 years ago as a casual conversation between two avid fly fishermen and a Wildlife Commissioner.

The subject? Trucking trout down from the mountains — the only place these cold water-loving fish can live throughout the year —to a couple of small ponds at a fishing education center in Fayetteville in the dead of winter, and conducting fly-fishing clinics for local anglers.

That conversation between Bowman Smith and Tom Morketter and former Wildlife Commission Chairman John E. Pechmann morphed into some of the most popular fishing events held every year at the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center.

Every December since 2002, Division of Inland Fisheries staff has loaded a hatchery truck and driven approximately 1,000 brook, brown and rainbow trout from the Bobby N. Setzer Fish Hatchery in Brevard to the Pechmann Center in Fayetteville. The 5-hour trek is the Commission’s way of“bringing the fish to the people” — in this case, bringing the trout down the mountains to...
By NCWRC blogger on 12/21/2012 1:25 PM
Once the gifts are unwrapped and the turkey is eaten on Christmas Day, forgo that comfy couch and instead head outdoors with your binoculars and bird ID guide in hand to participate in the longest-running citizen-science survey in the world.

Now in its 113th Year, the Annual Audubon 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 and each count is conducted on a specific day. Once you sign up,you’ll find a list of more than 50 Christmas Bird Count circles located across the state, as well as the email addresses for the count compilers. Some count compilers request pre-registrations. Others just advise you to show up on the day of the count.

...
By NCWRC blogger on 12/20/2012 11:02 AM
Successful crappie fishing in winter can be as simple as finding baitfish. So, where to look? As the water temps this time of year really start to plunge, baitfish leave the shallows and head to the main creek and river channels. They pack into huge schools and often suspend directly over the channel. When this happens, you can bet the larger predator fish will be close. This is when a fish finder really will come in handy. It not only will show you where the channels are, but it also will show you big schools of baitfish, along with the larger fish hanging below the bait or at least near the bait. Many fishermen will automatically think they need to run down to the deep water near the dam, but on many reservoirs, these large pods of bait will gather in the deepest water just down from the upper dam. This can be a mile or two down...
By NCWRC blogger on 12/14/2012 2:35 PM
Nothing can discourage a new hunter, or a seasoned sportsman, quicker than a miserable hunt. Unexpected weather, poor planning and lack of equipment can all lead to a hunt that, well, didn’t seem worth leaving the truck for.

We’ve compiled some tips that may not ensure harvesting yourdream buck, but will make sure you arrive home safe, warm and in one piece.

Here goes.

Always bring rain gear. Nothing guarantees a surprise gully washer like forgetting the things that keep you dry. Purchase your license well in advance. Review and follow safety procedures to avoid hurting yourself, a friend or a non-hunter. Also review regulations if you aren’t sure of the laws. Even if you think you are sure, it never hurts to review them again. ...

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