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

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By NCWRC blogger on 11/10/2014 3:21 PM
On Thursday, Oct. 30, 13 Fly-Fishing volunteers at the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education completed their training on the Wulff School of Fly-Fishing method.  These volunteers with utilize this training during the Basic Fly-Fishing Clinics that are held at the Pechmann Center during the months of January, February and March. 

The intensive training program was held every other Thursday for six weeks and challenged the volunteers to learn a new method of teaching.  Key components of the Wulff School Method include: hands-on teaching, correct casting form, and mechanics.  A few comments from participants are below:

 “Probably the single most important item I learned is the construction of a good cast. I have noticed that my casting has improved through this training.”   

-          Rod MacLean


“I have been able to pinpoint some of the flaws in my casting. I was never taught to cast. I began fly fishing 30 years ago. I developed my own cast and later had to modify it due to military-related injury. I do not have full range of motion in my right shoulder. Due to that injury, it is unlikely I will have a flawless, Joan Wulff style cast, but my cast has improved and my ability to teach others has definitely improved.” 

By NCWRC blogger on 11/4/2014 7:01 AM

[Editor’s Note: In the Twitterverse, David Cook (‏@davidco71875026) recently tweeted, “@NCWildlife  — Wish there were more brook trout in upper Tellico River.” We checked with Fisheries Biologists Powell Wheeler and Jake Rash in WNC who replied with information not only about the trout in the upper Tellico, but also the land management work being done by the U.S. Forest Service, and the aquatic habitat in the Tellico that portends better trout fishing in the future.]

david cook ‏@davidco71875026 — “Wish there were more brook trout in upper Tellico River.” 9:50 AM - 2 Nov 2014

Response from Powell Wheeler and Jake Rash: The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission does not stock the Tellico River because it contains wild trout. Also, because the Tellico River is on U.S. Forest Service property (Cherokee Co.), it “defaults” to Wild Trout...
By NCWRC blogger on 10/24/2014 9:14 AM
By Kacy Cook, Land Conservation Biologist

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission would like to give a big shout-out of thanks to Surry County and the Surry County Natural Resources Committee for hosting one of our latest Green Growth Toolbox workshops.  Debbie Garris with the Natural Resources Committee organized a lunch from the Lunch Room Coffee House of Pilot Mountain that was locally grown and delicious!  The Natural Resources Committee organized the venue at the Elkin Center of Surry Community College and provided everyone with a honey pot of locally harvested honey.

The Green Growth Toolbox and our workshop provide information, conservation mapping data and case studies regarding how to integrate conservation of declining priority wildlife habitat and...
By NCWRC blogger on 10/21/2014 5:47 PM

Since its first appearance in 1981, the Wildlife in North Carolina State Fair button has become a collector’s item for thousands of people who visit the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s State Fair tent each year. 


The Eastern gray squirrel, with its furry tail and beady eyes, graced the first button; in the last 33 years, a variety of native animals — from birds to reptiles to mammals — have been featured on the button. 


History of the Wildlife in North Carolina Button


To help market the agency’s magazine, Wildlife in North Carolina, the Division of Conservation Education created the 1½-inch button as a giveaway item back in 1981. And while everyone thought it was an ingenious way to promote the magazine, no one expected the button to grow into the must-have item it has become today. Folks like B.L. Harris of Winterville come to the Commission’s tent each year just to get their button.

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 to a separate species...
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.


Recent Entries

Trout Fishing in the Upper Tellico River
"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

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