on Feb 09, 2010 12:00 AM • Views 3568

WAYNESVILLE, N.C. (Feb. 9, 2010) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission received the “Big Creek Award for Partner of the Year” from the Haywood Waterways Association during the association’s annual membership meeting in December.

Steve Fraley and Scott Loftis, Division of Inland Fisheries staff, accepted the award on behalf of the Commission. The agency was recognized for its efforts in protecting water quality and aquatic animals throughout the state, but particularly in Haywood County. A few examples of the Commission’s efforts in western North Carolina include:

  • Participating in the Maggie Valley Trout Festival and the “Kids in the Creek” program, an annual field trip for 8th grade students in Haywood County that provides opportunities for participants to collect and identify aquatic insects and fish, conduct water quality tests and learn more about stream ecology and the effects of water pollution;
  • Assisting with the Hyatt Creek Restoration Project by completing a fish survey of the entire watershed and donating temperature probes to evaluate stream water temperatures;
  • Serving on the Haywood Waterways Association’s Technical Advisory Committee, providing insight on key water resource issues in the county, and developing projects to address the issues.

Commission personnel are also leading the Pigeon River Recovery Project, a collaborative effort among many groups in western North Carolina and Tennessee, to restore native fish and mollusk populations in the Pigeon River, downstream of Canton. As part of the recovery effort, Commission staff has set up educational aquariums at several local schools.

In addition to working on projects that protect water quality, the Commission partnered with the Town of Waynesville and the Town of Canton to provide fishing access to physically challenged anglers by constructing universally accessible fishing piers on Richland Creek at Vance Street Park and on the Pigeon River in Canton.

For more information on fishing in public, inland waters, visit www.ncwildlife.org/fishing.

About Haywood Waterways Association
Haywood Waterways is recognized as one of the most important and successful local non-profit organizations working to protect and improve water quality. For more information or to become a member, visit www.haywoodwaterways.org.  Haywood Waterways Association is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt non-profit, charitable corporation; donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.

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About N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
Since 1947, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has been dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of the state's fish and wildlife resources through research, scientific management, wise use, and public input. The Commission is the state regulatory agency responsible for the enforcement of fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws and provides programs and opportunities for wildlife-related educational, recreational and sporting activities. To learn more, visit www.ncwildlife.org.

Get N.C. Wildlife Update – news including season dates, bag limits, legislative updates and more – delivered to your Inbox from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Go to www.ncwildlife.org/enews.