RALEIGH, N.C. (Nov. 22, 2011) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has approved proposed changes to the state’s hunting, fishing and trapping regulations for 2012-13.
Following a process of reviewing public comments received online, by letter and at public hearings across the state, the Commission voted on the proposed regulation changes at its Nov. 10 meeting.
Changes include lengthening the bear hunting season in Greene, Halifax, Lenoir, Martin, Northampton and Pitt counties and opening a bear hunting season in Edgecombe, Harnett, Johnston, Nash, Stokes, Vance, Warren, Wayne and Wilson counties. Bear seasons in Yadkin, Iredell, Alexander and Catawba counties have changed, and portions of Cleveland, Burke and Surry counties that are currently closed to bear hunting will be opened.
The Commission also has increased the general statewide minimum size limit for smallmouth and spotted bass, and increased the minimum size limit for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass in Public Mountain Trout Waters and waters in and west of Madison, Buncombe, Henderson and Polk counties. These changes establish a general statewide minimum size limit of 14 inches for largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass. The remaining proposals presented at the public hearings in September were adopted by the Commission with a few minor changes, which included:
- Modifying the downstream boundary on Cane Creek in Mitchell County at the request of the landowner, therefore retaining an additional 0.3 mile as Public Mountain Trout Waters
- Withdrawing a proposal to increase the minimum size limit for striped bass and their hybrids in B. Everett Jordan Reservoir and maintaining the current 20-inch minimum size limit and 4-fish daily creel limit.
- Withdrawing a proposal for grass carp in Lake Tillery. Protection is not currently warranted given the level of invasive aquatic vegetation control and potential negative impacts to native vegetation
- Postponing action on proposed primary nursery areas for further evaluation of the process for designating primary nursery areas in inland waters
- Postponing a vote on captive cervid proposals until the Commission can determine the financial impact of those proposals.
For a complete list of the 2012-13 proposals as presented at the public hearings, download the “Public Hearings Booklet.” For more information on the Commission’s rulemaking process, see “From Proposal to Regulation.”