RALEIGH, N.C. (July 29, 2011) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has suspended channel catfish stockings at 31 of its Community Fishing Program sites in the Piedmont Region because of drought conditions and extreme heat. The Commission will resume stockings when the weather returns to more seasonable temperatures.
The recent period of hotter-than-normal temperatures has impacted the harvest and distribution of fish from the McKinney Lake Fish Hatchery, the facility responsible for stocking program sites in the region.
“High water temperatures make harvesting the fish from the hatchery ponds extremely stressful on the fish,” said David Deaton, fish production supervisor for the Commission’s Division of Inland Fisheries. “This handling stress, along with the stress of transporting, can lead to delayed mortality after the fish are stocked.”
Stocking of channel catfish is one of the many benefits city and county parks can receive when they join the Community Fishing Program, a cooperative venture between the Wildlife Resources Commission and local governments to provide more fishing opportunities in parks, particularly for the young, elderly and physically challenged. In addition to receiving catfish stockings, many of these sites have a handicapped-accessible fishing pier and solar-powered fish feeders.
Program expenses are cost-shared with local cooperators, with the Commission providing 75 percent of the operating funds through the Sport Fish Restoration Fund and local cooperators paying the remaining 25 percent.
“The program benefits everyone involved, from the Wildlife Commission, to the parks themselves to the people who visit the parks,” Deaton said. “When a park joins the Community Fishing Program, it becomes more than just a place to play on a playground or have a picnic, it becomes a place that offers enhanced fishing opportunities for visitors because of greater fish densities due to the supplemental stockings.”
Community Fishing Program sites that won’t receive stockings until weather conditions improve are:
- Cedarrock Park in Alamance County
- Frank Liske and T.N. Spenser Camp parks in Cabarrus County
- Rabbit Shuffle Pond in Caswell County
- Winston Pond, Kernersville Lake and C.G. Hill Memorial Park in Forsyth County
- Lake Devin in Granville County
- Bur-Mil, Country, Hagan-Stone and Oka T. Hester parks in Guilford County
- San-Lee Park in Lee County
- Freedom, Hornet’s Nest, McAlpine and Squirrel Lake parks in Mecklenburg County
- Lake Lure Marion in Moore County
- Anderson Community Park and Lake Michael in Orange County
- Hamlet City, Hinson and Indian Camp lakes; and Ellerbe Lion’s Club Community Park in Richmond County
- Apex Community Park, Bass, Fred G. Bond Metro Park, Harris and Shelley lakes; and Simpkins Pond at Lake Wheeler in Wake County
For more information on fishing in public, inland waters, visit www.ncwildlife.org/fishing.