Rank (0) Views 2717 On Tue, Jun 26, 2012 4:00 PM, 850 days ago



RALEIGH, N.C. (June 26, 2012) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will offer two special outdoor skills sessions for women in September through its Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program.

Registration is open to women ages 18 and older, on a first-come, first-serve basis, with a fee to cover costs of materials and accommodations. Partial scholarships are available.

On Sept. 8-9, an overnight Outdoors Skills session for the mountains region will be held at Fort Hamby campground, W. Kerr Scott Lake near North Wilkesboro. This two-day workshop will help participants master skills and gain confidence in archery, basic fishing and tracking and wildlife identification. Saturday lunch and Sunday continental breakfast will be provided, with campers responsible for their own supper on Saturday. Participants bring their own tent and sleeping gear. Workshop staff will be on hand to assist in setting up camp. Fort Hamby campground has grills and potable water, and restau


Rank (0) Views 2391 On Mon, Jun 25, 2012 3:44 PM, 851 days ago



 WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 25, 2012) — The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works approved a bill last week that would convey the McKinney Lake National Fish Hatchery in Hoffman, N.C., from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

The bill was introduced in Congress initially as H.R. 1160, McKinney Lake National Fish Hatchery Conveyance Act, by Rep. Larry Kissell (D-NC). It passed the House Committee on Natural Resources as well as the full House of Representatives in 2011.

In the Senate, Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) led the effort to get the bill through the Environment and Public Works Committee. The bill now goes to vote in the full Senate.

Located in Richmond County, the McKinney Lake hatchery is the primary source of channel catfish, which helps the Commission achieve its fisheries management goals in city and county parks across North Carolina.

“We’re grateful


Rank (0) Views 4476 On Mon, Jun 25, 2012 11:39 AM, 851 days ago



RALEIGH, N.C. (June 25, 2012) — Summer regulations are in effect for striped bass at four Piedmont reservoirs.

 

Anglers fishing in John H. Kerr Reservoir, Lake Gaston, Roanoke Rapids Lake and Lake Norman can harvest any size striped bass — up to four a day — from June 1 through Sept. 30.

 

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission removed the striped bass minimum size limit in these four lakes because research has shown that adult striped bass caught and released during warmer months, when water temperatures exceed 70 degrees, suffer higher mortality rates than during cooler months.

 

Catch-and-release mortality rates increase during warmer months because striped bass are typically caught in deep, cold water but released in warm water at the surface. The temperature of the surface water is higher than the preferred, and usually tolerable, water temperature for striped bass.  In many cases, striped bass are


Rank (0) Views 2726 On Mon, Jun 25, 2012 9:42 AM, 851 days ago



RALEIGH, N.C. (June 25) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding residents that foxes sighted in daylight, or in urban and suburban settings, are not necessarily rabid or dangerous.

In addition, residents can take action to avoid conflict with these common animals.

Simply seeing a fox is not typically a cause for alarm. In most cases, people who merely see a fox do not need to take any action. However, people still should not approach foxes or fox dens, even if they seem harmless. If the fox makes a den for pups, do not disturb them. Do not approach, touch or feed the fox or its pups. Feeding them will habituate them to people — and may lead to aggression.

Action might be necessary in situations where foxes have become habituated to people. In those cases, people can and should take steps, such as yelling, banging pots and pans and setting off legal fireworks, to chase foxes from yards and neighborhoods. Be aggressive and repeat these actions if


Rank (0) Views 6433 On Fri, Jun 22, 2012 9:55 AM, 854 days ago



HARRELSVILLE, N.C. (June 22, 2012) — Biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission made an exciting discovery last month after finding a rare minnow in the Deep Swamp Branch in Hertford County.

The discovery on May 1 by Tyler Black, a fisheries biologist, and Michael Young, a fisheries technician, marks the first time the bridle shiner has been found in the Chowan River basin in North Carolina. The tiny minnow, which rarely exceeds two inches, was last seen in a section of the Chowan River basin in Virginia in the late 1960s. Until last month, the bridle shiner was thought to be extirpated from the Chowan River.

Black and Young found the shiner while sampling for another rare aquatic animal, the Chowanoke crayfish. Although they weren’t looking for shiners specifically, they recognized the lone fish immediately by its distinctive black band, which runs from the tip of its snout down the length of its body. They knew that finding it was an extraordin


Rank (0) Views 7380 On Wed, Jun 20, 2012 9:17 AM, 856 days ago



WAYNESVILLE, N.C. (June 20, 2012) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is seeking information from the public to assist in an investigation about the deaths of three elk, found outside Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the Mount Sterling area of Haywood County.

All three elk are believed to have died as the result of gunshot wounds inflicted sometime around May 18. Forensic tests show a bull elk was mortally wounded by a .22 caliber firearm; a cow elk was shot in the neck with birdshot from a shotgun; while an undetermined gunshot led to the death of a pregnant cow elk.

Anyone with any information is asked to call toll-free 1-800-662-7137, available 24 hours a day. Callers may remain anonymous.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park began an experimental reintroduction of elk in February 2001 and there are now nearly 150 animals. Originally found throughout the southern Appalachians, elk had disappeared from North Carolina by the early 1800s. Elk are listed as a




BEECH MOUNTAIN, N.C. (June 19, 2012) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has partnered with the Town of Beech Mountain to construct a universally accessible fishing pier on Coffey Lake.

Commission staff worked alongside Beech Mountain staff to install the floating, T-shaped pier, which features an 8-foot-wide, ADA-compliant walkway as well as three benches and alternating high-low handrails to accommodate children and wheelchair-bound anglers. The pier extends 59 feet into the lake and spans 48 feet across the top of the T.

A wooden boardwalk that extends from the paved walking trail adjacent to Coffey Lake to the pier also is universally accessible.

To help celebrate the opening of the pier, Coffey Lake is planning a kids’ fishing event for kids 12 and under on June 23 beginning at 9:00 a.m. No fee and no registration are required.

Unlike many other cooperatively managed sites, Coffey Lake will not receive monthly stockings of channel catfish. Ins


Rank (0) Views 4385 On Tue, Jun 19, 2012 7:11 AM, 857 days ago



RALEIGH, N.C. (June 19, 2012) — “Redheads in Needlerush,” the 2012 North Carolina Waterfowl Conservation Stamp and Print, will be available through the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s N.C. Wild Store on July 2.

Signed and numbered regular edition prints with mint stamps will sell for $145. The collector’s mint stamp will sell for $10.

The acrylic artwork depicting a pair of brilliantly colored redhead ducks was painted by Delaware artist Richard Clifton. “Redheads in Needlerush” marks the second year in a row Clifton has won North Carolina’s waterfowl conservation stamp and print competition. He took top honors last year with his vivid portrayal of a pair of Canada geese standing in a pasture. He placed second in the 2010 contest with his portrayal of snow geese.

Proceeds from sales of the print and stamps will go to the Commission’s Waterfowl Fund, which generates revenue for the


Rank (0) Views 4426 On Mon, Jun 18, 2012 10:24 AM, 858 days ago



RALEIGH, N.C. (June 18, 2012) — Wildlife officers with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will be reaching out to as many people as possible this weekend about the hazards of boating while impaired as part of Operation Dry Water 2012.

The annual nationwide campaign will have law enforcement officers from local, state and federal agencies out in force June 22-24 to remind boaters that it is unsafe, as well as illegal, to operate a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In North Carolina, penalties upon conviction include a maximum $1,000 fine and possible jail time.

Recreational boating fatalities last year jumped to their highest levels since 1998 and operating while impaired was the leading contributing factor, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s report, 2011 Recreational Boating Statistics.

“We intend to reach out to as many people as possible about the hazards of boating while impaired,” said Sgt. Jeremy Harrill, a wildlif


Rank (0) Views 7820 On Mon, Jun 18, 2012 7:25 AM, 858 days ago



RALEIGH, N.C. (June 18, 2012) — July 4 is your one chance a year to get hooked on fishing — for free! From 12:01 a.m. until 11:59 p.m., everyone in North Carolina — resident and non-residents alike — can fish in any public body of water, from mountain trout waters to coastal waters, without purchasing a fishing license or additional trout fishing privilege. 

Although no fishing license is required to fish on July 4, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission reminds anglers that all other fishing regulations, such as size and creel limits and lure restrictions, still apply.

To give anglers a better chance of catching fish, the Commission stocks a variety of fish in waters across the state — including trout and channel catfish. The agency also provides free access to fishing sites across the state, including public fishing areas and boating access areas. A list of more than 500 fishing areas open to the public is on the Comm


Rank (0) Views 5229 On Fri, Jun 15, 2012 3:43 PM, 861 days ago

NEW BERN, N.C. (June 15, 2012) — For people who are interested in learning more about snakes native to North Carolina, space is available still for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s “Snakes in North Carolina” workshop, which is being conducted on June 29 at the Cool Springs Environmental Education Center in Craven County.

 

The free workshop will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with classroom presentations on snake conservation, biology and habitats in the morning and a field excursion in the afternoon to search for snakes.

Among the species participants might find during the afternoon are Eastern kingsnakes, southeastern crowned snakes, black racers, redbelly water snakes, banded water snakes, corn snakes, and, with a little luck, the secretive and rarely encountered mud snake.

The workshop is open to anyone 16 years and older and is limited to 20 registrants. It qualifies for Component II of the N.C. Office of Environmental


Rank (0) Views 2841 On Wed, Jun 13, 2012 4:11 PM, 863 days ago



PITTSBORO, N.C. (June 13, 2012) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will close the Bells Church Public Fishing Area, which is located on Jordan Lake in Chatham County, on June 18 and 19 to begin repairs on the fishing pier. 

The fishing area will reopen at 7 a.m. on June 20; however, Commission personnel will close the area again sometime during the week of June 25 to finish repairs to the pier. The agency will notify the public through its Facebook page, Twitter feed, Conserve & Protect blog and a follow up news release the exact days the pier will close and reopen that week. 

Over the past year, the Commission closed the public fishing area twice in order to repair the pier, which had been damaged by weather-related incidents. In an effort to prevent similar damage and associated repairs in the future, large pilings will be placed along either side of the pier to stabilize it during high-wind events.

“We know that the Bells

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