N. C. Wildlife News Brief - 9/8/2011

Annual Public Hearings – Sept. 6-28

Annual public hearings on proposed fishing, hunting and trapping regulation changes have begun and are ongoing during September. A schedule of the hearings and full text of the proposals are available online.

If you are unable to attend a public hearing, you can submit comments online or by mail to N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission at 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1701.

2011 Mountain State Fair – Sept. 9-18

The 2011 North Carolina Mountain State Fair is Sept. 9–18 at the WNC Agricultural Center, 1301 Fanning Bridge Road, in Fletcher. The Wildlife Resources Commission exhibit will show the important role the agency and its constituents play in conservation, with a theme of “Wildlife Science for a Better Future.” For more information, see the news release.

Fishing Basics for Women – Sept. 11

A basic fishing workshop on Sunday, Sept. 11, offered by the Commission’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program will be held at Bass Pro Shop’s pond, in Concord, N.C., from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. For more information, go to the Becoming an Outdoors-Woman webpage or contact BB Gillen at 919-218-3638; bb.gillen@ncwildlife.org.  

National Hunting and Fishing Day in North Carolina – Sept. 24

National Hunting and Fishing Day in North Carolina is Sept. 24 and everyone is invited to learn more about outdoor recreation and conservation by attending one of seven fun, family-oriented events across the state supported by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. 

New Commission Website Launching Fall 2011

This fall, ncwildlife.org will have a fresh look, simpler navigation and enhanced features that will make access to Commission information and services faster and easier. Reorganized content, streamlined navigation and improved menus – coming soon.

Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards

Commission staff and volunteers were among those honored by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation at its 48th Annual Governor's Conservation Achievement Awards, presented on Saturday, Aug. 27:

  • Sportsman of the Year is Hal Atkinson, of Raleigh, who served for 20 years as chief of the Division of Wildlife Management and is now a director of the Camp-Younts Foundation.
  • Forest Conservationist of the Year is Wib Owen, of Garner, former assistant chief of the Division of Wildlife Management and now an assistant commissioner of the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
  • Hunter Safety Education Instructor of the Year is Terry Boyce, of Elizabeth City, a volunteer since 1989, who has missed only a single class in the last 20 years and who is founder and director of the Dream Hunt and Fishing Program for youth with serious illnesses and physical handicaps.
  • Wildlife Volunteer of the Year is Al Kittredge, of Fayetteville, a volunteer for more than a decade at the John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center, who oversees a group of 45 other volunteers at the center.
  • Wildlife Enforcement Officer of the Year is Capt. Jon Evans, of Mebane who, as a sergeant supervised operations in Alamance, Orange, and Caswell counties, is an instructor in self-defense, firearms and arrest for law enforcement, and in hunting safety and boating safety for the public.

Delayed-Harvest Trout Waters Open Oct. 1 

Delayed-regulations will go into effect on 26 trout waters in 15 western North Carolina counties on Oct. 1. Before Oct. 1, hatchery-supported regulations apply to these waters. Under delayed-harvest regulations, no trout can be harvested or possessed from these waters between Oct. 1, 2011, and one half-hour after sunset on June 1, 2012. No natural bait is allowed, and anglers can fish only with single-hook, artificial lures. An artificial lure is defined as a fishing lure that neither contains nor has been treated with any substance that attracts fish by the sense of taste or smell.  

Visit the Commission's website for maps of all trout waters and a list of delayed-harvest trout waters.

Fish Kills in Coastal Rivers

While the fish kills affecting the state's coastal rivers are widespread and significant, Wildlife Resources Commission fisheries biologists say the fish populations will recover in time, just as they did after Hurricane Isabel in 2003.

After assessing the fish populations in the Roanoke, Chowan, Tar, Neuse, Trent, New, White Oak and Newport rivers last week, biologists report that stormwater runoff, in conjunction with swamp waters high in organic materials, caused a significant decrease in dissolved oxygen, the main culprit in these fish kills.  

Find out more about the Commission's plans to evaluate the extent of impacts to fish communities after dissolved oxygen levels begin to recover, as well as the Commission's research findings following Hurricane Isabel.

Boat Ramp Renovation

Salters Creek Public Access Area in Carteret County is undergoing complete renovation, with construction of a new ramp and floating dock among the many improvements onsite. The access area, near Sea Level, will be closed for the duration of the work, with an Oct. 1 targeted re-opening.

Before hitting the water, check the North Carolina Boating Access Bulletin for closings and use status. To find a ramp, click on the Interactive Boating Access Area Locater, which lets you search by address, body of water or amenities. You can find an address, identify latitude and longitude coordinates, and print directions.

Home From The Hunt™ Begins With Safety

When putting up a tree stand, even on a trial basis, use the same precautions you would during hunting season:


• Wear a full body safety harness.

• Maintain three points of contact when climbing.

• Follow manufacturer instructions.

• Have an emergency signal and tell someone where you plan to go.

And remember, leaving your tree stand up from one season to the next has inherent problems that outweigh any convenience. Exposure to the elements can damage straps, ropes and attachment cords, and potentially lead to breakage and failure. Also, trees are living, growing things and alter over time, affecting stability.