N. C. Wildlife News Brief - 11/222011

Hunting Safety

The Home From The Hunt™ campaign has made tree stand safety a top priority in North Carolina for the 2011-2012 hunting season. Hunter Education Program instructors will emphasize proper use of tree stands and elevated hunting platforms. Wildlife Officers have investigated two fatalities in connection with tree stand falls already this hunting season. Read more.

Feral Swine Trapping and Depredation

Looking for the latest news, regulations and information about feral hogs? Look no further than www.ncwildlife.org. Visit the Feral Swine Trapping and Depredation page for the most recent information. Check back after Dec. 29 regarding the availability of self-issued permits for trapping feral swine. 

Be Safe When Hunting Waterfowl

Waterfowl hunters are reminded to use basic safety precautions when boating:

  • Wear a proper personal flotation device and insist that passengers wear one also.
  • Be aware that small, flat-bottom vessels are prone to capsizing and swamping.
  • Store equipment properly and keep it evenly distributed in the boat.
  • Don’t overload the boat, especially with passengers.
  • Keep hunting dogs prone in the center of the boat.
  • Never move about the boat with a loaded shotgun.

A particular danger is posed by hypothermia – the loss of body heat. Exposure to extreme cold, such as being in cold water or wearing wet clothes in cold conditions, can increase the chance of hypothermia.

New Spotted Seatrout Regulations Now in Effect

Effective Nov. 14, the new spotted seatrout regulations in inland fishing waters are a 4-fish daily creel limit per person and a 14-inch minimum size limit. Additionally, anglers now can keep up to four seatrout larger than 24 inches in their daily creel limit as the previous restriction of no more than two spotted seatrout larger than 24 inches has been removed.

The change in regulations is the result of a rule that went into effect in August standardizing seasons and size and creel limits in inland waters for four saltwater fish species, including spotted seatrout, by referencing those recreational regulations set by the Marine Fisheries Commission in adjacent joint and coastal waters.  On Nov. 10, Dr. Louis Daniel, director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, issued a proclamation implementing new recreational limits for spotted seatrout, effective Nov. 14, in coastal and joint waters.

For the current recreational regulations for spotted seatrout, flounder, red drum and gray trout in inland, joint and coastal waters, visit the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries website.

Fish Consumption Advisories

While most fish in North Carolina’s waters are safe to eat, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services issues fish consumption advisories for certain fish in and around North Carolina that contain high levels of contaminants and when eaten may pose a risk to human health. 

DHHS is the state agency responsible for issuing and updating fish consumption advisories.  Find out the latest fish consumption advisories in your area by visiting the DHHS website, which provides an updated list of fish consumption information and advisories for all waters in the state.

New Upland Gazette Posted Online

The fall 2011 issue of the Wildlife Commission’s publication The Upland Gazette is now posted online.  Articles in this issue address the bobwhite quail decline, a landowner success story about restoring wildlife habitat, notes about rabbits and grouse chicks, and many other topics.  Read the latest issue.

Nominations Sought for Thomas L. Quay Wildlife Diversity Award

Know someone who is a leader in wildlife resources conservation and who has made outstanding contributions to wildlife diversity in North Carolina? If so, the Wildlife Commission is seeking nominations for the seventh annual Thomas L. Quay Wildlife Diversity Award. A nomination form and a detailed explanation of the nominee’s contribution to wildlife conservation must be received by Jan. 30.

Subscribe to Wildlife in North Carolina Magazine

For 75 years, Wildlife in North Carolina  magazine has brought the best of our State’s outdoors home to its subscribers. From the mountains to the Piedmont to the coastal plain, WINC delivers stories about fishing, hunting, conservation and natural history.

In the November-December issue, you will want to look at a celebration in words and pictures of the 75th anniversary of Wildlife in North Carolina. Also in the current issue, Gerald Almy writes about pursuing grouse in the North Carolina mountains,  Mike Marsh describes his quest for a whitetail with a crossbow and David Lee fondly recalls his grandfather’s days at the nation’s first school of forestry, which was located at Biltmore Forest. And if you missed the September-October issue, take a look back at Jim Dean’s discussion of trout fishing in delayed harvest trout streams.

Visit Wildlife in North Carolina to begin your own subscription or to give the magazine as a gift this holiday season.