Comment Sought on Reorganization of Fisheries


State officials are looking for ideas from the public on how three different agencies can cooperatively provide more efficient, productive and enjoyable uses of the state's fisheries resources.

Legislation passed and signed into law this summer directs the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to study the current organization of the state’s fisheries management agencies and whether these agencies should be reorganized.

Currently, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries manages coastal fish species, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission manages inland fish species, and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services manages aquaculture.

See our website for public meeting dates and other ways to comment.






Night Hunting of Coyotes, Feral Swine Now Allowed on Private Lands


Beginning Aug. 1, landholders have another option to protect their personal property from coyotes and feral swine. Temporary rules are in effect that allow hunting coyotes and feral swine at night with a light on private lands, where allowed by the landowner.

More information on our website.

Coyotes and red wolves can share the same habitats, particularly in the area of the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in eastern North Carolina. The red wolf is a protected species while the coyote is an invasive, nuisance species. If hunters believe they have possibly killed a red wolf, they should contact the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service immediately because prosecution will not be pursued when such events  are unavoidable, unintentional, non-negligent and are reported immediately to authorized personnel.

The two species have similarities in appearance, but there are general guidelines to distinguish a red wolf from a coyote. Red wolves are mostly brown and buff colored, often with a reddish, cinnamon color on ears, head and legs.  Coyotes tend to be light gray with some black on the tips of outer hair.

Red wolf characteristics:

  • Generally larger than coyotes, weighing between 50 and 80 pounds when mature.
  • Have a broad head and longer muzzle, and stand taller.
  • Appear more robust, with muscular chest and solid bodies.

Coyote characteristics:

  • Smaller than red wolves, weighing between 25 and 35 pounds when mature.
  • Appear more delicate and slender with nervous movements.
  • Have longer, narrower muzzles and a bushy tail.
  • Hunters should never shoot any canine that appears to be wearing a collar.
Safe Coyote and Feral Swine Hunting at Night

Day or night, stick to basic firearm and archery safety:

  • Always point a firearm or bow in a safe direction. 
  • Treat every firearm as if it were loaded and never assume a firearm is unloaded.
  •  Keep your finger out of the trigger guard and off the trigger until ready to shoot.
  •  Be sure of your target and what is beyond your target.

Take time during an advanced scouting trip to “walk the field” and identify safe shooting zones:


  • Know your field of fire.
  • Do not use a night vision scope to scan a field.
  • Never shoot at movement, noise, color or shapes.
  • If hunting in a group, know where others are at all times and communicate.
  • Make verbal directions specific so that nothing is left to question.
  • Let someone know when and where you are hunting.
  • Have additional light sources and batteries, and consider protective eyewear.
Black Bear Management To Be Discussed

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Big Game Committee will discuss black bear management  at its August 29 meeting. Watch here for specific meeting information as the date approaches.

The full Commission will meet at 9 a.m. August 30 in the Wildlife Resources Commission Headquarters Conference Room, 1751 Varsity Drive, Raleigh.

It Takes a Hunter to Make a Hunter

Now you have the opportunity to shape the next generation of North Carolina’s hunters. Go here to sign up to mentor a new hunter in 2012. They’ll thank you for getting them into the woods — and we’ll thank you by sending you a cap and bumper sticker. A limited number of caps and stickers are available, so sign up now. 






New Black Bass Regulation Takes Effect for Lakes Cammack and Holt

Commission Schedules Public Hearings For New Proposed Regulations

New Black Bass Length Limit for Western North Carolina Waters in Effect Aug. 1

North Carolina’s Migratory Game Bird Seasons Set

Commission Schedules Public Hearings For New Proposed Regulations

Wildlife Commission Launches Online Interactive Fishing Map

Boat Registration
For vessel registration/renewal inquiries contact vessels@ncwildlife.org
For general license and lifetime license inquiries contact licenses@ncwildlife.org
For enforcement, hunting/boating saftey, boading access areas, fisheries or wildlife management questions, Web site and/or other question or comments email wrcomments@ncwildlife.org
Stay Connected to Wildlife — Even Indoors

Looking for the most updated information on N.C. Wildlife? Join us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to our YouTube channel, and connect with us on Google+.

Subscribe to Wildlife in North Carolina

Readers of Wildlife in North Carolina magazine enjoy exceptional color photography and great articles on hunting, fishing, natural areas, conservation and wildlife in every issue. Subscribers also receive special spring and fall outdoor guides, with the latest hunting, fishing and outdoors information.  One-year subscriptions are $12 and three-year subscriptions are $30, which makes it a bargain and great gift idea.  Online subscriptions  available here.

Help Keep North Carolina Wild

At one time endangered and on the brink of extinction, bald eagles and peregrine falcons today soar high in our Carolina blue skies thanks in part to the work of Wildlife Diversity Program biologists. These biologists conduct projects and programs on behalf of nongame and endangered wildlife — animals that are not hunted and fished. Their efforts on behalf of nongame and endangered wildlife are funded significantly through donations, such as the N.C. State Income Tax Check-off. Other ways you can donate to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s efforts to keep the Tarheel state wild for generations to come can be found here

Headed to the Beach? Don’t Forget Your Fishing License

Anglers headed to the beach should go online to purchase their Coastal Recreational Fishing License to avoid potentially long lines at tackle and bait shops, sporting goods stores and other wildlife service agent locations.

A Coastal Recreational Fishing License is required for anyone 16 years and older to fish recreationally in the state's coastal fishing waters, which include sounds, coastal rivers and their tributaries out to three miles into the ocean. Recreational anglers who catch fish in federal waters (from three miles to 200 miles offshore) also need this license to transport their catch back to shore.

You also can purchase a coastal fishing license by:

Calling the Commission at 888-248-6834, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7 days a week, Visiting a Wildlife Service Agent, or Visiting a Division of Marine Fisheries office located along the coast.