Updated: November 20, 2023
Every effort has been made to accurately report existing and/or anticipated conditions that may negatively impact the waterfowl hunting experience, but please note that conditions are subject to change for a variety of reasons and in some cases may vary from the information presented in this report.
NOTE: For all areas, refer to the current North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest to determine applicable hunt days for waterfowl and special regulations which may apply.
On managed (posted) waterfowl impoundments, hunters shall not enter the posted impoundment areas earlier than 4:00 a.m. on the permitted hunting dates, and hunting is prohibited after 1:00 p.m. on such hunting dates; decoys shall not be set out prior to 4:00 a.m. and must be removed by 3:00 p.m. each day. No person shall operate any vessel or vehicle powered by an internal combustion engine on a managed waterfowl impoundment. On waterfowl impoundments that have a posted "Scouting-only Zone," trapping during the trapping season and waterfowl hunting on designated waterfowl hunting days are the only activities allowed on the portion of the impoundment outside of the posted "Scouting-only Zone."
For impoundments not otherwise noted in this report, conditions are believed to be adequate to support waterfowl hunting.
Pumping operations are ongoing. Water levels in impoundments #1, 2, 3 and 6 are huntable. Pumping operations will continue until all impoundments are at prescribed levels.
Due to recent tropical storm damage, PP2 and PP2 levels will be above prescribed levels. The remaining Goose Creek Impoundment water levels are at prescribed levels.
The impoundment has water throughout and no issues are expected. The impoundment is managed for submerged aquatics on the deeper portions of the impoundment and moist soil vegetation on the drier portions on the northwest corner.
Hunters using the Holly Shelter Green Tree Impoundment may experience below optimal water levels until significant rainfall occurs. Lodge Road Impoundment is at the prescribed level.
Like the last few years when trying to flood the impoundments, we have had very little rain. Our main water source for Futch is the canal that runs along US Highway 64. We have removed a couple of dams in that canal trying to find every drop of water we can. Progress is slow, but we are making progress. Assessments are changing weekly. Updates are sent out to permit holders via email prior to hunts until we reach desirable water depths in each impoundment. The below assessment was taken mid-day Nov. 20.
Blind 1 - no issues – Water at target level.
Blind 2 – no issues – Rice was planted instead of Chiwapa millet and later than desired.
Blind 3 – no issues – Planned rice in this impoundment was not planted.
Blind 4 – no issues - Water at target level.
Blind 5 – it has water covering about 90% of the shotgunning range. Huntable, although fringes on portions of the range will be shallow. Water levels in this impoundment are particularly subject to evaporation loss. This impoundment will not be a focus the rest of the week as we try to get other blinds huntable. Without rain, expect to have a slight lowering of water in this impoundment. Estimated percentage of water around the blind may fall by 5-10%. Blind will remain huntable with this amount of loss.
Blind 6 – About 60% of shotgunning area around the blind has water and that water is shallow. Huntable. We are directing some water in this impoundment. Slight improvements expected by Thanksgiving.
Blind 7 – About 1/2 of the gunning area is flooded. Huntable. Fringes will be shallow. We are directing some water in this impoundment. Slight improvements expected by Thanksgiving.
Blind 8 – About 80% of shotgunning area around blind is flooded. Blind is huntable.
Blind 9 – no issues
Blind 10 – no issues
Blind 11 – 80% of the area around blind has water. Water is shallow on fringes, but blind is huntable. We are pumping water in this impoundment. Slight improvements expected by Thanksgiving.
Blind 12 – 95% of gunning range is flooded. Shallow back to the parking lot but blind is huntable. Water levels in this impoundment are particularly subject to evaporation loss. This impoundment will not be a focus the rest of the week as we try to get other blinds huntable. Without rain, expect to have a slight lowering of water in this impoundment. Estimated percentage of water around the blind may fall by 5-10%. Blind will remain huntable with this amount of loss.
Blind 13 – Water cover 100% around blind, no issues.
Blind 14 – Most of this impoundment is dry although the blind sits in a depression that has huntable water.
Blind 15 – About 85% of the area around blind has water. Shallow, but huntable.
Blind 16 – May be a little shallow on the fringes of the shooting range but water completely covers the area with most depths in the desirable range. Rice was planted later than desired and may not have had time to mature.
Blind 17 – Water in the impoundment, but covers only 1/2 of the shotgunning area around this blind. Rice was planted later than desired and may not have had time to mature. We are pushing water in this impoundment, and expect some improvements around this blind.
Blind 18 – No issues to report. Rice was planted later than desired and may not have had time to mature.
Blind 19 – No issues to report.
Blind 21 – Disabled Sportsman Blind – Nearly all of the water over the weekend was pumped into this impoundment. It is flooded.
Dry weather has hurt us again, but we are ahead of where we were last year. Our focus is on the easternmost impoundment. The western impoundment is mostly flooded, and we have created openings in the moist soil managed impoundment. Hunters will find water in the eastern most impoundment toward the north end with water extending into the unforested portion of the impoundment as shown below. Our generator is operational, and we are pumping during the week. Significant rainfall will be required to improve water levels across the impoundments.
The Minges impoundments have water although not at full pool. Suzie Slough impoundments and the Deep Pond impoundment will not be flooded unless the river floods. Waterfowl perming holders can hunt anywhere within the tract for which they are drawn. If the impoundments area not flooded for a hunt, hunters should consider hunting the adjacent swamps.
Impoundments are flooded. Permitted hunters for the North River impoundment hunts can hunt anywhere within the unit for which they are drawn. Two earthen mounds have been built in each impoundment, but the brush has not had time to establish. The blinds are available.
Damage to the dam that impounds water in Rhodes Pond has required draining of the lake for repairs. Normal water levels are not expected throughout the 2023-2024 waterfowl seasons and no permits will be issued.
Impoundments 1-5 are currently at target levels but the natural waterbodies including Horseshoe Lake, Little Singletary Lake, Jessup’s Mill Pond, and Small Pond have water levels well below average due to lack of significant rainfall and extremely dry conditions, but good opportunities to harvest waterfowl still exists in these areas.
The impoundments at Texas Plantation Game Land are flooded. There are good stands of foxtail, jungle rice, and smartweed throughout most of the unplanted portions of the impoundments.
Water levels at the White Oak Impoundment are at prescribed levels. Bridges have been repaired. However, hunters should still be prepared to cross ditches using drag boat as needed.
Water levels in the natural sloughs, open water areas, and flooded timber on Whitehall Plantation Game Land along the Cape Fear River are well below average due to the lack of significant rainfall and extremely dry conditions. There are still, however, good opportunities to harvest waterfowl, but some areas that have traditionally had suitable water will not be available until significant rainfall is received in the area.
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Water levels will be near the desired pool for the November season and at full pool for the December-January season in Butner Depot, Beaver Dam, and Knapp of Reeds Impoundments. Given additional rainfall and higher river levels for pumping, the flat River Impoundments will continue to be filled when possible and currently there is some huntable water there. Due to recent drought conditions, Bluff, Upper Brickhouse Road, and Patterson Road Impoundments will not be filled to desirable levels this season without significant rainfall events. Highway 98, Lower Brickhouse Road, and Little River Impoundments are not included in the 2023-2024 flooding schedule.
In the Brumley and Caswell Impoundments water levels are anticipated to be at or near full pool for the November season and at a full pool for the December-January season given adequate rainfall and sustained creek levels.
Water levels will be at the desired pool for the November season and at full pool for the December-January season in Impoundments #1 Upper Little Creek, #4 Stagecoach, and #6 Beaver Creek. Impoundments #2 Lower Little Creek, #3 New Hope River, #5 Northeast Creek, and #7 I-40, are not included in the 2023-2024 flooding schedule.
The posted waterfowl impoundment on Second Creek Game Land does not include control structures to facilitate artificial manipulation of water levels. This area is completely dependent on rainfall and collection of surface water; therefore, conditions may vary throughout the season.