Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters Open Saturday, April 2

The Wildlife Commission will open approximately 1,000 miles of Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters in 25 western counties at 7 a.m. on April 2. The season will run through Feb. 28, 2017. While fishing on Hatchery-Supported Trout Waters, anglers can harvest a maximum of seven trout per day, with no minimum size limits or bait restrictions. More

Youth Turkey Hunting Season Opens April 2, Regular Season April 9

The statewide spring hunting season for male and bearded turkeys runs from April 9 through May 7 for all hunters. A youth-only week, for hunters younger than 16, runs from April 2-8.The daily limit is one turkey and the possession and season limits are two turkeys per hunter, only one of which may be taken during youth season. More regulations and safety tips.

Public Hearings in April for Temporary Black Bear Hunting Rules 

The Wildlife Commission is conducting the last three of five public hearings in early April to take comments on proposed temporary rules regarding black bear hunting in North Carolina. The first proposed rule would extend the time that bears can be taken with the aid of unprocessed food as bait to the entire open season. The second proposed rule would move the black bear hunting seasons in Brunswick and Columbus counties to the second Monday in November through Jan. 1.

Wildlife Commissioners voted to start the temporary rulemaking process for black bear hunting at their business meeting on Feb. 11.

The public does not need to attend a meeting to comment on the proposed changes. Comments can be submitted online emailed to regulations@ncwildlife.org or mailed to N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1701. The deadline for comments is April 12. Dates and locations

Only a Few Days Left to Help Conserve Wildlife by Donating on Line 30 of State Income Tax Form

You have until April 18 to help ensure the health and future of wildlife and their habitats. Donate on line 30 of your N.C. state income tax form. Donations, no matter how large or small, go to the Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund, which the Wildlife Commission uses to conduct research, conservation and monitoring work that benefits animals not hunted or fished — animals such as songbirds, sea turtles, eagles, salamanders, frogs, turtles and bats. More

New Brown Bullhead Catfish State Record Set

Mitchell McConnell landed a new freshwater fish state record on March 14 after reeling in a 4-pound brown bullhead catfish from Greenfield Lake in Wilmington. McConnell, who is from Fort Mill, S.C., but lives in Wilmington and is a student at Cape Fear Community College, caught the catfish using cut bait. McConnell’s catch breaks the previous record, caught in April 1997 by Gregory Dale Hughes, by 4 ounces. More

Free Family Fishing Fiesta Slated for April 2 at Jordan Lake State Park

Come join the Wildlife Commission and the N.C. State Parks on Saturday, April 2 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Jordan Lake State Park for a free Family Fishing Fiesta. Enjoy bank fishing, plus over a dozen hands-on activities and demonstrations, such as learning how to cast and how to fillet a fish, watching a tackle demonstration, meeting biologists, park rangers and law enforcement personnel and much more. Visit the Family Fishing Fiesta webpage for more information, including a list of activities and directions.

Barbless Hooks Required April 1- June 30 in Upper Roanoke River

From April 1 through June 30, anglers fishing in the upper Roanoke River are required to use a single barbless hook or a lure with a single barbless hook. The upper Roanoke River is defined as the main river channel and all tributaries, upstream from the U.S. Highway 258 Bridge near Scotland Neck to Roanoke Rapids Lake Dam. Find out where the striped bass are biting this spring by reading the Wildlife Commission’s Coastal Rivers Fisheries Reports for the Roanoke, Tar, Neuse and Cape Fear rivers.

Wildlife Commission Offers Tips to Avoid Problem Interactions with Black Bears

The Wildlife Commission advises that black bear sightings will become more common across the state as weather becomes warmer. While black bears are not inherently dangerous and rarely aggressive toward people, people should use caution and common sense to reduce the potential for problems. If left alone, most transient bears will find their way quickly out of town and back to natural habitat. People are urged not to approach or follow bears, or put themselves between a bear and its possible escape route. Tips to avoid problem interactions with bears.

38th Annual Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament Set for April 30

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will host the 38th annual Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournament — the state championship for pre-collegiate shooting sports — on April 30 at the Millstone 4-H Center near Ellerbe in Richmond County. Sixty teams with more than 550 students will compete in rifle, shotgun and archery marksmanship, map-and-compass orienteering, and a written conservation knowledge test. More

Other News

River Birds of North Carolina Blog and Video

Pechmann Center Offers Family Fishing and Kayak Fish and Float Workshops

Space Remains for April 23 Women-Only Fly-Fishing Event in Fayetteville

Wildlife Commission Invites Public to Comment on Migratory Bird Seasons Online

Free Programs Offered at Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education in April

Members Sought for Nongame Wildlife Advisory Committee

Wildlife Commission Offers Blue Catfishing Seminar at Pechmann Center

Written Permission Required to Hunt and Fish on Private Lands