Thursday, June 30, 2011

June 30, 2011 Randleman Reservoir Creel Study

RANDLEMAN, N.C. (June 28, 2011) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, in collaboration with the Piedmont Triad Regional Water Authority, will conduct a 5-month long creel survey on Randleman Regional Reservoir from July 1 through Nov. 30.
Boat and bank anglers will be interviewed at Randleman Regional Reservoir Marina and at Southwest Park at the end of their fishing trips to estimate angling effort, catch and harvest.  Interviewers will ask anglers about the length of their fishing trips, the species of fish targeted, the number and species of fish caught, as well as the number and species of fish harvested. They also will ask to take length measurements from harvested fish. 
“Since this is a new and already popular fishery, information on the intensity and patterns of angler use will help us refine and prioritize fisheries management objectives at Randleman Reservoir,” said Corey Oakley, a Commission fisheries biologist who is leading the creel survey.  “For example, this survey will help in evaluating the effectiveness of current and potential future size and creel limits of largemouth bass and crappie.”
For more information on the creel survey, contact Corey Oakley at 919-304-0653.
For more information on fishing in public, inland waters, visit

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 27, 2011 Proposed Changes for NC Hunting, Trapping and Fishing Regs.

H1. Add Currituck National Wildlife Refuge to the same deer season framework currently applied to nearby Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge — the Saturday on or nearest to September 10 to January 1.
H2.    Create a new rule to define the following trap terms: breakaway device, CollarumTM-type trap, leghold, foothold, loop stop, power-activated, relaxing lock, snare and steel-jaw. These terms would only apply to rules within subchapter 10B.
H3. Define the physical characteristics and placement of a CollarumTM-type trap.
Game Lands
H4. Create a class of roads on game lands that are open only from 6 am to 9 pm. These roads shall be posted with the opening and closing times.
H5. Remove hunting and trapping restrictions at Cowan’s Ford Waterfowl Refuge. The property within the refuge will be regulated the same as any other public waters and private property in those counties.
H6. Reduce the number of days when permits are required to dove hunt the posted dove areas at Croatan Game Land from the first seven open days of the dove season to the first two days only.
H7. Remove the permit requirement to hunt turkey on the Camden County portion of the North River Game Land.
H8. Require a permit in order to hunt deer and bear at Pond Mountain Game Land.
Emergency Powers
H9. Adopt a rule to describe and implement the Executive Director’s emergency powers as authorized by statute. G.S. 113-306 (f) states, “The Wildlife Resources Commission may adopt rules governing the exercise of emergency powers by the Executive Director when the Commission determines that such powers are necessary to respond to a wildlife disease that threatens irreparable injury to wildlife or the public.”
Game Fish
F1.    Buckeye Creek (Watauga County) – Classify 0.5 miles as Hatchery Supported Trout Waters. F2.    Spring Creek (Madison County) – Classify 1.7 miles as Delayed Harvest Trout Waters. F3.    Ararat River (Surry County) – Classify 2.0 miles as Delayed Harvest Trout Waters. F4.    Elk Creek (Wilkes County) – Classify 1.0 miles as Delayed Harvest Trout Waters.
F5.    Pond Creek (Watauga County) – Classify 1.5 miles as Catch and Release/Artificial Lures Only Trout Waters.
F6.    Coffee Lake (Watauga County) – Reclassify this 2.0-acre lake from Hatchery Supported to Delayed Harvest Trout Waters.
F7.    Tuckasegee River (Jackson County) – Identify the downstream boundary of Delayed Harvest Trout Waters as US 23-441 bridge and upstream boundary as the downstream NC 107 bridge.
F8.    Ellijay Creek (Macon County) – Remove the Public Mountain Trout Waters designation. F9.    Elk Hollow Branch (Avery County) – Remove the Public Mountain Trout Waters
F10. Dugger Creek (Watauga and Wilkes counties) and Laurel Creek (Watauga County) – (Administrative change) Identify Reynolds Blue Ridge development as the property owner allowing public fishing access.
Black Bass
F11. Black bass (Alleghany County) – Establish a 14-20 inch protective slot limit for black bass in the New River and allow only one fish in the five fish per day creel limit to exceed 20 inches.
Sea Trout (spotted or speckled)
F12. Sea trout (spotted or speckled) – Establish a 14-inch minimum size limit with a 10 fish daily creel limit in inland fishing waters.
Nongame Fish 
F13. Gray trout (weakfish) – Establish a 12-inch minimum size limit with a one fish daily creel limit
in inland fishing waters.
F14. Prohibit the possession of quagga mussels and red claw crayfish.


Friday, June 10, 2011

June 10, 2011 The right idea

On a trip this week to a seaside town I took the photo above.  Now I don't know these 2 gentlemen or if their efforts were rewarded but I certainly can appreciate their resourcefulness.  They definitely got the right idea! 

Monday, June 6, 2011

June 6, 2011 Ratified and Pending Bills

Below is a list of North Carolina's outdoors-related ratified and pending bills (from NC Camo Coalition):

Ratified Bills :

Retrieval of big game. 2011-22. This bill allows a hunter to use a portable light and a dog on a leash to retrieve any species of big game wounded during a legal attempt to take the animal, provided that no motorized vehicle is used.  The hunter may use a legal pistol or bow and arrow weapon to dispatch the wounded animal and the search may extend into the time period between dusk and dawn.
Prohibit reclassification of Boylston Creek in Transylvania County to trout waters.  2011-24. This bill disapproved the Rule of the Environmental Management Commission jointly developed with the Wildlife Resources Commission to upgrade the classification of Boylston Creek to trout waters.  NC Camo sent out an alert opposing the bill and pointing out the dangerous precedent set by legislating trout water classifications. 
Repeal crossbow purchase permit requirement.  SL 2011-56.  This bill repeals the requirement to obtain a special permit before purchasing a crossbow.  Removing this impediment to crossbow hunters is a positive change.


Pending Bills:

Exempt speckled sea trout from the 2010 law to improve Fishery Management Plans.  HB 136.  This bill would disregard the law requiring Fishery Management Plans to end over fishing within two years of adoption of the Plan with regard to speckled sea trout.  This is a very bad idea that NC Camo sent out an earlier alert on.  It appears that the strong response against this bill has killed it in the House Agriculture Committee.
Classify striped bass, speckled sea trout, and red drum as coastal game fish.  HB 353.  This bill would make these fish game fish in coastal waters, just as they are now classified in inland waters; would prohibit their taking except with hook and line; and would outlaw sale of these fish.  These fish are struggling for sustainability under current management as commercial fish and need the protection of game fish status.  NC Camo sent out an earlier alert supporting this bill.  The bill is in the House Commerce Committee.
Landowner protection act.  HB 762 / SB 374.  This bill was requested by the Wildlife Resources Commission to improve public safety on the highways and to help     landowners control trespass.  The original bill would have prohibited     hunting on private lands without written permission; discharging a firearm     or bow and arrow from the highway statewide while taking wildlife; and possession     of a loaded firearm while taking wildlife outside the passenger area of a     vehicle on the roadway, unless the person is the owner or lessee of the property on one side of the road.      It would have also repealed over 100 local laws pertaining to hunting from the road and trespass.  The bill became very     controversial with landowners and hunters alike opposing sections of the     bill that repealed local laws, prohibited hunting from the roadway and trespass, except on posted land.      The end result is a bill that allows Wildlife Enforcement Officers     to enforce the posted trespass law for the first time and establishes a    new option for posting private land by using a stripe of purple paint on the boundary at 100 yard intervals.
Hunting protection act.  HB 569 / SB 429.  This bill would have given an exception to the posted trespass law for hunters to enter posted land adjacent to their hunting ground if the land is not fenced and provided no weapon or motor vehicle is used to retrieve hunting dogs that have strayed onto that posted land.  The bill would have further     required written permission from the owner or lease of unposted lands before entering for the purpose of hunting or before willfully releasing     dogs on the property.  As expected and predicted, this bill ran into     a storm of protest from landowners resulting in it being shelved without    action.
Randleman Reservoir Fishing.  HB 519.  This bill would give the authority to     regulate the size and number of fish that can be taken from Randleman Reservoir to the Piedmont Triad Water Authority.  This is a very bad precedent in that it takes regulatory authority away from the Wildlife     Resources Commission and places it in the hands of unqualified, local administrators of the reservoir.  It seems that the bill is dead and that some accommodation with the Water Authority has been reached.
Amend Fox Laws.  HB 755.  This bill was requested by the Wildlife Resources Commission and introduced by the House Agriculture Committee.  The     bill would have placed management and regulation of the fox and coyote with the WRC the same as any other game or fur bearing animal.  Also the bill would have repealed over 100 local fox laws to give consistency     and understanding to the rules controlling the harvest of foxes.  This change would have placed the setting of seasons and bag limits for fox and coyote under authority of the WRC.  The bill also would have allowed the WRC to regulate the use of pistols in taking small game.  This would have been a monumental change to the game law and would have resulted     in much improvement over the management and taking of foxes and    coyotes.  NC Camo strongly supported this bill; however, strong opposition by fox hunters resulted in the bill being pulled and rewritten     to become a Study Bill.  The WRC is charged with conducting a study on the biology and management of foxes and coyotes to be concluded by April 1, 2012.      The results and any legislative changes recommended to implement     the findings of the study will be submitted to the General Assembly for consideration in the Short Session of 2012.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

June 5, 2011 Fly or Spinning

The first of June is a great month to be waist dip in one of my favorite places, the New River.  The toughest part is deciding whether to fly fish or use spinning gear.  As a buddy of mine use to say, "That's a first class headache!