N.C. Wildlife Commission news

Staff report

Time for lifetime license holders to request seasonal information

RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is reminding lifetime license holders that it is time to request a copy of the 2015-16 North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest for the upcoming season, which begins Aug. 1.

Lifetime license holders who have a license that entitles them to hunt big game and migratory game birds also can request their big game harvest report cards, HIP certification and bear e-stamp, if applicable. Requests can be made by:

*Visiting the Commission’s website, ncwildlife.org/lifetime;

*Calling toll-free 888-248-6834, 8 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday-Friday; and,

*Visiting a Wildlife Service Agent. Most agents are located in bait and tackle shops, hunting and sporting goods stores and larger chain stores across the state. A $2 transaction fee may be added to your total order (NCGS §113-270.1B).

The 2015-16 N.C. Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest will be available at agent locations and on the Commission’s website, ncwildlife.org, on Aug. 1.

Wildlife Commission develops online search tool for trout waters

RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has developed a new online search tool for anglers who are interested in fishing for trout in western North Carolina.

Using the Public Mountain Trout Waters Search, anglers can find places to fish for trout by county or by regulation classification. Waters in the Commission’s Public Mountain Trout Waters Program fall into one of seven classifications, each with its own set of regulations: Delayed Harvest Trout Waters; Hatchery Supported Trout Waters; Catch and Release/Artificial Lures Only Trout Waters; Catch and Release/Artificial Flies Only Trout Waters; Wild Trout Waters; Wild Trout /Natural Bait Waters; and Special Regulation Trout Waters.

After anglers enter their search criteria, they can sort results alphabetically by county, classification, and stream name. When they have identified a water of interest, they can click on the map link, which takes them to an interactive map that zooms directly to the selected water. The search tool also provides a link to additional information about rules, regulations, and season dates specific to selected waters. Anglers also can download and print a list of waters within their search, along with rules and regulations, to take with them when fishing.

“Through this new search tool, we wanted to provide anglers with a new way to explore the numerous public mountain trout waters the Commission manages in western North Carolina,” said Jacob Rash, the Commission’s coldwater research coordinator. “By allowing anglers to customize their search, establishing direct linkages to maps, and providing a diversity of information throughout the search tool and associated maps, we are optimistic that anglers will find it easier to go trout fishing.”

The new search tool can be accessed in several locations on the Commission’s website, including the Trout Fishing Page, which also provides additional information about trout fishing resources in North Carolina.

North Carolina’s Outdoor Heritage Act signed into law

RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission announced that Gov. Pat McCrory signed into law the Outdoor Heritage Act (House Bill 640), which includes measures to promote wildlife-related recreation and youth involvement in outdoor activities across the state.

The legislation creates an Outdoor Heritage Council, along with a trust fund to engage youth in the outdoors, amends some wildlife regulations, and provides for Sunday hunting with firearms on private property with restrictions. The law takes effect Oct. 1. Details will be included in the 2015-2016 North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest, which will be available Aug. 1.

In April, the Wildlife Commission adopted a resolution in support of the Outdoor Heritage Act because of its focus on private property rights, additional hunting opportunities and increased public involvement in outdoor activities, including fishing, horseback riding, camping, hiking and bird watching.

In a news statement yesterday, Gov. McCrory said the outdoors have “always been an integral part of our way of life and this bill has a number of measures that will improve the stewardship of our natural resources.”

The legislation allows for hunting on Sundays with the use of firearms on private property with written permission from the landowner, beginning Oct. 1, with the following provisions:

*Hunting on Sunday between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. is prohibited, except on controlled, licensed hunting preserves.

*Hunting of migratory game birds on Sunday is prohibited.

*The use of a firearm to take deer that are run or chased by dogs on Sunday is prohibited.

*Hunting on Sunday within 500 yards of a place of worship or any accessory structure, or within 500 yards of a residence not owned by the landowner, is prohibited.

*Hunting on Sunday in a county having a population greater than 700,000 people is prohibited — affecting Wake and Mecklenburg counties only.

Since September 2010 North Carolinians have been hunting on Sundays on private lands by falconry and with archery equipment.

“Our opportunities to promote our outdoor heritage to future generations have never been greater nor more needed than at this time,” said state Rep. Jimmy Dixon, bill sponsor and a member of the North Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus. “The Outdoor Heritage Act can help us accomplish that goal.”


Staff report

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