The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

August 17, 2012

Angler comments welcomed on reorganization of fisheries agencies

FOR THE DAILY SOUTHERNER
Rick Goines

TARBORO — Regular readers know that I have the utmost respect for those agencies that regulate and police recreational fishing in North Carolina.  These people do a fantastic job, and deserve your support and cooperation on many levels.  It is mandated that these fisheries management agencies study the prospect of reorganization, and the public is invited to comment and weigh-in on the subject.

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.

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will accept comments on this subject at its August meeting in Raleigh on behalf of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Currently, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries manages coastal fish species while the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission manages inland fish species.

The commission will take public comments at 6 p.m. Aug. 22 and 9 a.m. Aug. 23 at the Brownstone Hilton DoubleTree Hotel, 1707 Hillsborough St., Raleigh.

The Wildlife Resources Commission will also receive public comment on these issues during its Aug. 29 committee meetings at the Wildlife Resources Commission Headquarters Conference Room, 1751 Varsity Drive, N.C. State University Centennial Campus, Raleigh.

Additionally, the agencies will hold two joint meetings in coastal areas for the sole purpose of taking comments on this issue. The meetings are scheduled in New Bern on September 5th and Manteo on September 6th.

The public may comment in writing online at http://www.ncsenatebill821.org/default.htm or by mail to S821 Comments, 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1701.

More information is available at the NCWRC web site.

Speaking of our friends at North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, they recently launched on their website, www.ncwildlife.org, a new interactive map that identifies more than 500 public fishing areas across the state.

 The North Carolina Interactive Fishing Map allows you to search for and view information about public fishing areas around geographic areas of interest. You can view the entire state, or search locations by address, by zip code, or by county. Once you enter a location, you can then click on a map access point to get additional information about the site, such as the name of the access site, the type of access available, the water body name, the primary fisheries present, directions to the site, and even find out who owns and/or manages the site.  Handy dandy!

A North Carolina Interactive Fishing Map at your fingertips!  Wow!  How cool is that?

Continuing the NCWRC theme this week, they have issued a warning this summer that it is illegal and dangerous to feed alligators.  OK.  No argument from me.  My understanding is that most alligators do not understand the difference between the food, and the hand and arm holding it.  They have a small brain, but a very big mouth with sharp teeth.  Ouch!

Rick’s Soapbox – I got a good reaction to my suggestion last week encouraging readers to visit some of their favorite fishing destinations, and do a little “trash fishing.”

 I decided to put my obese body where my mouth is, and take my own advice.  I visited the “shad hole” on River Road in Tarboro, and also the Tar River boat ramp at Battle Park in Rocky Mount, scouting for litter and debris.  These two areas are my home away from home during shad season.  You could send my mail there from February through May.  Some trash on the ground was only a few steps from a receptacle.  Go figure.  It only took a few minutes and minimal effort.  Join me, won’t you?  RSVP!  Every litter bit hurts.

Tight Lines welcomes your fishing success stories and snaps at CarolinaAngler@Gmail.com.

See you on the water, my friend!