In our area activities will be held at the Pisgah Wildlife Education Center near Brevard starting at 10 a.m. Hands-on, interactive exhibits and demonstrations include fishing, outdoor cooking, archery, pellet rifle range and more. Inside, an award-winning documentary on natural history and wildlife diversity of the mountains is shown throughout the day. Exhibits include five aquatic habitats with live fish, frogs, salamanders and snakes. Local outdoor clubs represented include Trout Unlimited, N.C. Bowhunters Association, N.C. Trappers Association and Ducks Unlimited. For more information contact Lee Sherrill at 828-877-4423.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission resumed stocking Hatchery Supported trout waters after receiving confirmation that trout from Armstrong State Fish Hatchery in Marion and Setzer State Fish Hatchery in Brevard tested negative for whirling disease, a disorder affecting trout. The Commission will not retroactively stock Hatchery Supported locations that did not receive fish during the hatchery-testing period due to recent drought conditions and concerns of high water temperatures at those locations.
They have also has implemented safeguards to reduce the chance of the parasite being transported to agency trout hatcheries. “We are initiating disinfection protocols for all gear and stocking trucks returning from stocking runs before they enter the hatchery,” said David Deaton, fish production supervisor. “Additional security measures are being developed to minimize the potential introduction or spread of the disease into other trout waters or our production facilities.”
The discovery of whirling disease, along with a new gill lice species in rainbow trout this summer, underscores the importance of preventing the spread of aquatic nuisance species, because once established in a body of water, they are almost impossible to eradicate. The Commission encourages the public to help prevent the spread of whirling disease, gill lice and other harmful pathogens by cleaning and drying equipment, clothing or anything else that comes into contact with water. In addition, no one should move live fish or aquatic wildlife from one body of water to another without first obtaining a permit from the Commission.
Well, it is game on. The 2015-2016 officially started Tuesday with the resident goose season. My submission timelines preclude me from reporting my results from that day. I already have permission and had done some scouting of farm fields to see what time I need to be out there and where they will be landing. The Wildlife electronic call is loaded and decoys and layout blind are packed. I’m ready!
If you plan on getting into the resident goose action here are some reminders about what you need. First, make sure your license is current with HIP certification and you have your Federal Duck Stamp. Shooting hours are ½ hour before sunrise to sunset. After that things are fairly liberal. You can unplug your shotguns and electronic calls are allowed only for the early resident goose season in September. If you have the right setup, you may be lucky to hit the daily bag limit which is fifteen birds. Personally, I’m not sure I’d want to haul fifteen out of the field and clean them but would like to know what it is like!
After that dove season opens this Saturday, September 5th. I’m seeing a lot of birds on power lines and on the ground and friends tell me the dove fields at Sandy Mush Game Lands look ready. Time to get the decoys out of storage, load up on 7 ½ heavy loads, and get the camo overalls out.Just remember, semi-auto and pump guns must be plugged and the daily bag limit is 15 birds. Like geese, shooting hour starts ½ hour before sunrise to sunset. This is the time we have all been waiting for. Hunting season is here!