Out and About in North Carolina's Woods and Waters

Outdoor Notes

Clean-up Help is Requested

Coastal Carolina Riverwatch, a non-profit group whose goal is to protect and enhance the health of our coastal waters, is asking the public to spend their Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, designated a National Day of Service, cleaning up their watery community. Riverwatch board and staff are encouraging individuals and groups to do cleanups to collect litter and marine debris. While organizers encourage solo cleanups at any locations, the following are areas know to always need to have litter collected:

  • Gallants Channel Bridge, Beaufort
  • The Circle, Atlantic Beach
  • Pollocks Point, Sneads Ferry
  • Nelva Albury Park, Surf Cityi
  • Marina Cafe Boat Launch, Jacksonville
  • any waterways near where you live and frequently boat

Anglers Asked to Report Cold-stunned Trout

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries (NCDMF) is asking anglers to report any cold-stunned spotted sea trout (speckled trout) they may see in our state’s coastal waters in coming weeks. During the winter, speckled trout often move to relatively shallow creeks and rivers, where they can be vulnerable to cold-stun events. Cold-stun has the potential to occur when there is a sudden drop in temperature or during prolonged periods of cold weather and may make fish so sluggish they can be harvested by hand, fall prey to predators or just die. Studies suggest that cold-stun events can have a significant negative impact on speckled trout populations.

No cold-stun events have been reported thus far this winter, but could occur anytime the weather conditions allow for it. Speckled trout cold-stun events can be reported at any time to the N.C. Marine Patrol at 1-800-682-2632 or during regular business hours to Tracey Bauer at 252-808-8159 or Tracey.Bauer@ncdenr.gov. When reporting a cold-stun event, please provide the specific location where affected fish were seen and when (date and time), as well as your contact information. If a cold-stun event occurs, the NCDMF may close certain areas to the harvest of speckled trout. That action allows fish that survive the cold-stun event the chance to spawn in the spring before the harvest season reopens.

Wildlife Commission Seeks Comments on Proposed Rule Changes

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has opened the public comment period for proposed changes to agency regulations related to wildlife management, inland fisheries and game lands for the 2021-2022 seasons. The comment period will be open through Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. Comments may be submitted online, emailed to regulations@ncwildlife.org (must include name, phone number and mailing address) or mailed to: Rule-Making Coordinator, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1700. The public can also provide comments at one of the public hearings the Commission will conduct in January. For more information, including the schedule for the upcoming public hearings, visit ncwildlife.org/proposed-regulations.

Hunting Seasons

Raccoon, opossum, rabbit, grouse, bobcat, gray squirrel: through Feb. 28

Fox squirrel: through Jan. 31

Common snipe: through Feb. 27

Ducks: through Jan. 30

Tundra Swan (by permit only): through Jan. 30

Light Geese (incl. Snow Geese & Ross’s Geese): through Feb. 13

Sea ducks: check the NCWRC Regulations Digest

Woodcock: through Jan. 30

Quail: through Feb. 28

Grouse: through Feb. 28

Dove: through Jan. 30

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