Hunter Education course
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Hunter Education course, required for all newly-licensed hunters, will be offered on June 9 at the Maysville Volunteer Fire Department from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
There is no charge but preregistration is required. For more information or to sign up, go to the Wildlife Commission’s web site - www.ncwildlife.org- and click on the scrolling Hunter Education banner at the bottom of the home page.
Watch out for manatees
As the days lengthen and waters warm boaters in coastal North Carolina, particularly near the Intracoastal Waterway, may spot an uncommon visitor – a manatee. Sightings of those huge, slow-moving marine mammals have been reported as early as April and May but, according to Division of Marine Fisheries biologist Victoria Thayer, “… manatee sightings typically begin in June and continue through late fall.”
These gentle, yet ponderous creatures, which are roughly the size and weight of a buffalo, are members of a subspecies of West Indian manatee called the Florida manatee. In this part of the world, they are most often associated with that state but have been spotted farther up the east coast, particularly in coastal North Carolina and Virginia in recent years. Scientists are not sure whether this perceived increase in range reflects a change in migration patterns or the fact that there are more people in and near the water nowadays to spot the animals.
Regardless of why they’re here, boaters are urged to be on the lookout for visiting manatees. If one is seen, proper procedure is to slow down, give the animal a wide berth and, if possible, signal other boaters of its presence. Manatees are very docile, slow-moving creatures that are susceptible to serious injury due to being struck by propellers. They can also be adversely affected by sudden changes in temperature.
3-D archery tournament
The Onslow County Archery Club will host a 3-D archery tournament at its range in the Hubert community on Saturday, June 1.
Registration is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. For directions or additional details, contact Mike Larson at 910-539-2577.
Kids’ fishing events scheduled
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, along with Neuse Sport Shop and the U.S. Forest Service, are sponsoring more than 30 kids’ fishing events across the state in May and early June.
The events are being held in support of National Fishing and Boating Week. Kids can fish for free and register to win prizes at each event, including a statewide drawing for a unified lifetime license. The license, donated by Neuse Sport Shop in Kinston, includes both fishing and hunting privileges.
The Commission will donate an additional 100 prizes, such as fishing rod and reel combos, towels, playing cards and mini-tackle boxes. A final drawing for the prizes will be conducted at the end of June with a list of winners published on ncwildlife.org in July. Local sponsors may also provide prizes and gifts at fishing events in their areas.
One fishing event will be held on June 8 at Cedar Swamp Pond in the Croatan National Forest near Newport, N.C. from 8 a.m. to noon. No preregistration is required. For directions or information, contact Hugo Cobos at 252-638-5628 x4014. Another fishing event will be held on that same day in Lenoir County at the Neuseway Park and Nature Center in Kinston from 9 a.m. till noon. Bobby Cox at 252-916-7564 can provide more information.
On June 1, a Fun Fishing Day will be held at Orde Pond onboard Camp Lejeune from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Information for that one is available from Emily Gaydos at 910-451-7235 or online at www.mccslejeune-newriver.com/outdoor. Another event is scheduled for June 8 at the Jacksonville Police Training Center with times to be announced. Contact Anna Stanley at 910-347-5332 for directions and details.
Distressed fish in Neuse
The North Carolina Division of Water Resources (NCDWR) is investigating numerous dead or dying fish found in the lower portion of the Neuse River late last week.
NCDWR staff observed numerous menhaden with 3 to 5-inch lesions in the river from Flanners Beach to Carolina Pines. Scientists are working to analyze the fish to learn the cause, which does not appear to water quality parameters, such as dissolved oxygen.
Conditions will continue to be monitored and updates provided when information is available. The public is advised to avoid contact with water where the distressed fish are being observed.