May 22—RALEIGH — More than 25 fishing events for children across the state have been scheduled in May and June in recognition of National Fishing and Boating Week, June 5-13.
The events are being sponsored by he N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Neuse Sport Shop, the U.S. Forest Service and Trout Unlimited North Carolina.
The fun kicked off on May 15 in Caldwell and Ashe counties and will continue through June 19 in Alleghany, Haywood and Montgomery counties. Children can fish for free — no license required — and register to win prizes at each event, including a statewide grand prize drawing for a lifetime sportsman license. The license, donated by Neuse Sport Shop in Kinston, includes both fishing and hunting privileges. Also available is a freshwater lifetime fishing license donated by N.C. Council Trout Unlimited. The Wildlife Commission is also providing 100 additional fishing-related prizes, such as tackle boxes, rods, reels and more.
Drawings will be held at the end of June and published on the Commission's website, ncwildlife.org, in July. Local sponsors may also provide prizes and gifts at fishing events to registered participants.
The Commission will stock fish at many of the sites before the events to give anglers a better chance at reeling in a catch.
"We anticipate stocking thousands of fish," said Chet Clark, program manager of the Commission's Recruitment, Retention, Reactivation initiative. "We're excited to get these events back on the calendar. Last year we had to cancel most of them due to COVID. This year the excitement is high. Once they catch one fish, they'll be hooked."
For more information about National Fishing and Boating Week, visit the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation's website, takemefishing.org.
In other fishing news, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will open 34 trout streams and two lakes classified as Delayed Harvest to trout harvest June 5 through Sept. 30.
From 6 a.m. until 11:59 a.m. on opening day, Delayed Harvest waters are open only to anglers 17 years old and younger. At noon, waters open to all anglers. During this time, anglers can keep up to seven trout per day — with no gear or bait restrictions and no minimum size limits. The Wildlife Commission established the youth-only fishing period in the morning of "opening day," which is always the first Saturday in June, to promote trout fishing among young anglers and to provide special opportunities for young anglers to catch and keep fish.
Delayed Harvest trout waters are posted with diamond-shaped, black-and-white signs. A list of Delayed Harvest trout waters, regulation information and trout maps can be found at ncwildlife.org/trout.
While fishing, anglers are urged to help prevent the spread of aquatic nuisance species like gill lice, whirling disease and didymo, by following these minimal steps:
— CLEAN equipment of all aquatic plants, animals and mud.
— DRAIN water from boats, live wells and equipment.
— DRY equipment thoroughly.
— NEVER MOVE fish, plants or other organisms from one body of water to another.
Learn more about aquatic nuisance species by visiting the Commission's Aquatic Nuisance Species web page, ncwildlife.org/fishing/ANS.