Sarah Gagliardo

Releases – April 27, 2017

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Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation will present the 2017 Youth Fishing Derby on Saturday, June 10, from 9:00-11:00 am at the Bogue Inlet Pier. The event is free and open to kids ages 5-12.

Great prizes will be awarded in categories ranging from Most Unique Fish Caught to Largest Fish Caught.

Rods and reels will not be provided. Bait will be provided (while supplies last) so anglers are encouraged to bring your own.

Pre-registration is required (limited to 100 youth) and runs from May 8- June 8. To register, stop by the Emerald Isle Parks and Recreation Community Center, call (252) 354-6350, or email slowe@emeraldisle-nc.org.


The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is seeking the public’s assistance with a new citizen science project that will help the agency answer the question, “Where do people see alligators in North Carolina?”

Anyone, whether a resident or visitor, who spots an alligator in the wild in North Carolina is asked to upload and share their photos on the project titled “NC Alligators,” which launched today on the free online platform iNaturalist. People can upload their photos via a computer at iNaturalist.org or they can download the free iNaturalist app, which is available for iPhone and Android.

“Submitting an alligator observation is very easy,” said Alicia Davis, a natural resources technician with the Commission and the project curator. “If you see an alligator and can take a picture, you simply upload the photo to iNaturalist and add it to the NC Alligators project.

“If the picture you upload was taken with a smartphone, the iNaturalist platform automatically gathers data on when and where the photo was taken. If you take the picture with a traditional camera, you can drop a pin where you saw the alligator using the Google map on the website.”

Observers should exercise caution and keep a safe distance away when photographing alligators, Davis added. “It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of seeing an alligator and get too close, which could be dangerous,” Davis said. “Also, we don’t want people feeding them to get a better picture. Not only is that dangerous for both the observer and the animal, but it is also illegal.”

The Commission launched the “NC Alligators” project to learn more about the distribution of alligators in the state. Currently, alligators have a natural distribution range of about 25 coastal counties in North Carolina, which is the northern extent of the alligator’s range. Previous scientific work has shown that researchers need to monitor alligators so they can better understand how alligator populations respond to habitat changes, such as saltwater intrusion, fluctuation in water levels, and habitat loss.

“Data collected from this project will also help us identify areas with high potential for human-alligator interactions,” Davis said. “We could use this type of information to reduce negative interactions between people and alligators. For example, these observations could help WRC staff decide where to focus educational efforts about alligators.”

People who want to report observations but do not want to use iNaturalist can send their alligator observations directly to Davis at alicia.davis@ncwildlife.org. The email should include: (1) A photo of the alligator; (2) When it was observed (date and time); (3) The location where it was found (GPS coordinates are best, but a detailed location description is acceptable); and (4) Estimation of size class—Hatchling-3 feet, or 3-6 feet, or 6-9 feet, or More than 9 feet, or Unknown.

For more information, contact Davis at alicia.davis@ncwildlife.org or (919) 707-4087.


The recreational fishing and boating community praised the introduction of a bill that addresses critical challenges facing saltwater recreational fishing at the federal level. Led by Congressmen Garret Graves (R-La.), Gene Green (D-Texas), Daniel Webster (R-Fla.) and Rob Wittman (R-Va.), the “Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act of 2017” (Modern Fish Act) would improve public access to America’s federal waters, promote conservation of our natural marine resources and spur economic growth.

“On behalf of America’s 11 million saltwater anglers, we thank Congressmen Graves, Green, Webster and Wittman for championing this legislation to modernize federal recreational fishing management,” said Jeff Angers, president of the Center for Sportfishing Policy. “For decades, the recreational fishing community has been subjected to antiquated federal policies not designed to manage recreational fishing. The time is now to update these policies so families can fully enjoy our nation’s remarkable marine resources and continue a proud American tradition on the water.”

The Modern Fish Act addresses many of the recreational fishing community’s priorities including allowing alternative management for recreational fishing, reexamining fisheries allocations, smartly rebuilding fishery stocks, establishing exemptions where annual catch limits don’t fit and improving recreational data collection. The bill aims to benefit fishing access and conservation by incorporating modern management approaches, science and technology to guide decision-making.

“We applaud the introduction of the Modern Fish Act in the House and the efforts of Rep. Graves and his colleagues to modernize the federal regulations governing access to the public’s natural resources by boaters and anglers,” said National Marine Manufacturers Association President Thom Dammrich. “We appreciate the Congressmen’s support for better management of our recreational fisheries that will bring federal management into the 21st century.”

“Getting more Americans outdoors and enjoying our wonderful natural treasures, including in saltwater spaces, requires updating and modernizing federal management approaches,” said Mike Nussman, president of the American Sportfishing Association. “The Modern Fish Act addresses the core issues within federal saltwater fisheries management that are limiting the public’s ability to enjoy saltwater recreational fishing, and will help maximize the economic, social and conservation benefits that recreational fishing provides to the nation.”

“This legislation reflects the vision and commitment of the recreational angling community to work with Congress and NOAA to provide quality angling opportunities for all stakeholders,” said Patrick Murray, president of Coastal Conservation Association. “We commend Congressmen Graves, Green, Webster and Wittman for providing a pathway to better management of America’s marine fisheries in the future.”

“For decades in federal fisheries management, recreational fishing was always an afterthought,” explained Jim Donofrio executive director of the Recreational Fishing Alliance. “The Modernizing Recreational Fisheries Management Act introduced by Congressman Graves and his colleagues finally addresses the specific needs of the recreational fishing community; stands to bring parity to fisheries management and will get anglers back on the water.”

The coalition of groups supporting the Modern Fish Act includes American Sportfishing Association, Center for Sportfishing Policy, Coastal Conservation Association, Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, International Game Fish Association, National Marine Manufacturers Association, Recreational Fishing Alliance, The Billfish Foundation and Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership.