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Trout season in hatchery-supported waters closes Friday

The trout season on approximately 1,000 miles of streams in the North Carolina mountains classified as hatchery-supported waters will close Friday at a half-hour after sunset.

Some ponds and small lakes with the same classification also will become off limits to fishing.

All will be stocked by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission during March and reopen on April 5 at 7 a.m. These waters then will remain available to anglers through February 2015.

The agency plans to release about 907,000 trout this year. Most, 96 percent, will be about 10 inches in length. The rest will exceed 14 inches.

The creel limit for hatchery-supported locations is seven fish per day. There is no size or bait restriction. Observer News Services

Grandfather tops grandson at Lake Norman

It was a rare grandfather vs. grandson shootout on Saturday in a Walmart Bass Fishing League tournament at Lake Norman.

Experience trumped youth.

Larry Lehew of Charlotte boated a five-bass limit weighing 19 pounds, 3 ounces. His grandson Shane, a UNC Charlotte student, caught five fish scaling 17-10.

Both mainly were casting a type of Alabama rig developed by Shane called “Blades Of Glory.”

The elder Lehew earned $7,096 in the tournament that attracted approximately 250 competitors. Shane won $2,698.

Alfred Kiesling Sr., of Mooresville, finished third with 16 pounds. Then came Wes Lewis of Concord and Bryan Thrift of Shelby.

Tops among the “co-anglers” was Shorty Vaow of Cornelius with 13 pounds, 12 ounces. He won $2,398. Tom Higgins

Youth hunter skills tournaments scheduled

Nine tournaments matching middle school and high school shooting teams are set for March across North Carolina.

It’s the 36th year for the Youth Hunter Education Skills Tournaments, sponsored by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Competition with rifles, shotguns and archery gear is set for each of the agency’s nine wildlife districts. There also will be orienteering challenges and wildlife quizzes.

The schedule includes three events on March 15:

• District 6, Camp John J. Barnhardt, New London, Stanly County.

• Catawba Valley Wildlife Club, Vale, Catawba County.

• Polk County Gun Club, Columbus.

On March 22, youths from District 7 will compete at the Hunting Creek Preserve at Harmony in Iredell County.

District winners will advance to the state finals on April 26 at the Millstone 4-H Center near Ellerbe in Richmond County. ONS

Briefly

• The S.C. Department of Natural Resources was honored by the Humane Society in Columbia on Tuesday. The agency was recognized on the State House grounds for its efforts to end animal cruelty through its crackdown on bear baiting/baying.

• Roads have been closed to vehicular traffic in the Little Pee Dee Heritage Preserve in Dillon County (S.C.) because of an ice storm this month. The roads are blocked by fallen trees. The Cartwheel Heritage Preserve roads in Horry County also are closed. While cleanup continues, the roads at both sites remain open to foot traffic.

Catches of the week

• A haul of 109 white perch at Lake Norman by Mooresville youths Coco Moore and brothers West and Bryce Peterson. They were joined by dads Eric Moore and Tim Peterson during the trip guided by David Clubb. Some of the fish weighed a pound or more, large for white perch.

• A 60-pound wahoo off Little River by local angler Austin Keener.

• An 18-pound blue catfish at Lake Norman by Michael Sheets of Charlotte and an 8-pounder by wife Patsi.

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