A public meeting for discussion about a proposed new site for a public shooting range in Burke County has been scheduled for June 23 by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
It will be held at the Municipal Auditorium in Morganton, 401 S. College St., 6:30-8:30 p.m.
The alternative range location is on the Johns River Game Land adjacent to a landfill and approximately a quarter-mile from a shooting range used by the county sheriff’s department.
The switch to Johns River came about after strong opposition arose to an original site proposed for the Linville tract of the Pisgah Game Lands near Lake James. Opponents contended that range would be too close to hiking trails and other nearby recreational facilities.
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Plans for the possible Johns River location include a 25-yard pistol range and a 100-yard range for rifles.
Commission officials hope to complete an environmental impact study prior to the Morganton meeting, then present it and comments from the public for consideration by commissioners on July 16 in Raleigh.
▪ It took a fine limit catch of three catfish weighing 94.4 pounds by Brian and Phil Elam to win the recent Scotty’s Bait & Tackle Tournament at Blewett Falls Lake. The winning duo also had the largest single catfish in the 10th annual event, a flathead weighing 53.1 pounds. Anglers aboard 56 boats took part in the tourney at the reservoir near Lilesville.
▪ David O. Neal has been promoted to the rank of captain by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and will supervise 22 law enforcement officers in the agency’s District 4, which includes Scotland County. A 23-year commission veteran, Neal previously was a lieutenant stationed in Beaufort County. He succeeds Brent Spivey, who retired. Neal has been an instructor at the Wildlife Officer Recruit Academy, serving as an arrest techniques and physical fitness instructor.
▪ The S.C. Department of Natural Resources has enlarged its Heritage Preserve at Forty Acre Rock in Lancaster County. The move was made possible through a land transfer from Haile Gold Mine. The 698-acre Rainbow Ranch now becomes part of the Forty Acre Rock site. Additionally, the agency has created a new 3,677-acre Wateree River Heritage Preserve in Richland County via transfers of three parcels from the gold mining company. A department spokesman said the lands now will be protected forever.
Catches of the week
▪ A sailfish boated and released off Georgetown, S.C., by local teenager Kaylee Thomas. In keeping with tradition, she was tossed into the water at Georgetown Landing Marina in celebration of her first billfish.
▪ A 99-pound wahoo off Ocean Isle by local sportfishing skipper Rickey Beck.
▪ A white marlin boated and released off Hatteras Village by Josh Walden of Spruce Pine.
▪ A white marlin boated and released off Hatteras by Kimberly Burris of Rocky Mount.
▪ A sailfish boated and released off Hatteras by John Olsen of Hickory.
▪ Red drum of 31 and 28 inches in the surf near Ramp 4 on the northern Outer Banks by Grover Sheldon.