Other Sports

Red drum are proposed for Hyco Lake freshwater

Observer News Services

Pennsylvanian Wally Mlynarski shows off a fat Lake Norman hybrid caught on a Shane’s Baits multi-hook rig while fishing with local guide Craig Price.
Pennsylvanian Wally Mlynarski shows off a fat Lake Norman hybrid caught on a Shane’s Baits multi-hook rig while fishing with local guide Craig Price.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is pondering the potential for stocking red drum in Hyco Lake, a 3,750-acre reservoir 10 miles west of Roxboro in Person County.

The species typically is found only in saltwater.

A public hear on the possible move is scheduled March 12 at 3 p.m. at the Hyco Lake Campground Community Center.

Fishery biologists with the commission will present an overview of Hyco’s current fishery and why the freshwater lake would make a suitable location for stocking red drum, which is North Carolina’s state fish.

Open discussion with those attending will follow.

The idea to release red drum in Hyco was spawned by a similar effort undertaken by Texas Parks and Wildlife. The Texas agency is stocking reds in two of the state’s power cooling reservoirs.

The N.C. commission’s Jessica Baumann, a fishery biologist, said the success of red drum in a freshwater lake is mainly dependent upon three things: A tilapia population to provide a sufficient prey base, minimum water temperatures and minimum calcium levels.

“Hyco Lake covers all of these requirements,” said Baumann. “We believe the stocking of red drum there has the potential for creating a very unique fishery.”

But before the idea becomes reality the commission wants to hear the opinions of local anglers and answer any questions they might have. The location of the meeting for this purpose is 205 Pointer Drive in Leasburg. Observer News Services

Briefly

▪  Alvin Taylor, director of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, has been presented the National Wild Turkey Federation’s Lynn Boykin Hunting Heritage Award. Taylor received the honorSaturday at the Federation’s 40th Annual Convention in Nashville, Tenn. The award’s namesake was a former president and chairperson of the Federation and she championed the hunting heritage. Taylor was cited for his commitment to maintaining quality habitat for all wildlife species.

▪  Approximately 1,000 miles of trout streams in the N.C. mountain counties will close to fishing Feb. 29 for the purpose of restocking. They will reopen at 7 a.m. on April 2. All these stream carry the Wildlife Commission’s Hatchery Supported Trout Waters designation and are marked by green/white signs posted at intervals along their length. This year’s overall stocking plans call for the release of 916,000 trout, 96 percent of which average 10 inches in length and the rest exceeding 14 inches.

▪  Two Tennessee men have been permanently banned from hunting in 44 states after illegally killing as many as 40 deer, then taking photos and videos mocking the animals. Densibil Calzada and Eddy Albert, both of La Vergne, received he harshest penalty ever issued by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. They also were fined $1,000 each, ordered to pay $5,000 restitution, must perform 100 hours of community service for the wildlife agency and serve 18 months probation. Their weapons, a rifle and a crossbow, were seized.

Catches of the week

▪  An 8-pound largemouth bass and a mix of hybrids and white perch at Lake Norman by Sam Newman of Mooresville while trolling an Alabama rig with Li’l Fishie lures attached. The fish were released.

▪  Twenty Lake Norman hybrids boated and released by Drew Goins of Stanley while fishing near the Plant Marshall hot hole.

▪  Approximately 30 fish, a mix of hybrids, stripers, spotted bass, largemouth and white perch by anglers fishing with guide Craig Price of Denver, N.C. One client, Pennsylvanian Wally Mlynarski, caught an especially large hybrid.

▪  A limit of crappie, all measuring about 14 inches, in the Smith Lake section of Blewett Falls by Jody Kelly of Charlotte.

▪  A haul of 23 blue catfish up to 30 pounds at Mountain Island by lake resident Humpy Wheeler and guide Evan Martin. They released all but four of the fish, which were kept for the table.

▪  A 200-pound bull shark, 25-pound blackfin tuna and 5-pound black seabass off Hatteras Village by Ohioan Cecil Hilliard.

▪  Three bluefin tuna off Hatteras Island by a commercial fishing group with skipper Kenny Koci aboard the Fin Again. The largest measured 96 inches, the other two 84 inches.

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