RALEIGH — Tuesday, July 4, is “free fishing day” in North Carolina where everyone — residents and non-residents alike — can fish in any public body of water from 12:01 a.m. to 11: 59 p.m., without having to purchase a fishing license or additional trout privilege license.
While anyone 16 years and older can fish recreationally in all public waters, including saltwater, without a license on July 4, all other fishing regulations, such as length and daily possession limits, as well as bait and tackle restrictions, apply.
To make “free fishing day” more enjoyable, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission stocks a variety of fish in public, inland waters across the state throughout the year to give anglers a better chance of catching fish. Cool mountain waters are stocked with brook, brown and rainbow trout, as well as walleye and muskellunge. In warm waters, Commission staff stocks largemouth bass, American shad, striped bass, channel catfish and sunfishes.
In addition to stocking fish, the Commission has interactive fishing and boating maps on its website to make finding a spot to fish easier.
Authorized by the N.C. General Assembly and enacted in 1994, North Carolina’s annual free fishing day always falls on July 4. On all other days of the year, a fishing license is not required for anglers 15 years and younger, but anyone age 16 and older must have a fishing license to fish in any public water in North Carolina, including coastal waters.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is accepting entries to its 13th annual Wildlife in North Carolina Photo Competition until 5 p.m., Sept. 1, 2017.
The contest is open to amateur and professional photographers of all ages, except for employees of the Wildlife Commission, the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, and their immediate families (children, siblings and spouses). Entrants must be either current magazine subscribers or younger than 18.
Only photographs taken in North Carolina since Sept. 15, 2013, are eligible for the competition. The categories are: Birds, invertebrates, mammals, reptiles and amphibians.
— Animal Behavior: Anything wild animals do, from everyday activities to interactions with other animals to unusual behavior.
— Outdoor Recreation: Show how people interact with North Carolina’s natural world through activities that are inextricably linked to nature, such as hunting, ﬁshing, hiking, rock climbing or canoeing.
— Wild Landscapes: The peaks, valleys, plains and beaches of North Carolina.
— Wild Plants and Fungi: Wild-growing plants only, including their ﬂowers, leaves, fruits and other parts. Absolutely no cultivated plants will be accepted.
— Youth Photographer, 13–17: Any of the above subjects, shot by photographers under 18.
— Youth Photographer, 12 and under: Any of the above subjects, shot by children 12 and younger.
Do not enter photos of animals that are both captive and non-native to North Carolina, but captive native animals are allowed. No pets or domestic animals will be accepted, except animals participating with people in an outdoor activity, such as hunting dogs or riders on horseback.
Entries will be judged by a panel comprising staff from the Commission and the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, as well as professional photographers. The grand prize winner will have his or her photo published on the cover of the January/February 2018 issue of Wildlife in North Carolina and will receive a check for $200. All winning photographs will be published in the magazine and exhibited at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. First place in all categories pays $100; second place, $75; and third place, $50.
The Commission is accepting entries online only — no slides, negatives or prints will be accepted by mail. Entrants may submit a maximum of two photos per category. Each photo must be in JPEG format and no larger than 2 megabytes each.
Visit the Commission’s Wildlife in North Carolina Photo Competition webpage to enter a photo and for additional information