It’s Turkey Season! (And more on those anadromous fish)

male wild turkey with impressive beard

While April marks the end of our controlled burn season (it happend so fast) it also marks the start of turkey season here in the SECP.  From April 14th to May 12th you may hunt turkeys (male or bearded turkeys only, some females may be bearded) in approved hunting areas.  The Green Swamp is a Wildlife Resources Commission State Gameland, which means with the appropriate license you may hunt there during approved game hunting seasons, like spring turkey season!  For more information on hunting regulations and seasons and where to hunt in North Carolina visit the NC WRC website.

turkey roosting in a tree, photo by Wayne Forsythe

So let this be a heads up to all of you non-hunting folks recreating at the Green Swamp Preserve nature trail.  If you are going for a walk this spring during turkey season please wear a bright-colored article of clothing, like a hat or shirt.  This allows for hunters to recognize that you are not a wood dwelling creature but rather a person enjoying all that the pine savanna has to offer in the spring!

electroshocking and catching the shad

A few months ago I posted in “Anadromous Fish?”about a new project that NOAA has started in the Cape Fear River involving the construction of anadromous fish passages in the lock and dam systems that exist along the river.  Well we are excited to announce that we, along with help from the NC Division of Marine Fisheries and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission, have tagged and will be monitoring 20 American shad for the next year!

measuring the shad to be tagged

The tagging happened last week when DMF and WRC placed 20 sonic tags in the stomachs of 20 sizeable shad captured just below lock and dam #1 on the Cape Fear River.  The fish were electroshocked and captured and then force-fed the tags (it sounds cruel but I assure you none of the fish were harmed and eventually the fish will expel the tag).  DMF has a series of receivers along the river that will ping the fish regularly.  From the pings a map will be made monthly so we can see the fish movement along the river.

shad tag, recording the number and details about the fish it will be placed in

We will monitor the fish for a year (as that’s the life of the tags) to see where they travel along the river in an effort to gain some knowledge that will help guide our work with NOAA’s long-term project that addresses the health of the Cape Fear River.  Very neat.

releasing the tagged shad


About secpnc

My name is Sara Babin and I am the Conservation Coordinator for The Nature Conservancy Southeast Coastal Plain program in Wilmington, NC. Our office is responsable for the maintenance and restoration of 35,000 acres of preserve land owned by The Nature Conservancy. We protect the land for ecologically significant species in hopes to ensure a lasting natural history legacy for future generations to enjoy. This blog will highlight our most exciting activities and events with much of the focus being on our controlled burn program. With this blog we hope to share the ins and outs of what we do and how it is bettering the world for plants, animals, and people.
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