North Carolina isn’t Florida, but the state still is home to a growing population of alligators.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and its N.C. Alligator Task Force are hosting public forums in June to receive public input on a draft of the N.C. Alligator Management Plan.
The task force will present the final plan draft at the commission’s July 26-27 business meeting in Raleigh.
The remaining five forums each begin at 7 p.m.:
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▪ June 13, Bladen Community College, Dublin.
▪ June 14, Brunswick County Complex, Bolivia.
▪ June 15, Sturgeon City Environmental Education Center, Jacksonville.
▪ June 20, Craven Community College, New Bern.
▪ June 21, Goose Creek State Park Visitor Center, Washington.
Comment ends June 25 at https://ncwildlife.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_5u85bJUcM7jGXaZ.
Gun raffle: Buying a ticket for the Triangle Shrine Club Gun Raffle will help support local charities and could win the buyer a Weatherby 12-gauge PA-8 pump shotgun or $250 cash. The drawing will be held June 22. Tickets cost $5 each or five for $20. For tickets, text Tommy Keith at 919-801-3799.
Kids fishing: The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s John E. Pechmann Fishing Education Center in Fayetteville will host a free kids event 8 a.m. to noon June 10 for up to 200 anglers 15 and younger. Contact Tommy Keith at 919-801-3799 or email@example.com.
The event continues National Fishing and Boating Week events that began in mid-May.
Shooting: The Wake County Wildlife Club will host a women-only shooting sports workshop for rifle, shotgun, pistol and bow and arrow 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 10 at the club at 1213 Coley Road in Durham. Equipment is provided. Registration for the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman workshop is limited to 40 women 18 or older. Go to www.ncwildlife.org/BOW.
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Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament
Boats, anglers and supporters are gathering in Morehead City this week in anticipation of the 59th annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament, which runs June 12-17.
But the fishing starts June 10 when a women-only billfish tournament takes to the water at 8 a.m.
The Keli Wagner Lady Angler Tournament celebrates its 20th year with hopes of a record turnout.
“The weather forecast is looking really good, so we’re looking forward to 125 to 150 boats,” said KWLA coordinator Madison Maxwell of Morehead City. “Last year, we had the most ever with 125, so we’re hoping for our biggest year yet.”
The event raises funds for Carteret Health Care Cancer Center. More than $228,000 has been donated in memory of Wagner, the late wife of Big Rock board member and participant Casey Wagner, captain of the 55-foot Jarrett Bay called Inspiration.
In early years, the tournament was mainly a day of fishing for wives and children of entrants in the main Big Rock event, but that has changed, Maxwell said.
“Now that its gotten so popular, there are smaller outboard boats that participate just for the KWLA,” she said.
Triangle connection: Last year’s KWLA winner was the Ashley Lauren fishing team with captain Mark Annis of Clayton and anglers Jackie Miller of Clayton and Annis’ wife, Kim, also of Clayton, each releasing a blue marlin for the winning points and a $13,281 top prize. The Ashley Lauren crew went on to with the 58th Big Rock. The team, with angler Doug Phillips of Garner, weighed in a 621.4-pound blue marlin on the second of six days of Big Rock fishing.
Big Rock purse: Depends on entries, which already have arrived from Massachusetts to Texas. Last year, the Ashley Lauren topped a field of 174 boats to win $662,995 from a record $1,914,100 Big Rock purse. The entry fee starts at $2,500, making boats eligible for a $25,000 guaranteed prize for the first-place marlin. From there, additional tiers of fees make teams eligible for bigger prizes.
Follow the action: Find a leaderboard, live audio from the boats, live video and more at www.thebigrock.com. Keep up with hookups on Twitter by following @bigrockfishing, on Instagram using #BigRockTournament and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/The-Big-Rock-Blue-Marlin-Tournament-60987789564/.
Champions of the Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament
Year, boat, home port, weight, captain, angler
2014 Inspiration, Morehead City, 754.3, Casey Wagner, Bruce Brown
2015 Viking 62, New Gretna, N.J., 680, Brian Komer, Earle Hall
2016 Ashley Lauren, Raleigh, 621.4, Mark Annis, Doug Phillips
– Teri Boggess