SEAFWA 2018 has ended
The following schedule is from the 72nd Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies which was held October 21-24, 2018 in Mobile, Alabama. 
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Tuesday, October 23 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
Wildlife 3 Track: Educating North Carolina’s Trout Anglers to Help Conserve Eastern Hellbenders

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AUTHORS: Lori A. Williams, NC Wildlife Resources Commission; Jacob M. Rash, NC Wildlife Resources Commission; John D. Groves, ret.-NC Zoological Park; Lorie L. Stroup, U.S. Forest Service; Doug Blatny, NC Division of Parks and Recreation

ABSTRACT: Eastern hellbenders (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis alleganiensis) are a protected species of concern in North Carolina. Despite long-term efforts by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) and partners to improve understanding of hellbender status in the state, census of all known and potential populations is lacking. The species’ dependence upon clean, cold, well-oxygenated water relegates them to North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Ecoregion, where the State’s trout fisheries share the same habitat requirements. This overlap presented an opportunity for the NCWRC to inform trout anglers about hellbender conservation, while enhancing spatial and temporal distribution data of the salamander. In 2013, an advertisement within the Public Mountain Trout Waters’ portion of the North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest initiated direct outreach to trout anglers. This advertisement complemented existing outreach efforts that included informational posters, streamside signage, in-person programming and information tables, popular articles, and documentaries from summer 2007–summer 2017. These combined efforts, particularly the advertisement, have resulted in 207 reports of hellbenders from the public, with 127 from anglers. These data represent observations from 56 streams, with seven reports from waters that lacked previous knowledge of hellbender occurrence. The majority of reports originated from private land sites (n=117) and those within National Forests (n=70), while the encounter method reported most often was incidental observation (n=165). Much work remains relative to hellbender conservation in the State and region, but managers should consider exploring similar resource overlaps as those noted within our example to collect valuable data and promote conservation messages.

Tuesday October 23, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm CDT
Bon Secour Bay II

Attendees (4)