RALEIGH — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is partnering with Cube Yadkin Generation LLC, an affiliate of Eagle Creek Renewable Energy and owner and operator of the Yadkin Project, to increase fisheries habitat at Tuckertown Reservoir.
The Wildlife Commission is planning to add 100 artificial and natural structures at 37 sites to provide additional fishing areas for the angling public at the reservoir. The artificial reefs will be constructed of long-lasting plastic materials and will be installed at depths of 10 to 20 feet. In addition to the fish attractors, larger trees at selected locations will be felled into the water and cabled in place to supplement natural shoreline habitat. These fish attractors are intended to help offset the loss of aquatic vegetation in the presence of sterile grass carp.
Sterile grass carp are a practical and cost-effective means of controlling invasive aquatic weeds. In 2014 and 2016, sterile grass carp were stocked at Tuckertown Reservoir to control hydrilla, a state and federal noxious weed. Unfortunately, the Grass Carp also consumed beneficial native plants, resulting in a reduction of submersed aquatic vegetation at the reservoir. In addition, lyngbya (black mat algae) increased, which is a nuisance, mat-forming cyanobacterium that grass carp typically do not eat. This created a nuisance for anglers because of its hook-fouling properties. NC State University is currently developing a project to help determine effective methods of controlling lyngbya in Tuckertown Reservoir and Badin Lake.
“We want the public to continue to have fantastic opportunities to catch fish, particularly largemouth bass and crappies, which are well known in these waters,” stated Troy Thompson, a fisheries biologist with the Wildlife Commission. “It’s important that we listen to what the angler community suggests. They know this body of water well and their input will help our agency make the most educated decisions. We want the reservoir to thrive and be enjoyed by many generations to follow.”
The Wildlife Commission is seeking angler input on potential locations for these fish attractors. Anglers can send their suggested sites, including GPS coordinates or a detailed site description, to Troy Thompson at email@example.com or 910-439-2006.
The project is funded through the Sport Fish Restoration Program, which utilizes state fishing license money and federal grant funds derived from federal excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuels, and by a donation from Cube Yadkin Generation.