On the other hand, what we do have is a lot of water level fluctuations that are caused by the directions from which the winds blow. A great example of this is what happened on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010 when a strong west-north-west wind started pushing the waters around in the Pamlico area.
Joe and Julia Paul have their home at the Core Point area of the Pamlico River and were astonished to see vast areas of the bottom of the Pamlico River suddenly exposed as the WNW winds pushed the water to the east. Others in the area compared the parting of the waters on the Pamlico that day to Moses parting the water of the Red Sea when he was fleeing the Egyptians.
Luckily Austin Paul was visiting his folks that day and grabbed his camera to record the event for history. Items like “ghost” crab pots, old shoes and all sorts of items that had been hidden for a long time beneath the Pamlico’s waters were exposed. Some fishermen even had a field day retrieving lures and tackle that were lost when they became snagged on old pots or logs.
Even the Eagle’s Nest’s community’s pet dog “Old Johnny” managed to corner a speckled trout that had been trapped in the suddenly shallow water and had himself a good meal compliments of the strong winds.
People who secured their boats to the dock and had them tightly tied before the “big-blow” suddenly found their craft suspended in mid-air unless the lines were loosened before the water left the area that day.
Photos taken by Austin showed Joe Paul standing on the exposed bottom of the Pamlico River with his boat dock and house at Core Point in the background. If the water had been at normal levels that day Joe would have been standing neck-deep in the Pamlico River. He estimates that the “tide” was down by about 4 ½ feet.
On the other side of the Pamlico-Albemarle area it was an entirely different story that Wednesday. All that water being pushed to the easterly by winds gusting at 40-50 miles an hour had to go somewhere and what few relatively shallow inlets we have along the barrier islands (Outer Banks) couldn’t disperse all that water into the Atlantic fast enough. The extremely low water in the western part of the area turned into a flood on the eastern parts of the coastal area.
Bob and “B.B.” Woody from Manteo are retired from the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Park in Manteo and called to tell me about the flood of February 10th as it happened in downtown Manteo. The Woody’s now own and operate the White Doe Inn in Manteo and were in a position to relay first-hand information about the high tides from their area. Bob estimated that the tidewater was two feet deep on the street near the White Doe Inn and it was still rising at 4 p.m.
Wind driven tides of this magnitude aren’t common in the coastal area of North Carolina so, for those that were lucky enough to witness that phenomenon that day, you may never see it again. Luckily there were relatively few costly incidents connected with the abnormally high and low tides so we had it lucky. For those that managed to take photographs of the extreme wind-tides of Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2010, you may have a historic record of the effects of wind on the waters along the North Carolina coast.
Roanoke River Striped Bass Season Opens Mar. 1, 2010
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will open the entire Roanoke River Management Area to striped bass harvest from March 1 through April 30. The Roanoke River Management Area includes the Roanoke River and tributaries from Roanoke Rapids Lake Dam downstream to Albemarle Sound, including the Cashie, Middle and Eastmost rivers.
The daily creel limit within the Roanoke River Management Area is two striped bass per person. The minimum length limit is 18 inches, and no striped bass between 22 and 27 inches may be possessed at any time. Only one striped bass larger than 27 inches can be included in the daily creel limit.
Anglers are required to use a single barbless hook or a lure with a single barbless hook when fishing in the upper Roanoke River from April 1 through June 30. The upper Roanoke River is defined as the main river channel and all tributaries, upstream from the U.S. Highway 258 Bridge near Scotland Neck to Roanoke Rapids Lake Dam.
While anglers can make their existing hooks barbless by crimping down the barb with pliers, the Wildlife Resources Commission, in partnership with Eagle Claw, is handing out barbless circle hooks to anglers fishing on the upper Roanoke River this spring. Informational cards with a single barbless hook attached are available from Wildlife Enforcement officers, fisheries biologists and creel clerks working in the vicinity of the river from now until the end of June.
Striped bass anglers are encouraged to use small, non-offset circle hooks, preferably ones with the least amount of distance between the hook point and shank.
Studies show that striped bass caught on small, barbless circle hooks are usually hooked in the jaw, which means they have a much greater chance of survival after being released than fish hooked in the throat or gut. Visit the Commission’s Web site at www.ncwildlife.org to download a pocket-sized information card on releasing stripers safely. A series of questions and answers on striped bass fishing, locations of free Commission-managed boat ramps on the Roanoke River, and striped bass fishing tips are also available online. From March until the end of May, the Commission will post online weekly fishing reports from the Roanoke River every Thursday afternoon. For more information on fishing in public, inland waters, call the agency’s Division of Inland Fisheries, (919) 707-0220.
Dixie Deer Classic, Now A National Class Outdoor Show Scheduled For Mar. 5, 6, 7 and N.C. State Fairground
For Tar Heels this outdoor show needs no introduction. It’s sponsored by the Wake County Wildlife Club, which is one of this state’s most outstanding sportsmen’s groups.
It’s been around for years and it seems to get bigger every year. The Dixie Deer Classic is a “must attend” for deer hunters from across the country and is well worth spending a weekend attending. Take the family and enjoy!