| Fishing Aboard MCAS Cherry Point
Three manmade freshwater ponds (Bartlett, Catfish, and Duck Ponds) are managed for sport fishing by the Natural Resources Division. The Natural Resources Manager supervises a program of fish stocking and vegetation control to provide quality fishing opportunities for the military community. The regulations for fishing are enforced by the Conservation Law Enforcement Officers.
Any person 16 years of age and over when fishing in Bartlett, Catfish, or Duck ponds must have a valid state fishing license and also must possess a valid Station fishing or hunting & fishing permit. The appropriate state fishing license (inland or coastal) is required for fishing within public waters of Slocum Creek, Hancock Creek, and their tributaries (inland); or the Neuse River below the US-17 bridge (coastal). Please refer to the appropriate state agency regulations (NCWRC or NC Division of Marine Fisheries) for specific licensing requirements.
a. The use or possession of live fish as bait is strictly prohibited. In addition, the introduction of any fish, from any source, into the ponds is prohibited. This also helps to prevent the unauthorized stocking of diseased or undesirable types of fish. Putting crappie, golden shiners, carp or bullheads in a pond can quickly ruin it DONT DO IT!
b. No trotlines, gigs, spears, nets, poison, or electrical devices may be used for fishing.
c. Small boats are allowed. No outboard motors. An electric motor is permitted. Water safety equipment REQUIRED.
GRASS CARP: MUST BE RETURNED TO THE WATER IMMEDIATELY RELEASING FISH
If you follow a few simple rules, injuries to fish that you want to release can be significantly reduced:
a. Return fish to the water immediately after unhooking. Do not keep them on a stringer or in a bucket to be returned later.
b. Handle the fish as little as possible. The ideal way to release a fish is to reach down with a pair of pliers while the fish is in the water and quickly twist the hook out. When handling fish, keep your fingers or pliers away from gills.
c. Station regulations require the immediate release of all undersize fish, regardless of any injuries they may get while being caught or unhooked. Do not keep any undersize fish.
d. If a fish swallows the hook, cut the line leaving about one inch of line hanging past the mouth. Do not try to pull the hook out.
SIZE AND CREEL LIMITS
a. Largemouth Bass: The 16 minimum size limit has been set to allow most of the bass to spawn twice before they reach legal size. Good reproduction by bass is essential in small ponds. The young bass are needed to prey on the thousands of small bluegill that are hatched out each year. Without enough small bass to reduce their numbers, bluegill would quickly overpopulate a small pond. The result is thousands of stunted bluegills that prevent bass from reproducing by devouring the eggs.
b. HYBRID STRIPED BASS: The four fish per day limit for Hybrid Striped Bass has been set to spread the harvest among as many fisherman as possible. Hybrid Striped Bass do not normally reproduce in a pond so the fish have to be stocked.
c. Channel Catfish: The four fish per day limit for catfish has been set to spread the harvest among as many fishermen as possible. Channel cats do not normally reproduce in a pond so the fish have to be stocked. The supply of catfish fingerlings for stocking limited. The 14 size limit is designed to allow the fish to reach at least pound before being kept.
d. GRASS CARP: Have been stocked in the Ponds to help control aquatic weeds. They are a gold colored fish, slightly more slender than a common carp. They are strict vegetation eaters and are not easily caught. IF CAUGHT, ALL GRASS CARP MUST BE RETURNED TO THE WATER IMMEDIATELY.
The use of barbless hooks for all fishing is encouraged. Undersized fish can be easily released without injury. You do not have to buy special hooks just press the barb on a regular hook down with a pair of pliers. Dont worry about losing fish many fishermen believe that a barbless hook penetrates easier and holds as well as a barbed hook.
The warm, fertile waters of ponds in the Southeast can produce large crops of bass, catfish, and bream. Unfortunately, large crops of aquatic weeds can also be the result. Some plants are desirable but others can completely choke a small pond if not controlled. The Natural Resources Division uses a combination of mechanical, chemical, and biological methods to help control aquatic vegetation. No single method can provide complete control, though many advertisements in magazines would imply it. Filamentous algae, which grows on the bottom and then floats up to form mats on the surface, is the most common subject of complaints. Unfortunately, this scum type algae is at a peak during warm weather when chemical control can easily cause fish kills due to oxygen depletion.
All trash must be put in trash containers or taken back to your vehicle. There is no police patrol to pick up after you. Violators will lose their fishing and recreational privileges. Glass containers are not permitted. No fires are allowed, except for charcoal grills.
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