Alligator River/Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge
P. O. Box 1969
Manteo, North Carolina 27954

Contact: Bonnie Strawser - 252-473-1131

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News Release

June 2, 2010

Round up your Crabbing and Fishing Gear and Head out to Pea Island's Annual Rodeo

The annual Fishing and Crabbing Rodeo, one of the most looked-forward-to events for families on the Outer Banks, will be held Saturday, June 12, from 9 a.m. to noon at Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge.

This is the only day that North Pond, directly behind the Pea Island Visitor Center, is open to the public for crabbing and fishing. The event is sponsored annually by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Coastal Wildlife Refuge Society.

Billed as a family event, the annual fishing and crabbing outing attracts the young and young-at-heart trying their luck at netting, reeling in, capturing, or otherwise legally bringing home a seafood dinner. A random prize drawing will be held at noon for children 12 and under. Tickets for the drawing will be handed out at the gate. Children, along with their tickets, must be present to win a prize. Although not all children will receive a prize this year, the time spent outdoors with family and friends is sure to create wonderful memories to last a lifetime.

For more information, call Cindy Heffley at 252-475-4180. "The purpose of the Fishing and Crabbing Rodeo is to give families an opportunity to come out and enjoy nature at its best in a prime setting," Heffley noted. "It also gives families an opportunity to connect with nature by visiting Pea Island, a wildlife refuge that offers spectacular trails for viewing birds and other wildlife generally found in the area. The miles of ocean-front also enable families to enjoy the solitude of a beautiful beach on the Outer Banks. We want America to get to know national wildlife refuges!"

Heffley reminds participants to bring insect repellent, sunscreen, food, and drinking water to insure a pleasant morning. State daily limit for crabs is 50 crabs per person. For those planning on reeling in fish, a saltwater fishing license is required. Licenses are not available at the Pea Island Visitor Center, so participants will need to purchase their licenses before the event. Crabbing does not require a fishing license.

The National Wildlife Refuge System is in its third 100 years of protecting hundreds of wild species, including our national symbol, the bald eagle. As the National Wildlife Refuge System enters its third century, it comprises nearly 100 million acres, protected within more than 540 refuges and thousands of small prairie wetlands.

Wildlife refuges provide unparalleled outdoor activities, including fishing, hunting, environmental education, wildlife observation, and photography, making them special places for all Americans to connect with nature. Many refuges also offer opportunities for nature hikes, bird tours, wildlife drives and other activities. There are wildlife refuges in every state, and at least one within an hour's drive of most major cities.

Amy Berry
Crabbing Rodeo participant, Amy Berry, shows off her catch at the 2009 Pea Island Fishing and Crabbing Rodeo. Photo Credit: USFWS Bonnie Strawser