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 18, 2010

Fun-filled Day for Participants of the 17th Annual Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Crabbing and Fishing Rodeo

Beautiful weather welcomed the participants of the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge Crabbing and Fishing Rodeo on Saturday, June 12. Although the number of crabs caught has been diminishing each year, families continue to enjoy a morning of relaxation and fun. “There were new faces seen around the North Pond this year, but the majority of the folks have been coming since the start of the event in 1993,” said Cindy Heffley, Visitor Services Specialist at the refuge. Some participants said that they used to come as children and are now bringing their own children. The Rodeo, held on the second Saturday in June each year, has truly become a family tradition.

Mostly everyone caught at least one crab, but a few families caught enough to take home for their lunch. Both young and young-at-heart tried their hands at crabbing with collapsible traps and hand lines. Fish heads and chicken necks were the most-seen bait of choice. Manteo resident Misty Hilliard enjoyed the day with her two sons, Tyler and T.J. In addition to catching crabs, the boys were enjoying being outside with their mom.

Once again, area businesses stepped up to the plate to donate prizes which were awarded at a random drawing to children age 12 and under and the close of the rodeo. Prizes were donated by ACE, Awful Arthurs, Bear Factory, BeachExpress/Subway, Ben Franklin, Bird Store, Cottage Shop, Farmers Daughter, Forbes Homemade Candies, Grits Grill, Jockey's Ridge, Jurassic Putt, Kill Devil Hills Frozen Custard, Kitty Hawk Kites/Rodanthe, Mutiny Bay Golf, Nags Head Bowling Center, Oregon Inlet Fishing Center, Outer Banks Boarding Co., Puzzles, Pranks and Games, Scoops Ice Cream Parlor, TW's Bait and Tackle, Wave Riding Vehicles, West Marine, and Wings. Each child received a prize. “It amazes me how generous and supportive the local businesses continue to be. Like magic, we have enough prizes for each child every year. This year we even had some extra coupons to give out to the children,” said Heffley.

Visit http://www.fws.gov/alligatorriver/spec.html to learn more about things you can do on national wildlife refuges this summer! Or call 252-987-1118 for more information.

Crabbing Rodeo
Misty Hilliard, along with her two sons, Tyler (left) and T.J. (right), show off one of their “keepers.”
Photo Credit: Cindy Heffley, USFWS