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 1, 2011

Bring the family out to Pea Island for the annual Crabbing and Fishing Rodeo

The annual Crabbing and Fishing Rodeo will be held Saturday, June 11, 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. Door prizes are graciously donated by many local businesses.

Billed as a family event, the Rodeo 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. Prizes will be awarded until they are gone.

Persons needing further information are invited to call the Visitor Services Specialist Cindy Heffley at 252-475-4180. "Although we can’t guarantee a successful day of crabbing, we can guarantee a wonderful day of enjoying nature," Heffley noted. "The wildlife refuge 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. Whether crabbing, fishing, or taking a walk, there’s something for everyone here!"

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

2010 Crabbing Rodeo
2010 Crabbing Rodeo participants show their catch. Photo credit: USFWS.