On March 6 and 8, 2023, Kevin Dockendorf, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) Inland Fisheries Division Coastal Research Coordinator, led scatter-stocking efforts in Lake Mattamuskeet with assistance from Barry Midgette, Watha State Fish Hatchery, Deon Kerr, District 1 Assistant Fisheries Biologist, Wildlife Enforcement Officer Stephen Pearce, Avery Midgette, NCWRC volunteer, and Nicholas Porter, USFWS intern. The team stocked 102,028 advanced sized bluegills (average size of 3 inches) prior to common carp spawning with the intent for these bluegills to prey on carp eggs. This effort marks the third year of this applied research approach, with Jeff Evans, Landon Beaver, Barry Midgette, and others at the Watha State Fish Hatchery providing the superb total of more than 350,000 bluegill towards biocontrol of common carp over these three years. The advanced bluegill may also contribute to spawning of more bluegills and continue the predation on common carp eggs and larvae to hopefully further limit common carp recruitment. This multi-prong approach is intended to benefit the growth of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and improve water quality at Lake Mattamuskeet.
Advanced Bluegill Stocking at Lake Mattamuskeet