Lake Mattamuskeet. Photo: P. Vankevich

From our news services

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is seeking public input on a draft environmental assessment for the removal of invasive carp from Lake Mattamuskeet on mainland Hyde County.

Fish and Wildlife is seeking comments on the benefits and impacts from maximum carp removal and commercial fishing as one of the tools to remove carp from Lake Mattamuskeet and the four outfall canals.  

According the studies, carp removal is directly related to the biological integrity of the lake. An overabundance of carp has resulted in severe reduction of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and consequently an increase in nutrients and reduction in water clarity. Removing carp will allow SAV to recover and promote an increase in overall ecological health of the lake ecosystem.

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to assess the environmental effects of their proposed actions prior to making decisions. These actions include decisions on permit applications, adopting federal land management actions, and constructing highways and other publicly owned facilities.

Using the NEPA process, the refuge can evaluate the environmental and related social and economic effects of these proposed actions.  

National Wildlife Refuges are required by law to determine the compatibility of any proposed or existing use with the mission of the National Wildlife Refuge System and the purpose for which a particular refuge was established.

“The mission of Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge is to protect migratory birds and other native wildlife and their breeding grounds and habitat for the benefit of the American people,” Refuge Manager Kendall Smith, said. “We want the community to be informed about the work being proposed and to have an opportunity to weigh in on the pros and cons of that work.”  

To review the draft Environmental Assessment and draft Compatibility Determination, copies are available at:   

https://fws.gov/ncgatewayvc/images/publications/DRAFT_CD_Mattamuskeet_Commercial Fishing to Remove Carp.pdf
and
https://fws.gov/ncgatewayvc/images/publications/Draft_EA Mattamuskeet_Maximum Carp Removal.pdf

Written comments may be sent to: Refuge Manager, Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge 85 Refuge Road, Swan Quarter, NC 27885, or email: mattamuskeet@fws.gov.

All comments must be submitted no later than 4 p.m. on April 29.

For more information, or to request documents in alternative formats, please contact Refuge Manager Kendall Smith at 252-926-4021 x43901 or Wildlife Biologist Wendy Stanton at 252-926-4021 x43904.