Residents disagree on NC lake's future

The Associated Press

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FAIRFIELD, N.C. (AP) — Some residents disagree with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on the management of a Hyde County lake.

A local business owner says managers of the Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge have allowed the water levels to decline too much over the past decade, the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk ( reported.

Mark Carawan leads an effort called "Save Mattamuskeet Lake," and worries that fishing is drying up on the 40,000 acre lake.

"We saw it go from first-class bass fishing to zero," said Carawan, who runs a motel and tackle shop. "I just hate to see the lake in the shape it is."

But lake manager Pete Campbell said the lake is in good shape overall and is serving its main purpose as a winter habitat for waterfowl. Officials said more than more than 360,000 ducks, geese and swan spent winter on the lake.

"They come here because it is a large body of water with an ample food source," Campbell said.

The water levels have fluctuated with wind, tides and rainfall since the refuge was founded 80 years ago, Campbell said. The water levels usually drop in the summer and fall and increase in the winter and spring.


Information from: The Virginian-Pilot,

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