MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. -- The Environmental Conservation Branch, Environmental Management Department, Marine Corps Base, has restocked the base ponds to provide enjoyable fishing and recreation for service members and family members.
The Environmental Conservation Branch stocks the 12 managed ponds every fall and with bass, catfish, and grass carp. The grass carp are used to control vegetation in the ponds to prevent it from becoming over grown.
“We really put in a lot of effort to maintain the aesthetics and productivity of the ponds,” said Kevin Whaley, a wildlife technician, with EMD.
The ponds are replenished in the fall because of the cooler weather which allows the fish to be transported easier than in the summer when the hot weather could easily kill the fish, according to Whaley.
The fish are trucked in on flat bed trucks, which carry oxygenated fish tanks. The shipments of fish can contain fully-grown adult fish or several young fish. The shipment usually contains 1,500-2,000 fish: 30 percent are bass, 25 percent are catfish and the other are fish to keep the ponds from being overgrown with vegetation. The conservation branch contracts a fish hatchery in the beginning of the year to supply the different fish.
The fish are transferred from the truck to the ponds either by a fish net or, if the fish are young enough the water and fish can be drained out of the tank into the pond.
The main purpose of restocking the ponds is to maintain a good recreational experience to the Marines, sailors and their families, according to Whaley.
Camp Lejeune sells approximately 800 individual fishing permits and an additional 1,000 combination permits for hunting and fishing each year, according to Carmon A. Lombardo, a wildlife biologist with the office.
“We estimate 25percent of combination permit holders both fish and hunt,” said Lombardo.
The number of fish caught is measured in pounds per acre, and the conservation office is currently setting up a way to more accurately measure the amount of fish caught, according to Lombardo.
Marines, sailors and their families can obtain a base fishing permit by contacting the base Conservation Law Enforcement Officers or by visiting their office on Parachute Tower Road. License requirements, Maps, and regulations can be obtained through The Conservation Law Enforcement Office (Bldg. PT-3) on Parachute Tower Road or by calling 451-5226.
If anyone wishes to share pictures of large fish caught in some of the ponds, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 451-5630.