Lake Mattamuskeet Habitat Enhancement

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In partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission has collaborated with researchers from UNC-Chapel Hill to implement a habitat enhancement project on Lake Mattamuskeet beginning in 2016. The Wildlife Commission will fund the $233,000 project with monies from a Wildlife Restoration Fund grant.

The 3-year research project will focus on maintaining submerged aquatic vegetation in the east basin of the lake and examining the potential to increase coverage of aquatic vegetation in the west basin. Currently, submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) is very limited in the west basin of Lake Mattamuskeet, and in recent years has steadily declined in the east basin. Submerged aquatic vegetation provides food for waterfowl and shelter for fish, crabs, and other aquatic life.

Lake Mattamuskeet sustains hundreds of thousands of waterfowl that winter on the lake each year. The lake is also home to a unique fishery that consists of both freshwater and estuarine species because of the drainage canals that connect the lake to Pamlico Sound.

The habitat enhancement project slated for next year is one of several projects outlined in a Memorandum of Collaboration signed in 2014 by the Wildlife Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to improve the lake’s aquatic and surrounding habitat, improve water quality and provide better access to the lake.

source: North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission