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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Help Fish Habitat

Marine Fisheries

Environmental scenic

Things You Can Do to Help Fish Habitat

Fish need healthy habitats to thrive. Here are some tips on what fishermen can do to reduce impacts to valuable fish habitat.

On the water:

  • Dark patches visible from above the water’s surface may be shallow oyster reefs or grass beds. Avoid boating over these areas to prevent damaging these critical fish habitats.
  • If you must boat in the shallows, trim your propeller up and slow down.
  • Set anchor securely so it does not drag through grass and oyster beds.
  • Remove loose grass from the prop before trailering your boat. This helps reduce the risk of spreading non-native species from one waterbody to another.

Off the water:

  • Recycle your oyster shells. DMF will put your collected oyster shells back in the water to restore oyster habitat.
  • Help protect coastal water quality by not overusing fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.
  • Plant and maintain natural vegetation along shoreline property to trap sediment and other pollutants carried in stormwater runoff.
  • If shoreline stabilization is necessary, try a marsh sill rather than a bulkhead. It will help juvenile fish survive to grow up and breed.
  • Take your boat out of the water before cleaning. Many cleaning chemicals and bottom paints contain chemicals toxic to fish.
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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