Anglers should see improved fishing opportunities at Mountain Island Lake after fisheries staff with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission deployed 200 fish attractors into the 3,300-acre lake this spring.

Typically, staff place one to five fish structures around a standard fish attractor buoy; however, with this project, they placed 100 fish attractors in the upper part of the lake and 100 attractors in the lower part of the lake to dramatically increase fish cover in a small area. The two areas are marked with special buoys that read “Concentrated Fish Attractor Area,” and also contain standard fish attractor buoys marking the perimeter of the fish attractor areas.

 “Our goal with providing a large amount of cover in a small area was to attract both predator and prey fish, which hopefully will increase angler success for fish, such as bass, crappie and catfish,” said Lawrence Dorsey, a Commission fisheries biologist. “Using artificial attractors should also mean that these attractors will be in place for many years to come.”

 GPS coordinates for the center of each area are:

Upper Lake Area: 35.3568 Latitude -80.9217 Longitude  

Lower Lake Area: 35.3402 Latitude -80.9938 Longitude

 The attractors, which are 6 feet tall, were constructed to look like trees, with PVC pipe simulating the trunks and polyethylene tubing simulating the limbs. They were placed in water between 18 and 25 feet deep to meet Duke Energy’s specifications for fish attractors in the lake.

 Duke Energy, which owns the lake, was an important partner in this project, according to Dorsey. “In addition to providing us with a permit to install these attractors, Duke Energy was supportive of our efforts to enhance fish habitat in this reservoir as they have been with other Wildlife Commission projects in the past,” Dorsey said. “In fact, this project wouldn’t have come to fruition had it not been for the assistance of many people, including agency staff from McKinney Lake Fish Hatchery who helped by pre-cutting the materials, transporting the materials to the lake and assisting with the deployment of attractors into the lake.”

 Anglers can see the locations of these latest fish attractors, as well as others deployed on inland waters across the state, on the Commission’s fish attractor webpage. This habitat enhancement project is funded through the Sport Fish Restoration Program, which utilizes state fishing license money as match for federal grant funds derived from federal excise taxes on fishing equipment and motorboat fuels.

 For more information on fishing in inland waters, visit the Commission’s Fishing page.