The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education is offering free outdoor-related workshops for people of all ages and skill levels in July.
The workshops are open on a first-come, first-serve basis. Online registration is required.
In addition to the open-enrollment programs listed below, the Commission offers group programs for 10 or more people who call to schedule a program. Groups can schedule the date, time and topic of the program. For more information on group programs or the open-enrollment programs listed below, call 828-877-4423.
July 1 and July 15 – Introduction to Fly Fishing from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open to participants 12 and up. Learn the basics of fly fishing, such as equipment, knots and casting, and then spend a couple of hours fishing on the Davidson River. All equipment and materials will be provided. Participants should bring a lunch and non-slip shoes or waders.
July 3-7 and July 10-14 – A Week in the Water from 9 a.m. to noon daily. Open to participants ages 10 to 15. This week-long series of hands-on classes will focus on the art and skill of fly fishing. Participants will learn about equipment, knots, casting techniques and more.
July 15 and July 24 – Nature Nuts: Wild Woodlands from 9 to 11 a.m. Open to ages 4-7. Discover the animals that call the forest home. Learn about the similarities and differences between various groups of animals, and explore the forest in search of animals and their homes. Activities include story time, crafts and hikes through the forest.
July 15 and July 24 – Eco Explorers: Salamanders from 1 to 3 p.m. Open to ages 8-13. Spend the afternoon with Pisgah Center staff learning about some of North Carolina’s most fascinating amphibians. Learn about local species of salamanders, their habitat requirements and why they are so important to North Carolina’s ecosystems.
July 17-21 – A Week in the Creek from 9 a.m. to noon daily. Open to participants ages 6 to 10. This week-long series of hands-on classes will focus on water quality and the fish and wildlife that depend on local water systems.
July 18 – Introduction to Fly Fishing: Lake Fishing from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Open to ages 12 and up. Learn the basics of fly fishing for lakes. Topics covered include equipment, knots, casting techniques and aquatic entomology. Equipment and materials will be provided. Participants should bring a lunch and meet at High Falls parking area in DuPont State Recreational Forest. Limited to six participants who must have completed the Introduction to Fly Fishing class or have equivalent experience before taking this class.
July 20 – Advanced WILD – Mountain Streams from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Open to formal and non-formal educators ages 18 and up. Spend the day with a Wildlife Commission fisheries biologist and Pisgah Center education staff as they share techniques used in the field to study mountain streams and the wildlife that inhabit them. Some of the questions discussed include: How healthy are North Carolina’s trout populations? What other animals live in or use the rivers and streams? What are the factors affecting mountain waterways? Participants also will learn activities they can take back to their classrooms and share with their students. Prepare to get wet and have fun in the Davidson River. CEU and EEC credits are available upon workshop completion.
July 20 – Casting for Beginners: Level 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Open to ages 12 and up. This is a perfect introductory workshop for beginners. Participants will learn various casting techniques at their own pace from experienced instructors. This class will be held at Lake Imaging in DuPont State Recreational Forest. All equipment and materials will be provided. Participants should bring a lunch.
July 21 – On the Water: Looking Glass Creek from 8 a.m. to noon. Open to ages 12 and up. Participants can practice their fly-fishing skills on Looking Glass Creek in Pisgah National Forest under the supervision of experienced fly-fishing instructors. Participants will learn about wild trout regulations, wading, reading the water, fly selection, presentation, casting, knots and stream entomology. Equipment and materials will be provided.
July 26 – Snorkeling in the Stream from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open to participants 8 and up.
Come spend the afternoon with experienced Pisgah staff exploring a local stream in search of aquatic macroinvertebrates. Based on the aquatic organisms they find, participants can determine the water quality of the stream and learn how these little critters play such an important role in the ecosystem and to mountain trout. Snorkels and masks are available, so participants should come prepared to get wet. Swimwear and a towel are recommended.
For more information on July workshops, call 828-877-4423, or sign up online. The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education is located near Brevard, just south of Asheville, by the Davidson River in Transylvania County. The center features nature trails and five large aquariums representing aquatic mountain habitats. The center is adjacent to the Bobby N. Setzer State Fish Hatchery, where trout are raised in 54 raceways. The center is open Monday through Friday from December through March, and Monday through Saturday from April through November. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.