Contact: John Culclasure, Central Appalachian States Manager
On September 7, the North Carolina Wildlife Federation (NCWF) presented North Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus Co-Chair Representative Larry Yarborough with the Marine Resources Conservationist of the Year award at the 56th Annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards in Cary.
NCWF CEO Tim Gestwicki said, “Fully understanding the value of and opportunity for North Carolina’s marine fisheries to be the envy of the Atlantic and Gulf Coast states, Representative Yarborough worked tirelessly for marine fisheries reform. Defining being a champion for sportsmen, Yarborough, undeterred by previous failed attempts in North Carolina, focused on the resource to help pass historic legislation in the House – Let Them Spawn, HB 483.”
In 2019 Rep. Yarborough sponsored HB 483, “Let Them Spawn,” which would require a minimum size limit on marine fish species to ensure that seventy-five percent of the juvenile fish at the minimum size limit established for the species have reached maturity and have had an opportunity to spawn at least once. The legislation passed the House on June 20 and was referred to Committee on Rules and Operations of the Senate on June 24. Passage in the lower chamber marked a significant milestone for marine fisheries conservation efforts after years of work to reform policy that facilitates the mortality of millions of pounds of fish before they reach reproductive age.
A dedicated hunter and angler, Rep. Yarborough joined the North Carolina Legislative Sportsmen’s Caucus in 2014 and was selected to Co-Chair the Caucus in 2017.
Rep. Yarborough is Chair of the House Regulatory Reform Committee, Chair of the House Environment Committee, Vice Chair of the House Wildlife Resources Committee, and Vice Chair of the House Appropriations, Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources Committee.
Rep. Yarborough has a strong track record of working to improve coastal fisheries management in the state and previously received the Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina Legislator of the Year award in 2018 as well as the North Carolina Wildlife Federation’s Legislator of the Year award in 2017.
Rep. Larry Yarborough is pictured (center) at the North Carolina Wildlife Federation’s 56th Annual Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards Program with Chief Deputy Secretary of the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Reid Wilson (left) and NCWF Board Chairman Billy Wilson (right).
Studies conducted at both the state and federal level have found that the number of hunters and trappers have been on a generally declining trend over the past several decades. To increase recruitment, retention, and reactivation (R3) of hunters and trappers, which initiative do you think would have the greatest impact?