Three Rivers Land Trust brings Major League Fishing to Central NC

Three Rivers Land Trust, formerly The LandTrust for Central North Carolina, is excited to announce that they have partnered to bring Major League Fishing, the number one rated show on the Outdoor Channel, to the lakes of the Yadkin-Pee Dee River watershed. Major League Fishing showcases 52 of the world’s top bass anglers.

Major League Fishing began in 2009 when anglers and the Outdoor Channel came together and found a shared goal of showing competitive fishing at the highest level. The result emerged as a  made-for-television tournament series. According to Major League Fishing’s website, these groups “wanted fishing fans – and sports fans overall – to view professional competitive fishing in the same manner that they see in other sport organizations, such as the NFL, MLB, PGA, NASCAR, etc.”

“The anglers wanted fans to see the difficult, very real challenges that exist when pros try to outwit and outlast other competitors. They wanted to create a whole new game.” The anglers decided they wanted “to take fans inside competitor boats for an up-close examination of how a professional bass tournament truly looks and feels.” The first Major League Fishing event was filmed at Lake Amistad, Texas, in 2011 and aired on the Outdoor Channel in 2012.

During all days of competition, MLF Anglers will fish 7.5 hours that will be divided into three periods, with 30-minute intervals between the end of a period and the beginning of the following period. All MLF Events shall utilize the MLF term “scorable bass.” A scorable bass is any bass caught that weighs one (1) pound or greater. There is no limit to the number of scorable bass an MLF Angler can catch and record during an MLF Cup Event competition day. Use of nets and grippers for landing Bass is prohibited. Only artificial lures can be used. All Bass must be caught in a conventional sporting manner.

Three Rivers Land Trust jumped at the opportunity to partner with Major League Fishing and to bring the competition to the central Piedmont of North Carolina. Bringing this popular television show to the region not only highlights the importance of our conservation work but it also showcases regions water resources.  In addition, this event will help promote local tourism opportunities and the local economy. The Doughnut Dinette in Albemarle and Morgan Ridge Vineyards in Rowan County are providing meals for the anglers and production staff while they are filming.

Local Tourism Development Authorities (TDA) and Convention and Visitors Bureaus (CVB) across the region partnered with the Land Trust to bring this event to the region. Local partners include the City of Albemarle, Stanly County CVB, Rowan County CVB, Montgomery County TDA, Richmond County TDA, Novant Health, and Cube Hydro Carolinas.

“This region boasts of more than 40,000 acres of water, making the lakes one of our largest natural resources.  The locals have known for a while that the lakes have great fishing and now 52 of the country’s top anglers will learn just how amazing our lakes are!  Not only do we get to show off our natural resources to the anglers but we also get to show our regions natural beauty to a nationwide audience!”, said Chris Lambert, Executive Director, Stanly County CVB.

One of the main reasons for inviting the show to the region was to showcase the lakes of the Yadkin-Pee Dee watershed to a national audience. The Land Trust continues to fundraise for the permanent conservation of 4,700 acres of land and 76 miles of shoreline on High Rock Lake and Tuckertown Reservoir. When these lands are acquired they will be owned in fee by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission where they will remain as public game lands in perpetuity. The Land Trust has raised $5.7 million of $7.7 million to purchase the High Rock lake lands and has until September of 2019 to raise the remainder.

“The lands along the Yadkin have been available to the public as gamelands for decades,” states Three Rivers Land Trust Executive Director Travis Morehead. “They provide incredible public access and critical forested river buffers that enhance the water quality of the lakes they surround. If we are unable to raise the necessary funds for the state to purchase them, that public access and excellent water quality could be lost,” Travis states.

If you enjoy hunting and fishing these lands, please consider making a donation to their acquisition by visiting or calling the Land Trust office at 704-647-0302.

If you would like more information on how you can assist Three Rivers Land Trust in our mission to conserve special natural areas, family farms, rural landscapes and historic places in our ten-county region, please contact Crystal Cockman at or 704-647-0302, or visit our website today.

Paddling Lake Lucas

by Crystal Cockman

I was given a few days off this week for working a couple of weekends, so I took the opportunity one day to paddle a new location with a friend. We went to Lake Lucas in Asheboro. Lake Lucas is under the authority of the City of Asheboro and is operated by Asheboro Cultural and Recreation Services. It is a beautiful lake and much smaller than Lake Reese, which I paddled for the first time earlier this summer. In about 3 hours, we were able to paddle around pretty much the entire lake at Lake Lucas.

Lake Lucas is located at 3158 Old Lexington Road in Asheboro. It is open March 1 through November 15 from 7:00am to sunset, but is closed on Wednesdays. From November 16 through the end of February, it is open 8:00am to 5:00pm, and is closed on Wednesdays and Thursdays. To launch a kayak here, there is a daily canoe/kayak launch fee of $3.50 for nonresidents and $2.50 for city residents with a rec card. We brought our own kayaks for this trip, but if you don’t have your own, you can also rent canoes and kayaks at this location at a rate of $6 for a day for a city resident with a rec card and $10.00 for a non-resident. read more…

The Suther Prairie is Now Protected

by Crystal Cockman

Back in 2007, I visited for the first time a very special place in Cabarrus County known by local conservationists and biologists as the Suther Prairie. This property has been in private ownership by the Ritchie and Suther family for over 200 years. The reason this site is so significant is because it is one of few, and perhaps the only, remaining natural Piedmont Prairie known to exist in our state.

Now this unique site has been formally protected through a partnership between the landowners, Cabarrus County, and the North Carolina Plant Conservation Program. The prairie itself covers only about 8 acres, but the drainage area to the site was also an important part of the purchase, which in all was about 78 acres. read more…

A Saturday Spent Avoiding the Rain

by Crystal Cockman

A few weekends ago, we got the first rain we’d had in a while in this area. Unfortunately it was on a day that I’d planned to be outside for both a hike in the morning and a paddle in the afternoon. Fortunately though, the rain stayed just to the east of where I was planning to be outside. It was cloudy and even a little bit drizzly, but somehow miraculously the exact locations where I planned to be did not see the downpours the surrounding area did.

My best friend who lives in Florida had come back to North Carolina for a couple weeks, and as usual we had planned a small adventure together. Her eldest daughter is now almost 8 years old, and she was excited to go with us this year. We decided we would climb Little Long Mountain, which is only a short hike, maybe 30 minutes round trip, but offers great views from the top of the mountain.

read more…

A New River Access Point

by Crystal Cockman

On Saturday July 21, I was able to enjoy a paddle on the Uwharrie River from a new access point that was made possible by a project that I was a big part of – the Capel Property, now owned by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (WRC). This property was initially purchased by The LandTrust for Central North Carolina through private donations and grants and eventually transferred to WRC for use as a canoe and kayak access point and game lands.

This access is located at 300 Dennis Road, Troy NC. The access officially opened on June 30th of last year. The parking area and fishing access were funded through fishing license receipts and Sport Fish Restoration Program Funds. The land was acquired by private donation and a Clean Water Management Trust Fund grant written and administered by The LandTrust, along with State Wildlife Grant funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

read more…

Searching for Snot Otters

by Crystal Cockman

This past week, I spent the whole week volunteering with North Carolina State Parks searching for hellbenders in the New River in Ashe County. Each year they host hellbender week, which is a week dedicated to looking for these fantastic critters in the mountains of North Carolina. They also go by the name of “snot otter” due to their sticky, slimy skin.

Each morning at 9:00am, we met at the New River State Park US 221 Access. Ed Corey, Inventory Biologist with State Parks, led the effort and started with introductions. There were a variety of people there each day, some of which were there for the whole week and some for just a day or two.

We headed out from there in a caravan to the section of the river we’d be searching that day. Each day we went to a different stretch of the South Fork of the New River. The first day, we had to walk downstream a ways to then come back up searching upstream as we went. The current was pretty strong in places, and the water got fairly deep in spots, so it wasn’t always easy going.

read more…

New Section of Uwharrie Trail Now Under Construction

by Crystal Cockman

July 6, 2018

Several years ago, The Land Trust worked with the North Carolina Zoological Society to protect a property that adjoins High Pine Church Road that will become the Walkers Creek Trailhead on the Uwharrie Trail hopefully later this year. The acquisition of this tract makes it possible for the trail to be re-routed through the Walkers Creek section of U.S. Forest Service Land between High Pine Church Road and King Mountain Road. This results in approximately 2.1 miles of new trail.

The original alignment for this section of the Uwharrie Trail went from the Luther Place to Pisgah Covered Bridge Road and then north to cross over High Pine Church Road. With this reroute, the trail no longer continues on these state roads but instead goes north through the forest on a hiking trail. read more…

Taken for ‘Granite’: Flatrock Species of North Carolina

by Lizzy Nist

June 22, 2018

prickly pear

Last week I had the privilege of joining Crystal Cockman from the Land Trust and Nell Allen from the North Carolina Zoo exploring the flora and fauna on a property just east of Salisbury, NC. Now covered with trees and luscious foliage, this property was once the site of old forgotten granite quarries, which have left the property hilly and with large exposed granite rocks. At one point on the property, we stumbled upon an especially interesting habitat: granitic flatrock.

Though the granitic flatrock we experienced and flatrock in general might seem like a landscape inhospitable to plant and wildlife, it in fact fosters an abundant community of diverse flatrock species, some of which we encountered on our visit to the property. A granitic flatrock community is characterized by large slabs of granite overlaying soil, and is home to many different species of mosses, lichens, cacti, and other plants that thrive in low soil levels. Though historic quarrying on the property disturbed and likely changed the level at which the flatrock resided, we can be sure the granitic flatrock community was natural because some of the plant species we encountered only grow on exposed flatrock and not surrounding woods. read more…

A Botanical Adventure

by Crystal Cockman

June 11, 2018

Carolina thistle

On Sunday May 29, I had the opportunity to go on a botanical adventure with Bruce Sorrie, botanist, retired from the NC Natural Heritage Program. The North Carolina Natural Heritage Program is a program of the Division of Land and Water Stewardship within the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. Bruce has over 30 years of experience and is an expert in his field, and can name just about any plant you can point out. He has written “A Field Guide to Wildflowers of the Sandhills Region,” which also has many plants you’d expect to see in the Uwharries. His guidebook is arranged by habitat, and features over 600 wildflowers, flowering shrubs and vines.

Bruce allowed The Land Trust to auction off a morning with him looking for unique plants as part of our fundraising event, RiverDance, last year. The winner of the botanical tour brought along a friend and we met at the Eldorado Outpost Sunday morning on our adventure. read more…

How to Save a Girdled Tree

by Ruth Ann Grissom

June 5, 2018

I saw it coming. I knew the tree was going to die, sooner rather than later, but I didn’t do anything to save it. Every time I saw the cable wrapped around that oak, I’d throw up my hands and think, Too late now! (A phrase made famous in our family by my husband’s father, which I jokingly attribute to his Sicilian fatalism.) For years, the oak has anchored one end of a cable we’d strung to serve as a gate. As the trunk expanded, it bulged around the cable. The oak had slowly succumbed to strangulation. Last spring, it didn’t leaf out. Now, poison ivy creeps up the trunk, hiding my shame.

To appreciate the damage wrought by a tight constriction, it helps to understand a tree’s vascular system. The outer bark protects the tree from external stressors such as predators and fire. Underneath, there’s a layer called the inner bark or phloem. Here, sap flows down from the leaves, supplying the branches, trunk and roots with sugars and nutrients. Next comes the microscopic cambium, a thin layer of growth cells. Deeper into the trunk, there’s a layer known as sapwood or xylem which houses the thick-walled cells that transport water and minerals up from the roots. At its center, a tree is composed of dead heartwood.

read more…



(704) 647-0302


204 East Innes Street, Suite 280
Salisbury, NC 28144