After suffering through beach closings and restrictions to off road driving, surf anglers fishing Hatteras Island National Seashore are finally able to reach their favorite sections of the beach. Last April, the National Park Service, environmental groups, and beach access advocates signed a consent decree that closed many of the best fishing beaches in order to protect nesting birds and turtles. Sections of the island remained closed to off road vehicles (ORVs) and pedestrians through much of the spring and most of the summer. The last restrictions were lifted just in time for the arrival of big red drum to the surf along Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands.
Until November 15th, ORV operators will need to obtain a night-driving permit – available online at www.nps.gov – if they plan to drive on the beach between 10 PM and 6 AM. A Google Earth map of current closures is available at the same site. For news and information on the fight to keep these beaches open to the public, check out www.obpa.org.