May 14, 2012
UPDATE: Channel dredging has helped ferries and boat
captains in Hatteras Village Offshore Open


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers side-caster dredge Merritt arrived at Hatteras last Friday, May 11, and began dredging the shoaled-up Rollinson Channel in Hatteras Inlet early Saturday morning.

The Merritt is working on dredging a new channel and is down to a water depth of 5 feet.  The authorized depth is 10 feet, and the work will continue through Wednesday or Thursday.

Roger Bullock, chief of navigation for the Army Corps, said today that he is "extremely pleased with how well the dredging operation is going."

Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry operations, halted last week by the impassable channel, were back to normal with no problems this week, said Lucy Wallace, public information officer for the N.C. Department of Transportation Ferry Division.

The Hatteras Village Offshore Open, the first tournament in the Governor’s Cup, was threatened last week by the dangerously shoaled channel and the reluctance of boat owners and captains to bring their boats here for the annual billfish tournament, scheduled for Wednesday through Saturday this week.

The Merritt arrived in the nick of time, said Dennis Robinson, president of the Hatteras Village Civic Association, which sponsors the fundraising event that also is an economic engine for village businesses.

Robinson said 30 boats are registered in this year’s tournament, just six fewer than last year.

This year only because of the channel shoaling, boats were allowed to fish out of other ports, and three opted to fish out of Morehead City.

The weather has not been as kind as it might have been for the tournament.  The first two days of fishing, Wednesday and Thursday, were stormy, and today is very windy with high seas.  The forecast for tomorrow is also for northeast wind and heavy seas.

Despite the weather, 28 boats fished the first day on Wednesday, and two blue marlin and a white marlin were released.  The prize for the first blue marlin went to Hammertime, which released a fish at 9:05 a.m.

On Thursday, all 30 boats fished, and two blue marlin were released and two were boated – a 515-pound fish by Galot 3, and a 461-pound fish by Waste Knot II.  Two white marlin were also released.

Only five boats fished today and no results were available yet.

Builder’s Choice heads the leader board in the billfish division with two blue marlin releases and 800 points.  Second is Galot 3 with 515 points, and Waste Knot II with 461.

Tomorrow is the last day of fishing in the tournament, which has prize money of $94,265 to hand out to winning boats at tomorrow night’s awards dinner.

For more information, go to the tournament website,

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