Some boaters in the small village of Atlantic say their craft are dragging the bottom as they try to get to fishing and shrimping grounds through a silt-clogged channel.
Phillip Mason says fishermen have waded through to mark spots for boats needing at least three feet of water to avoid running aground. Mason is a part-time commercial fisherman who docks his 43-foot boat in Atlantic.
About 30 boats use the harbor.
Mason says a dredging project to open the channel was done in an area that didn't need it.
An official has said the entire channel needs to be dredged. The project is on hold while officials find a place to dump material removed from the channel.
The erosion along Core Sound in Carteret County was caused by storms that washed away shoreline protecting the channel.