State biologists are asking the public not to introduce nonnative fish into public waters after officials discovered two flathead catfish in the White Oak River.
The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission said Tuesday the discovery is alarming because large flathead catfish feed heavily on smaller fish and research indicates that introducing them can lead to the decline of native fish.
Flatheads are native to the Mississippi River basin and have been found in some eastern North Carolina rivers. A survey last year found that flatheads comprised 56 percent of the total catfish numbers in the Tar River, a sharp increase from 14 percent just two years prior.
The White Oak River runs along the boundary between Onslow and
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