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Can I legally charter a fishing boat to take me to islands in the Lower Cape Fear River to use a metal detector?

Brandy Bryant
StarNews

John Kelly uses his metal detector to see what he can find at Wrightsville Beach on Jan. 2, 2008. Kelly, from Kure Beach, is a member of Carolina Relic and Beach Hunting Society. StarNews photo by Mike Spencer.

According to Kemp Burdette, executive Director of Cape Fear River Watch, it is legal to charter a boat to the lower Cape Fear Islands.

“You can legally charter a boat to the islands,” says Burdette said.

“If you were to be using a metal detector it is important that you first know if the island is public or private. There are several private and public islands as well as some that are both,” Burdette said.

Burdette’s main concern about metal detecting on public islands is the chance that a historic artifact might be found.

“If someone were to find an historic cannon on public property, the state may try to make the artifact public property,” Burdette said.

It is important to make sure to do your research on where you plan to be using the metal detector. Always know who the land belongs to and if you have or need permission to be on the property.

RELATED LINKS:

StarNews: Hunting treasure? You may want to try a metal detector

Carolina Relic And Beach Hunting Society page

Where are the best places to go around Wilmington for metal detecting?

What local parks prohibit metal detectors? Can coin hunters use them downtown?

Are people allowed on Battery Island, in the Cape Fear River just off Southport?

User-contributed question by:
TONY PHILLIPS

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