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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 02 2016 News

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Date: Feb. 12, 2016
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Conditions right for trout cold stun events

MOREHEAD CITY — No cold stun events have been reported for spotted seatrout this year, but conditions are such that one or more could occur in coastal creeks and bays.

Anyone seeing a trout cold stun event should report it to the N.C. Marine Patrol at 800-682-2632 or to N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries spotted seatrout biologist Steve Poland at 252-808-8159 or Steve.Poland@ncdenr.gov. A picture is worth a thousand words. If you have one of the cold stun event, send it.

During the winter, spotted seatrout move to deeper, warmer waters in coastal creeks, bays and ocean. Cold stuns occur when there is a sudden drop in water temperature or prolonged periods of cold weather that makes the fish so sluggish that humans can harvest them with their hands.

Many fish may die from the cold. Others fall prey to birds and other predators. Studies suggest that cold stun events can have a significant impact on spotted seatrout populations, however, many cold stunned fish may survive if left alone.

Under the N.C. Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan, if a significant cold stun event occurs in at least four coastal counties, the state Division of Marine Fisheries will close all spotted seatrout harvest until June 15. A significant cold stun event may be defined based on the numbers of fish and/or the size classes of fish involved. The intent of the closure is to allow the fish that survive the cold stun event the chance to spawn in the spring before harvest reopens. Peak spawning occurs in May and June.

Under N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission rules, the spotted seatrout season automatically closes in inland waters when it closes in adjacent coastal waters.

nr-12-2016


Release: Immediate
Date: Feb. 10, 2016
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

State seeks applicants for Joint Enforcement Agreement Advisory Group

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries is seeking members for a Joint Law Enforcement Agreement Advisory Group.

The division is conducting a 12-month study to determine the possible impacts, costs and benefits of the state entering into a joint law enforcement agreement with the National Marine Fisheries Service and whether the N.C. General Assembly should authorize the division to do so. The division is required, by law, to submit findings of a study on this topic to the General Assembly by Oct. 15.

The advisory group is being established for the division to consult as part of this process. By state law, the Joint Law Enforcement Agreement Advisory Group is limited to people who hold a For-Hire Coastal Recreational Fishing License, a Standard Commercial Fishing License and division staff.

Those who would like to serve on the advisory group should contact N.C. Marine Patrol Col. Jim Kelley at 252-808-8130 or Jim.M.Kelley@ncdenr.gov by 5 p.m. Feb. 29.

In a joint enforcement agreement, the N.C. Marine Patrol would enter into a contract with the National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Law Enforcement to supplement and enhance federal fisheries law enforcement capabilities. The agreement would be accompanied by an enforcement plan in which both the state and federal agencies agree to a list of priorities and activities to be enforced by state officers. In return, Marine Patrol would receive monetary compensation and training about federal regulations.

A joint enforcement agreement also would allow N.C. Marine Patrol officers to charge fishermen with minor federal offenses, and adjudicate those charge through state court.

nr-11-2016


Release: Immediate
Date: Feb. 8, 2016
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

State fisheries commission meeting to include discussions of
management plans, fishery council candidates

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet Feb. 17-19 at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort, 275 Waynick Blvd., Wrightsville Beach.

Public comment periods will begin at 6 p.m. Feb. 17 and 9 a.m. Feb. 18. The chairman will allow each speaker to comment for up to three minutes. Due to time constraints, those making comments will be asked to speak only once, either at the Feb. 17 or Feb. 18 session, but not during both public comment periods.

The business meeting begins at 9 a.m. Feb. 18 and 8:30 a.m. Feb. 19.

The deadline for submitting written correspondence to the commission, including email, through the Marine Fisheries Commission Office is 5 p.m. Feb. 15. People who wish to give handouts to the commission during the public comment periods should bring at least 12 copies of the handout.

The public may listen to the meeting on the Internet. Up to 200 participants may listen to audio and view presentations in real-time on a first-come, first-served basis. Directions for participating in the webcast, including information on system requirements and testing, can be found at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/listen-online.

The commission is scheduled to:

  • Receive a presentation on and select preferred management options for amendments to the Oyster and Clam fishery management plans;
  • Select replacement candidates for the governor’s consideration for North Carolina’s obligatory seat on the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council;
  • Consider a request for a declaratory ruling from American Eel Farm;
  • Receive a presentation on the 2015 Coastal Habitat Protection Plan Update and give final approval of the plan;
  • Discuss the Standard Commercial Fishing License criteria;
  • Consider delegating authority to the commission’s Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Committee to develop and implement a memorandum of understanding with and the North Carolina Commercial Fishing Resource Fund Funding Committee. The memorandum of understanding will set procedures for agreeing to and authorizing disbursements from the fund;
  • Receive a brief update on the division’s progress toward setting total allowable landings for pound nets by waterbodies for Supplement A to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Amendment 1.

A full meeting agenda and briefing book can be found at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mfc-meetings.

For more information, contact Marine Fisheries Commission Liaison Nancy Fish at 252-808-8021 or Nancy.Fish@ncdenr.gov.

nr-10-2016

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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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