skip to main content | skip to footer
North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 04 2016 NR Archives

Marine Fisheries

Web Content Display Web Content Display

Release: Immediate
Date: April 19, 2016
Contact: Michele Walker
Phone: 919-707-8604

Director of state coastal division named to lead state fisheries division

RALEIGH — State environmental department Secretary Donald R. van der Vaart today named Braxton Davis, director of the state Division of Coastal Management, to lead the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries effective immediately.

For the immediate future, the divisions will remain separate entities housed under the state’s environmental agency, and Davis will lead both divisions as director. The department intends to examine ways in which the two divisions can achieve efficiencies in operations.

“Braxton’s knowledge of state and national coastal issues, and his experience as director of our coastal management division, made him the perfect choice to lead both groups,” said Secretary van der Vaart. “His extensive background in coastal science and management will allow him to bring these two groups together in an effective and exciting way, and enhance protection of our state’s coastal and marine resources.”

Davis began his tenure as director of the state’s coastal agency in September 2011, after serving as policy director for the South Carolina coastal program. He holds a doctorate in marine affairs from the University of Rhode Island, a master’s degree in biological sciences from Florida International University, and a bachelor’s degree in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia.

“I am honored by the trust placed in me to lead these two very important coastal divisions,” Davis said. “Both divisions have a long history of working collaboratively in many areas, including regulatory, research, planning, conservation, and outreach activities, and I believe this move will only strengthen the partnerships we’ve developed over the years. I look forward to continuing our collaboration, and bringing both teams together to find more ways that we can improve our work and services.

“I plan to listen to, and work closely with staff, commission members, and other interested groups — both internal and external — to identify opportunities for efficiencies and improvements,” Davis continued. “I hope to develop draft recommendations for the future of both agencies later this year.”

Davis named Mike Lopazanski, chief of the coastal division’s policy and planning section, as acting assistant director of the Division of Coastal Management. Col. Jim Kelley will continue to serve as acting assistant director of Marine Fisheries, a role he has held since February. Lopazanski has worked for the coastal management division for 25 years, and has been head of its policy section since 2012. Kelley has been with the N.C. Marine Patrol for nearly 27 years and has served as its leader since February 2014.

The state’s coastal agency regulates development in the 20 coastal counties, balancing coastal development needs with the protection of North Carolina’s coastal and marine resources, navigation, recreation and property rights. The agency also helps local governments establish accessways for the public to reach coastal waters, assists with local land use planning, and administers the Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve Program, which sets aside coastal lands for research, education and stewardship. The state’s marine fisheries division is responsible for the stewardship of the state's marine and estuarine resources, and is dedicated to ensuring sustainable marine and estuarine fisheries and habitats for the benefit and health of the people of North Carolina.

Release: Immediate
Date: April 18, 2016
Contact: South Atlantic Fishery Management Council
Phone: 843-571-4366

SAVE THE DATE - May 9, 2016!
Councils to Hold a Q&A Public Meeting on Cobia Management

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council, in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council, will hold a Q&A Public Meeting in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to address cobia management issues.

DATE: May 9, 2016

TIME: 6:00  p.m. - 8:00  p.m.

LOCATION: The meeting is being held in Kitty Hawk, NC and is also being broadcast via webinar. Registration for the webinar only is required - see below for registration link.

Meeting address:
Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk
5353 N. Virginia Dare Trail
Kitty Hawk, NC 27949
Phone: 252-261-1290

Webinar Registration:
Register Now

Council staff will give a presentation that includes:

  • An overview of the Council federal management process;
  • Information on historical management of cobia;
  • Review of the SEDAR stock assessment for cobia;
  • Information about current cobia management and the pending 2016 recreational closure; and
  • An overview of future management actions for cobia currently under consideration by the South Atlantic Council.
  • Council staff and area Council members will be available to answer questions following the presentation.

Additional meeting information including video presentations and how to submit written comments will be posted to the Cobia Management Q&A Public Meeting page on the South Atlantic Council's website.

Presentations will be posted by April 22, 2016.

Read more


Release: Immediate
Date: April 11, 2016
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Fishermen win big in Tagging Program drawing

MOREHEAD CITY — Twelve lucky fishermen each won $100 in a recent N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Multi-Species Tagging Program drawing.

The Tagging Program randomly selected tag numbers from the 1,020 fish tags that were turned in by fishermen in 2015. Three tag numbers were selected from each of the four species that are tagged by the program.

The winners who turned in tags for red drum were: Alex Bissantz of Camp Lejeune, Daniel DeJong of Jacksonville and Raymond May of Troutman.

The winners who turned in tags for striped bass were: Capt. Rennie Clark of Carolina Beach, Dustin Chappell of Tyner and Ben Morris of Kitty Hawk.

The winners who turned in tags for southern flounder were: Adam Tyler of Smyrna, Lonnie Brown of Harkers Island and Bill Mays of Warsaw.

The winners who turned in tags for spotted seatrout were: Allen Darst of Durham, James Buie of Eastover and Archie Moore of Wilmington.

The Tagging Program began in October 2014 and is funded by a Coastal Recreational Fishing License grant. Staff and volunteers place yellow or red tags on 15,000 fish each year.

Fishermen who catch the tagged fish and return the tags with required information to the division receive a letter and personalized certificate with information about the fish, as well as a reward. Those who return a yellow tag marked with “NCDMF” receive either $5, a tagging program hat or a fish towel. Those who return a red tag marked with “NCDMF” and “$100 REWARD” receive a $100 monetary reward.

Fishermen must record the species, tag number, date, location captured, total length of the fish, fate of the fish (released or harvested) and the type of gear used to capture the fish. Yellow tags may be reported by phone, but red tags must be cut-off and returned to the division for the fisherman to receive the reward.

Information gathered from tag returns allows researchers to determine species migration patterns, mortality, population structure and habitat use.

For more information about the Multi-Species Tagging Program, see or contact Ami Flowers at 252-948-3913 or


Release: Immediate
Date: April 4, 2016
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

State certifies new North Carolina record for false albacore

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has certified a new state record for false albacore.

Michael Voytkowski of Waverly, Penn., reeled in the 32-pound fish in April 7, 2015, but only recently applied for the state record honor.

He caught the false albacore while fishing on the charter boat Beagle at the Big Rock off Morehead City.

The fish measured 39¾ inches curved fork length (tip of the nose to the fork in the tail). The girth of the fish measured 24¼ inches.

The former state record for false albacore was 25 pounds, 8 ounces. The fish was caught off Wrightsville Beach in 1991. The world record for false albacore is 36 pounds. That fish was caught off New Jersey in 2006.

Voytkowski caught his fish using a Penn International rod and reel spooled with 60-pound line test and baited with ballyhoo.

Download a photo of the fish at

For more information, contact Carole Willis, with the North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament, at 252-808-8081 or


Pages: 1  2  3  

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

NC logo


Your input is valuable to us. Please send us your feedback.

What type of feedback would you like to send?*

Ask a Question Report a Problem Have a Concern Make a Comment

(If you would like us to respond please include your phone or e-mail.)

Your Question has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Problem has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Concern has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

Your Comment has been sent. Thank you!

An internal server error prevented Your Question from being sent.
Please try again later, or call Toll-Free (877) 623-6748 for immediate assistance.

Please complete all highlighted items

*If you are a DENR employee with an I.T. issue, please submit a DOTS ticket.