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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 04 2017 NR Archives

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: April 10, 2017
Phone: 252-726-7021

New recreational cobia regulations take effect May 1

MOREHEAD CITY – New size and bag limits will go into effect May 1 for the recreational cobia fishery in North Carolina waters.

The minimum size limit will increase to 36 inches fork length (measured from the tip of snout to the fork in the tail). The possession limit will decrease to one fish per-person per-day, with a maximum of four fish per-vessel per-day, if four or more people are on board a vessel.

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission voted in February to tighten recreational cobia regulations after the federal government closed federal waters (ocean waters beyond 3 miles from shore) north of the Georgia-Florida line to recreational cobia harvest. The federal closure took effect on Jan. 24 and will remain for the rest of the year.

The federal action was taken to account for overages in the recreational annual catch limit and total annual catch limit of Atlantic migratory group cobia in 2016. Go here more information on the closure in federal waters.

In addition to the regulatory changes, the commission asked anglers to report the length and weight of all cobia harvested in state waters on a catch card, which can be found at official North Carolina Citation Weigh Stations or online here. A list of participating weigh stations can be found here.

The recreational cobia season will close in state waters at 12:01 a.m. Sept. 1.

For specific state regulations, see Proclamation FF-13-2017 here.

For more information on the cobia season in state waters or the 2017 Cobia Catch Reporting Program, contact Steve Poland, cobia staff lead with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, at 252-808-8159 or Steve.Poland@ncdenr.gov.

nr-19-2017


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: April 7, 2017
Phone: 252-726-7021

Fishermen win big in Tagging Program drawing

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

The tagging program randomly selected tag numbers from more than 930 fish tags that were turned in by fishermen in 2016. Three tag numbers were drawn from each of the four species that are tagged by the program.

The $100 winners who turned in tags from red drum were: Bryan Murphrey of Greenville, Jason Shannon of Wilmington and Sam England of Weston, W.Va.

The $100 winners who turned in tags for striped bass were: Brian Brosenne of Goldsboro, Andy Kirkland of Hobgood and Helen Browning of Wilmington.

The $100 winners who turned in tags for southern flounder were: Glenda Bright of Jacksonville, Michael Gooden of Morehead City and William Whichard of Chocowinity.

The $100 winners who turned in tags for spotted seatrout were: Keith Bruno of Oriental, Milton Miller of Pink Hill and Virginia Moser of Hillsborough.

The Multi-Species 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, fish towel, or fish pin. 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.

This year, the division added Cobia to the Multi-Species Tagging Program. Fisherman returning Cobia tags in 2017 will be eligible for the next $100 annual drawing.

Go here to learn more about the Multi-Species Tagging Program, or contact Ami Staples at 252-948-3913 or Ami.Staples@ncdenr.gov.

Download photos of some of the $100 winners and their fish here.

nr-18-2017


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: April 5, 2017
Phone: 252-726-7021

Region 4 Strategic Habitat Area Advisory Committee meeting scheduled

MOREHEAD CITY – The Region 4 Strategic Habitat Area Advisory Committee to the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will meet at 10 a.m. April 21 at the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Wilmington Regional Office, 127 Cardinal Drive Extension, Wilmington.

The committee will begin discussing the process of selecting strategic habitat areas in the southeastern coastal waters of the state. A full agenda can be found here.

Strategic habitat areas (also called strategic coastal habitats) are locations of individual fish habitats or systems of habitats that provide exceptional habitat functions or are particularly at risk due to imminent threats, vulnerability or rarity. The N.C. Coastal Habitat Protection Plan calls for the state to identify strategic habitat areas so that agencies can focus non-regulatory conservation and restoration efforts on them.

For more information, contact Anne Deaton with the division’s Habitat and Enhancement Section at 910-796-7311 or Anne.Deaton@ncdenr.gov.

nr-17-2017

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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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