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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 39 Black Drum SSR 2012

Marine Fisheries

Black drum

Black Drum - 2012

Stock Status – Unknown– A stock assessment has not been completed for black drum. Concern for the stock has been expressed coastwide because of the decline trend in landings and a majority of black drum harvested is young, potentially juvenile fish. The commercial landings in 2011 were below the ten year average and have been declining since 2008. Recreational landings were below the ten year average and have been declining since 2008.

Average Commercial Landings and Value 2002-2011 – 160,314 lbs. / $49,078 2011 – 55,807 lbs. / $26,301

Average Recreational Landings 2002-2011 – 278,754 lbs. 2011 – 198,477 lbs.

Average Number of Award Citations (35 lbs. / 40 in.) 2002-2011 – 11, 2011 – 15

Status of Fishery Management Plan (FMP) – The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) formed a Black Drum Working Group and conducted a series of webinars and conference calls in February and March of 2011 compiling data on the status of black drum from New Jersey to Florida. General trends in these black drum fishery dependent and independent data sources and the feasibility of developing a coastwide stock assessment were presented to the Interstate Fisheries Management Program (ISFMP) Policy Board in August 2011. The Policy Board accepted the working group’s recommendation to initiate an interstate FMP for black drum. In November 2011, the ISFMP Management Board also voted to initiate the FMP and a stock assessment concurrently. A Public Information Brochure (PIB) was released in February 2012 asking for public comment as well as outlining the Commission’s intent to develop an interstate FMP for black drum. Following the review of the public comment, the Commission will specify the management measures to be included in the plan, as well as timeline for its implementation.

Research and Data Needs – Coastwide stock assessment, collect of ageing structures, migration studies (tagging), update or conduct research on age, growth, maturity, and fecundity

Current Regulations – None

Harvest Season – Year round

Size and Age at Maturity – Females mature at 4-6 years (25-28 inches), Males at 3-4 years (22-25 inches)

Historical and Current Maximum Age – 60+ years

Juvenile Abundance Index – None

Habits and Habitats – Black drum can be typically found along the nearshore waters of the western Atlantic from the Gulf of Maine to Florida, as well as the Gulf of Mexico. Juveniles can be found throughout the estuarine waters of North Carolina, while adults tend to congregate around structures — including bridge and dock pilings. Along the Atlantic coast, black drum are thought to migrate northward and inshore each spring and southward and offshore by the late fall. They are primarily bottom feeders; juvenile diets consist mainly of small of fish and invertebrates, while the adult diet consists primarily of mollusks and crustaceans.

For more information, email Chris Stewart at Chris.Stewart@ncdenr.gov or call 910-796-7370.

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

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