On Feb. 21, the minimum size limit increased to 15 inches and the daily bag limit decreased to six fish per person in all coastal waters of the state.
The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission agreed to the change after a 2009 stock assessment found that while the southern flounder stock has improved since 2005, further harvest reductions are needed to end overfishing.
Hogfish (Hog snapper)
At the request of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries implemented a 5-fish per person daily bag limit on hogfish (hog snapper) Aug. 20.
The federal 12-inch size limit remains in effect. This regulation applies to the offshore reef fish, not pigfish (which are sometimes called hogfish).
Spotted seatrout season closed Jan. 14 due to multiple cold stun events, and the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission extended the closure to June 15 through the height of the spawning season.
When the season reopens, a new daily bag limit of six fish per person will be in place. No more than two of the six fish may be longer than 24 inches total length. This change took effect Nov. 30 after a 2009 stock assessment found that spotted seatrout is overfished. The 14-inch size limit, which went into effect Oct. 5, 2009, remains in place.
Black sea bass
The South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council has closed the recreational black sea bass fishery south of Cape Hatteras until June 1. When the season reopens, black sea bass caught south of Hatteras will be under a new daily bag limit of five fish per person.
The season for black sea bass caught north of Cape Hatteras is open July1-Sept. 25 and Nov. 1-Dec. 31. When the season reopens, the size limit will remain at 12 ½ inches and the daily bag limit will remain at 25-fish-per-person.
Deep water closure (federal waters)
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has established a prohibition on the harvest and retention of speckled hind and warsaw grouper in federal waters of the South Atlantic. The council also prohibits the harvest and retention of snowy grouper, blueline tilefish, yellowedge grouper, misty grouper, queen snapper and silk snapper at depths of 240 feet or greater in federal waters of the South Atlantic.