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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - nr-92-2016 Eel Pots

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Dec. 19, 2016
Phone: 252-726-7021

New eel pot mesh size regulation takes effect Jan. 1

MOREHEAD CITY — A new regulation for eel pots will go into effect Jan. 1.

The regulation requires eel pots to have a minimum mesh size of ½-inch by ½-inch.

The regulation is required under Addendum III to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Fishery Management Plan for American Eel, approved in August 2013. The addendum increased the minimum size limit for eels, and the gear modification was needed to minimize regulatory discards.

To reduce the financial burden of gear changes on the fishery, the commission allowed a grace period until Jan. 1, 2017 when only a 4-inch by 4-inch escape panel constructed with mesh at least ½-inch by ½-inch was required. As of Jan. 1, escape panels will no longer be required, but they may still be used provided the mesh size of the pot and the escape panel is at lease ½-inch by ½-inch.

For more information on regulations for eel pots, see Rule 15A NCAC 03J. 0301 on page 23 of the Marine Fisheries Commission rulebook here.

For more information, contact Todd Mathes, American eel biologist with the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, at 252-948-3872 or Todd.Mathes@ncdenr.gov.

nr-92-2016

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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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