RE: STRIPED BASS RECREATIONAL ATLANTIC OCEAN- LANDING/CATCH CARD REQUIREMENTS
Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Friday, May 1, 2015 the following restrictions will apply to the recreational harvest of striped bass in the Atlantic Ocean waters of North Carolina:
I. TAGGING REQUIREMENTS (Atlantic Ocean Ocracoke Inlet to the North Carolina/Virginia state line)
It is unlawful to possess striped bass landed from the Atlantic Ocean waters of North Carolina from Ocracoke Inlet (35° 04.4333N latitude) to the North Carolina/Virginia state line without having a landing tag affixed through the mouth and gill cover before leaving the site of landing. Striped Bass taken from trailered vessels shall have the landing tag affixed before the vessel is removed from the water. Catch cards must be completed to obtain a landing tag, except as noted in III F. and G. below.
II. TAGGING REQUIREMENT EXPIRATION
The requirement for landing tags and catch cards will end at midnight Saturday, October 31, 2015.
III. GENERAL INFORMATION
A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 113-170.3, 113 170.4; 113 170.5; 113 182; 113 221.1; 143B 289.52; and N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rules 15A NCAC 03H .0103 and 03M .0201.
B. It is unlawful to violate the provisions of any proclamation issued by the Director under his delegated authority pursuant to N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03H .0103.
C. The intent of this proclamation is to manage the recreational harvest of striped bass in the Atlantic Ocean in compliance with Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fisheries Management Plan for Atlantic Striped Bass and establish a reporting requirement to determine the recreational striped bass harvest from the Atlantic Ocean from Ocracoke Inlet to the North Carolina/Virginia state line during the Albemarle Sound Management Area striped bass closed season. The estimates of this catch provided by Marine Recreational Information Program (MRIP) during this time period lack the precision needed for the current management strategies. This proclamation provides for a tagging and reporting requirement for the Atlantic Ocean north of Ocracoke Inlet for recreational striped bass harvest (catch cards) through October 31, 2015 but does not change any existing size and creel limits or season requirements.
D. Refer to Proclamation FF-83-2014 for existing size and creel limits for the Atlantic Ocean recreational striped bass fishery.
E. Catch cards and landing tags may be obtained at North Carolina Striped Bass Reporting Stations. Landing tags and catch cards will also be available at all Atlantic Ocean Fishing Piers and most tackle shops in the Northern District (Outer Banks). North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries Recreational Port Agents will also serve as Mobile Reporting Stations. Landing tags may be obtained in exchange for a completed catch card. The following information must be included on each catch card submitted: (1) Date, (2) Reporting station, (3) For Hire Permit number (if applicable), (4) Vessel name, (5) Trip type (charter boat, private boat, or head boat), (6) Tournament (Yes or No), (7) Length total length (inches), Weight (pounds), and (8) Tag number.
F. North Carolina For Hire Permit (FHP) holders may apply for on board catch card and landing tag materials to allow self reporting. FHP holders will be contacted by Marine Fisheries Recreational Port Agents each month to reconcile landings tags used and catch cards completed. To obtain an on board tagging kit, contact Doug Mumford (Doug.Mumford@ncdenr.gov). Telephone: 800 338 7804 or 252 946 6481.
G. Surf anglers and those arriving after North Carolina Striped Bass Reporting Station office hours may contact the DMF 24 hour toll free number (800 682 2632) or (252 726 7021) to report their catch. A verification number will be provided to the vessel operator, Captain, or surf angler to keep for reporting compliance purposes. This method of reporting is restricted to surf anglers and after office hours landings only.
H. All undersized or over limit striped bass shall be immediately returned to the waters where taken regardless of the condition of the fish.
I. In accordance with 15A NCAC 03O .0303, recreational size and creel limits apply to holders of Recreational Commercial Gear License.
J. In accordance with N.C. General Statute 113-221.1(c) All persons who may be affected by proclamations issued by the Fisheries Director are under a duty to keep themselves informed of current proclamations.
K. Contact the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632 for more information or visit the division website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/.
L. This proclamation implements landing and reporting requirements for Atlantic Ocean (Ocracoke Inlet to the North Carolina/Virginia state line) recreational striped bass harvest through October 31, 2015. It does not change existing size and creel limits or season requirements outlined in FF-83-2014.
April 28, 2015