RE: STRIPED BASS RECREATIONAL ATLANTIC OCEAN: OCRACOKE INLET TO NORTH CAROLINA/VIRGINIA STATE LINE
Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Wednesday, May 1, 2013 the following restrictions will apply to the recreational harvest of striped bass in the Atlantic Ocean waters of North Carolina from Ocracoke Inlet (35° 04.4333N latitude) to the North Carolina/Virginia state line:
I. SIZE AND CREEL LIMITS
No person shall take or possess more than two (2) striped bass taken with hook and line or for recreational purposes from the Atlantic Ocean. The minimum size limit is 28 inches total length. Size and creel limits remain in effect, irrespective of changes in tagging requirements.
II. TAGGING REQUIREMENTS
All striped bass landed from May 1, 2013 through midnight October 31, 2013 are required to have a landing tag affixed through the mouth and gill cover before removal from the vessel. Captains or operators 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.
III. TAGGING REQUIREMENT EXPIRATION
The requirement for landing tags will end at 12:01 A.M., Friday, November 1, 2013.
IV. 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; 03M .0201 and 03M .0204.
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 enable an estimate of recreational striped bass harvest from the Atlantic Ocean during the Albemarle Sound Management Area 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.
D. The waters of the Atlantic Ocean pertaining to this proclamation are defined as waters seaward of the COLREGS Demarcation Lines as indicated on National Ocean Service navigation charts. The landing restrictions apply from the 35°04.4333’N latitude line at Ocracoke Inlet to the North Carolina/Virginia state line out to a distance of three miles.
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. Anglers arriving at dock after 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 or Captain to keep for reporting compliance purposes. This method of reporting is restricted to 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. Holders of Recreational Commercial Gear License shall adhere to the size and creel limits restrictions of the recreational fishery for striped bass.
J. This proclamation adds a reporting requirement for Atlantic Ocean recreational striped bass harvest through October 31, 2013. It does not supersede any existing size and creel limits or season requirements.
April 19, 2013