RE:STRIPED BASS RECREATIONAL SEASON – CENTRAL SOUTHERN MANAGEMENT AREA
Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Tuesday, October 1, 2013, the season for striped bass taken for recreational purposes shall open in the following area with the following restrictions:
I. AREA DESCRIPTION:
The Central Southern Management Area as defined in N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03R .0201 (c).
II. SEASON, MEANS AND METHODS:
A. Striped bass may be taken for recreational purposes seven days a week during the open season.
B. The recreational season for striped bass in the Central Southern Management Area will close at 6:00 P.M., Wednesday, April 30, 2014.
III. SIZE AND CREEL LIMITS:
A. No person shall take or possess striped bass less than 18 inches total length taken for recreational purposes (See Section IV. I.).
B. No person, including RCGL holders, shall take or possess more than two (2) striped bass taken in any one day for recreational purposes.
IV. GENERAL INFORMATION:
A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 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, 03Q .0107, 03M .0201 and 03M .0202.
B. It is unlawful to violate the provisions of any proclamation issued by the Fisheries 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 implement the recreational harvest of striped bass in the Central Southern Management Area as adopted in the North Carolina Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan by the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
D. Hook-and-line fishing equipment is not considered commercial fishing equipment in the striped bass fishery and it is illegal to sell or purchase striped bass taken by hook-and-line.
E. Commercial fishing equipment authorized by the RCGL is not considered commercial fishing equipment in the striped bass fishery and it is illegal to sell or purchase striped bass taken by this method in accordance with N.C.G. S. 113-173.
F. As required by Proclamation M-19-2013, dated June 28, 2013, Recreational Commercial Gear License (RCGL) gill nets in internal fishing waters west (upstream) of the 76° 28.0000’W longitude line which passes near Roos Point at the mouth of Pungo River south to Point of Marsh at the mouth of the Neuse River must be configured as follows:
1. It is unlawful to fail to equip RCGL gill nets with a mesh length of greater than 5 ½ inches with tie downs spaced no farther apart than 10 yards to restrict the vertical distance between the top and bottom lines to 36 inches or less. If the vertical height of the net (distance between the lead line and the top line) is 36 inches or less, no tie-downs are required. Nets must be set so as to fish on the bottom and not exceed a vertical height of 36 inches. The net(s) shall be attended when used from one hour after sunrise through one hour before sunset. G. N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03M .0201 defines striped bass as striped bass and its hybrids.
2. During the time that RCGL gill nets are attended, RCGL gill nets are exempt from the 50 yard minimum distance from shore requirement in upper Neuse, Pamlico and Pungo rivers.
H. N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rules 15A NCAC 03M .0202 and 15A NCAC 03Q .0107 state that it is unlawful to possess striped bass from the coastal and joint waters of the Cape Fear River and its tributaries.
I. N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03Q .0107 states that it is unlawful to possess striped bass between the lengths of 22 and 27 inches (total length) in joint waters of the Central Southern Management Area.
J. N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03M .0202 states the all striped bass that do not meet the legal size limit shall be immediately returned with minimum harm to the waters where taken.
September 23, 2013