B. Area of eastern/southern Albemarle Sound Management Area described in I.B. above
1. Gill nets with a mesh length less than 3 ¼ inches shall not be used.
2. Gill nets with a mesh length of 3 ¼ inches shall not exceed 800 yards in any combination.
3. Gill nets with a mesh length greater than 3 ¼ inches and less than 5 ½ inches shall not be used except as described in II.B.4.
4. Gill nets with a mesh length of 3 ½ and 3 ¾ may be used south of the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge (Highway 64/264) at Manns Harbor. Gill nets with a mesh length of 3 ¼, 3 ½, and 3 ¾ shall not exceed 800 yards, in any combination in this area.
5. Gill nets with a mesh length larger than 6 ½ inches shall not be used.
6. It is unlawful to use large mesh gill nets of more than 15 meshes in height and without a lead core or leaded bottomline. It is unlawful to use cork, floats or other buoys except those required for identification. It is unlawful to set more than 100 yards of large mesh gill net without leaving a space of at least 25 yards between separate lengths of net.
7. Gill nets with a mesh length of 5 ½ inches and larger can only be used as described in II.B.6. and may not exceed 2,000 yards combined.
8. It is unlawful to use large mesh gill nets (defined as 5 ½ inches to 6 ½ inches stretched mesh inclusive) for daytime sets other than during the setting and retrieval periods specified in the area described in I.B. above. Only single night overnight soaks are permitted, and are only lawful if set and retrieved as follows:
a. Nets set for Tuesday retrieval may be set no sooner than one hour before sunset on Monday and must be retrieved no later than one hour after sunrise on Tuesday.
b. Nets set for Wednesday retrieval may be set no sooner than one hour before sunset on Tuesday and must be retrieved no later than one hour after sunrise on Wednesday.
c. Nets set for Thursday retrieval may be set no sooner than one hour before sunset on Wednesday and must be retrieved no later than one hour after sunrise on Thursday.
d. Nets for Friday retrieval may be set no sooner than one hour before sunset on Thursday and must be retrieved no later than one hour after sunrise on Friday.
III. DRIFT GILL NETS
It is unlawful to use drift gill nets in the Joint Fishing Waters portion of the Roanoke, Middle, Eastmost, Cashie, Chowan and Meherrin rivers and all other joint water tributaries of the Albemarle Sound Management Area.
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 and 03J .0103, 03Q .0107(1)(c); 03M .0202 and 03M .0513.
B. It is unlawful to violate 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 allow directed fisheries for mullet, white perch, hickory shad and flounder while managing the Albemarle Sound Management Area striped bass within the quota established by the North Carolina Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan (FMP), the river herring stocks under a no harvest measure in the North Carolina River Herring FMP, and controlling the bycatch of striped bass in directed gill net fisheries.
D. N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03I .0113 specifies that it is unlawful for any licensee under Chapter 113, Subchapter IV of the General Statutes to refuse to allow the Fisheries Director or his agents to obtain biological data, harvest information, or other statistical data necessary or useful to the conservation and management of marine and estuarine resources from fish in the licensee’s possession. The Division of Marine Fisheries has implemented an observer program as an inspection procedure to obtain such data.
E. This proclamation supersedes Proclamation M-45-2013 dated December 19, 2013. It prohibits the use of gill nets in the western portion of the Albemarle Sound Management Area southwest of a line from Black Walnut Point to the mouth of Mackey’s Creek.
February 13, 2014