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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Proclamation M-10-2020

Marine Fisheries

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M-10-2020

PROCLAMATION

RE: GILL NETS – ALBEMARLE SOUND AREA – MANAGEMENT UNIT A


This proclamation supersedes Proclamation M-5-2020 dated February 28, 2020. In Management Unit A, it implements small mesh gill net attendance requirements. It maintains restrictions on the use of run-around, strike, drop, and trammel gill nets and with a stretched mesh length of 5 ½ inches through 6 ½ inches in portions of Management Unit A.

Stephen W. Murphey, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Friday, May 1, 2020, the following provisions shall apply to the use of gill nets in the following areas:

I. MANAGEMENT UNIT A: AREA DESCRIPTIONS AND SPECIFIC AREA RESTRICTIONS
(See Map)

A. Management Unit A: encompasses all Internal Coastal Waters bound on the south by 35° 46.3000' N latitude to the North Carolina/Virginia state line. This includes Albemarle, Currituck, Croatan and Roanoke sounds and their tributaries.

B. Management Unit A, Sub-Unit A1: The following coastal waters of the Albemarle Sound and Joint waters of the Perquimans, Little, and Pasquotank rivers are open to the use of gill nets as described in Section II. C.
Albemarle Sound: Coastal waters of the Albemarle Sound west of a line beginning at a point on the north shore 36° 7.513 N - 76° 9.912 W, running due south to a point on the south side 35° 59.605 N - 76° 9.912 W, west to a line beginning at a point on the on the west shore of the Chowan River 36° 02.3162' N - 76° 42.4896' W; running northeasterly to a point on the east shore 36° 03.1013' N - 76° 40.8732' W.
Perquimans River: Joint Waters northwest of a line beginning at a point on the north shore at 36° 05.9669' N - 76° 18.1791' W; running northeasterly to a point on the east shore 36° 06.7655' N - 76° 16.5953' W.
Little River: Joint Waters northwest of a line beginning at a point on the west shore 36° 07.5322' N - 76° 10.6901' W; running southwesterly to a point on the south shore 36° 06.4199' N - 76° 11.6047' W.
Pasquotank River: Joint Waters northwest of a line beginning at a point on the north shore 36° 11.4282' N - 76° 01.2876' W; running southwesterly to a point on the south shore 36° 08.7563' N - 76° 03.6991' W.

C. Black Walnut Point to Mackey’s Creek: It is unlawful to use ANY gill nets in the area southwest of a line from Black Walnut Point 35° 59.3833' N - 76° 41.0060' W; running southeasterly to a point 35° 56.3333' N - 76° 36.0333' W at the mouth of Mackey’s Creek, including Roanoke, Cashie, Middle and Eastmost Rivers.

II. GILL NET CONSTRUCTION AND USE REQUIREMENTS (see Section IV. for exempted gear definitions).
A fishing operation regardless of the number of vessels or persons involved, shall adhere to the gill net restrictions specified:

A. It is unlawful for Recreational Commercial Gear License holders to use gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 5 ½ inches through 6 ½ inches.

B. Management Unit A as described in Section I. A.
1. It is unlawful to use fixed or stationary gill nets with a stretched mesh length less than 3 inches and greater than 3 ¾ inches (gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 3 inches through 3 ¾ inches may be used).
2. It is unlawful to use unattended gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 3 inches through 3 ¾ inches.
3. It is unlawful to use run-around, strike, drop, trammel, and drift gill nets with a stretched mesh length less than 3 inches and greater than 4 inches (except as described in Section II. C. 4.).
C. Management Unit A, Sub-Unit A1 as described in Section I. B.:
1. It is unlawful to use fixed or stationary gill nets with a stretched mesh length less than 3 inches and greater than 3 ¾ inches (gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 3 inches through 3 ¾ inches may be used).
2. It is unlawful to use unattended gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 3 inches through 3 ¾ inches.
3. It is unlawful to use run-around, strike, drop, trammel, and drift nets with a stretched mesh length less than 3 inches and greater than 4 inches (except as described in Section II. C. 4.).
4. It is unlawful to use run-around, strike, drop, and trammel gill nets with a stretched mesh length less than 5 ½ inches and greater than 6 ½ inches (run-around, strike, drop, and trammel gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 5 ½ inches though 6 ½ inches MAY be used. Drift gill nets and fixed, stationary, or unattended gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 5 ½ inches though 6 ½ inches MAY NOT be used).

III. GILL NET YARDAGE RESTRICTIONS
A fishing operation, regardless of the number of vessels or persons involved, shall adhere to the gill net yardage restrictions specified:

A. It is unlawful to use more than 800 yards of gill net with a stretched mesh length of 3 inches through 4 inches in any combination per commercial fishing operation, including nets as described in Section IV.

B. It is unlawful to use more than 800 yards of gill net with a stretched mesh length of 5 ½ inches through 6 ½ inches in any combination per commercial fishing operation including nets as described in Section IV.

IV. GEAR EXEMPTION DEFINITIONS AND RESTRICTIONS FOR RUN-AROUND, STRIKE, DROP, TRAMMEL, AND DRIFT GILL NETS:

A. Exempted gear definitions (including trammel gill nets):
1. Runaround, strike, drop, or trammel gill nets - gill nets that are set and then are immediately retrieved.
2. Drift gill nets - gill nets that are used to capture fish while being moved along by water currents and the net being actively fished and attended from deployment through retrieval.
B. 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 as defined in N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15 NCAC 03R. 0201.

V. SEA TURTLE AND ATLANTIC STURGEON INTERACTION REPORTING
It is unlawful to fail to report any sea turtle or sturgeon captured in anchored gill nets. Reports shall be made within 24 hours of the capture to the Division of Marine Fisheries at 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632. Self- reported takes of sea turtles and sturgeon by fishermen fishing without an observer do not count toward the allowable takes in the Incidental Take Permits.

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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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