RE: LARGE MESH GILL NETS: INTERNAL COASTAL WATERS
Dr. Louis B. Daniel III Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 6:02 P.M. on Sunday, May 13, 2012, the following provisions shall apply to the use of large mesh gill nets:
I. SUSPENSION OF PORTION OF MARINE FISHERIES RULE 15A NCAC 03J .0103
The following portion of Marine Fisheries Rules for Coastal Waters 15A NCAC 03J .0103 is suspended:
Section (i) (1), which reads:
(i) For gill nets with a mesh length five inches or greater, it is unlawful:
(1) To use more than 3,000 yards of gill net per vessel in internal waters regardless of the number of individuals involved.
The provisions below in this proclamation shall be complied with at all times.
II. AREAS AND EXEMPTIONS
A. This proclamation applies to all internal coastal waters except for portions of Croatan and Roanoke sounds, Albemarle and Currituck sounds and their tributaries and the Neuse, Bay and Pamlico rivers described as follows:
1. In Croatan and Roanoke sounds, the restrictions do not apply north and west of the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge and the Washington Baum Bridge described below:
a. Croatan Sound - beginning at a point 35º 53.1720’N - 75º 45.6160’ W on the mainland shore; running easterly along the south side of the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge to a point at 35° 53.1630’N - 75º 40.1640’W on Roanoke Island.
b. Roanoke Sound - beginning at a point 35º 53.6240’N - 75º 38.4170’ W on shore at Roanoke Island; running easterly along the south side of the Washington Baum Bridge to a point at 35° 54.3820’N - 75º 35.9240’W on the Outer Banks shore .
2. In Pamlico, Bay and Neuse rivers, the restrictions do not apply west of a line in the vicinity of the mouths of those waterbodies described below:
a. Pamlico River – a line beginning at a point at 35º 24.5920’N - 76º 32.3810’W near Currituck Point; running southwesterly to a point at 35º 19.6960’N - 76º 36.5360’W near Fulford Point.
b. Bay River – a line beginning at a point 35º 11.0760’N - 76º 31.6200’W near Bay Point; running southerly to a point at 35º 08.9290’N - 76º 32.2680’W near Maw Point.
c. Neuse River – a line beginning at a point 35º 08.9290’N - 76º 32.2680’W near Maw Point; running southerly to a point at 34° 59.29400’N – 76°59.2940’N – 76° 34.8230’W on the east shore of the mouth of South River.
B. CLOSED AREA DESCRIPTION
It is unlawful to use large mesh gill nets (defined as 4 inches to 6½ inches stretched mesh, inclusive) in the area described in II. B. below until re-opened at 6:18 P.M. on June 4, 2012 by this proclamation
SOUTHERN CORE SOUND, BACK SOUND, THE STRAITS, NORTH RIVER AND TRIBUTARIES –The area bound in the north by a line at latitude 34° 48.2660’ N which runs approximately from the Club House on Core Banks westerly to a point on the shore at Davis near Marker “1”, bound in the west by a line at longitude 76° 36.9972’ W, which runs from a point on Shackleford Banks northerly to Lennoxville Point, then to the head of Turner Creek, and northerly up the western side of North River, and bound in the east by the COLREGS demarcation line at Barden Inlet including southern Core Sound, Back Sound The Straits, North River and all tributaries. (See Map)
III. EXEMPTION FOR RUN-AROUND, STRIKE OR DROP NETS
A run-around, strike or drop net that is used to surround a school of fish and then is immediately retrieved is exempted from the restrictions in this proclamation.
IV. GILL NET CONSTRUCTION AND USE REQUIREMENTS
It is unlawful to use large mesh gill nets (defined as 4 inches to 6½ inches stretched mesh, inclusive) unless they comply with the following provisions:
A. 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 except that floats are allowed south of the Highway 58 (B. Cameron Langston) Bridge, beginning at a point on the north shore at 34° 40.7848’N - 77° 04.0273’W; running southerly to a point on the south shore at 34° 39.8620’N – 77° 03.7438’W.
B. It is unlawful to use or possess more than 2,000 yards of large mesh gill net per vessel north of the Highway 58 Bridge (coordinates above) and it is unlawful to use or possess more than 1,000 yards of large mesh gill net per vessel south of the Highway 58 Bridge.
C. 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.