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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Proclamation M-23-2016

Marine Fisheries

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M-23-2016

PROCLAMATION

RE: GILL NETS – ALBEMARLE SOUND AREA – PORTIONS OF MANAGEMENT UNIT A – OPENS
GILL NETS


This Proclamation opens additional portions of the central and eastern Albemarle Sound in Management Unit A to the use of gill nets while maintaining a gill net closure for portions of Croatan and Roanoke Sounds to minimize interactions with threatened and/or endangered sea turtles.

Braxton C. Davis, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:00 A.M., Monday, October 31, 2016 the following provisions shall apply to the use of gill nets in the following areas:

I. MANAGEMENT UNIT A DESCRIPTION AND SPECIFIC AREA RESTRICTIONS (Map 1)
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.

A. It is unlawful to use ANY gill nets (including those described in Section IV.) 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.

B. It is unlawful to use ANY gill nets (except as described in Section IV.) in the area south of a line beginning at a point 35° 53.1720’ N – 75° 45.6160’ W on the mainland shore near Manns Harbor; running easterly along the south side of the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge (Hwy 64 Bypass), continuing easterly along the south side of the Washington Baum Bridge (Hwy 64) to a point ending at 35° 54.3820’ N – 75° 35.9240’ W on the Outer Banks shore.

II. GILL NET ATTENDANCE, MESH AND CONFIGURATION RESTRICTIONS
A fishing operation, regardless of the number of vessels or persons involved, shall adhere to the gill net restrictions specified:

A. It is unlawful to use gill nets with a stretched mesh length less than 3 inches.

B. It is unlawful to use gill nets with a stretched mesh length greater than 3 ¾ inches and less than 5 ½ inches.

C. It is unlawful to use unattended gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 3 inches through 3 ¾ inches.

D. It is unlawful to use gill nets with a stretched mesh length greater than 6 ½ inches.

E. It is unlawful to fail to actively fish gill net sets with a stretched mesh length of 5 ½ inches through 6 ½ inches at least once during a 24- hour period no later than noon each day.

F. It is unlawful to use gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 5 ½ inches through 6 ½ inches unless the nets are:
1. Equipped with tie downs spaced no farther apart than 10 yards, restricting the vertical distance between the top and bottom lines to 48 inches or less; or
2. Equipped with floats that do not exceed 2 inches in diameter and 6 inches in length placed a minimum of 10 yards apart, not to exceed 11 floats per 100 yards of net; and
3. Set so as to fish the bottom and not to exceed a vertical height of 48 inches.

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.

B. It is unlawful to use more than 2,000 yards of gill net with a stretched mesh length of 5 ½ inches through 6 ½ inches per commercial fishing operation.

IV. GEAR EXEMPTIONS AND RESTRICTIONS FOR ATTENDED, RUN-AROUND, STRIKE, DROP,
AND DRIFT GILL NETS

A. Exempted gear definitions:
1. Runaround, strike, or drop 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.

C. It is unlawful to use run-around, strike, drift and drop gill nets with a stretched mesh length less than 3 inches and greater than 4 inches.

D. It is unlawful to use or possess more than 800 yards of run-around, strike, drift and drop gill net per commercial fishing operation.
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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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