RE: GILL NETS — ALBEMARLE SOUND AREA- MANAGEMENT UNIT A — REMOVING SMALL MESH GILL NET ATTENDANCE REQUIREMENTS
Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Friday, November 20, 2015, the following provisions shall apply to the use of gill nets in the following areas:
I. MANAGEMENT UNIT A- DESCRIPTION AND SPECIFIC AREA RESTRICTIONS
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 gill nets, including multi-panel trammel gill nets (except as described in Section IV.) in the Internal Coastal Waters of Albemarle, Croatan and Roanoke Sounds bounded to the north by a line beginning at a point 35º 57.5590’ N - 75º 56.8200’ W on Sound Point; running northeasterly to a point 36º 04.8280’ N - 75º 47.4050’ W on the western end of the Highway 158 Wright Memorial Bridge; then running easterly along the south side of the bridge to a point 36º 05.5770’ N - 75º 44.5850’ W on the eastern end of the bridge; and bounded to the south by 35º 46.3000’ N latitude.
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 ¼ inches and less than 5 ½ inches.
C. It is unlawful to use gill nets with a stretched mesh length greater than 6 ½ inches.
D. 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 E. It is unlawful to fail to actively fish gill net sets at least once during a 24 hour period no later than noon each day.
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.