RE: GILL NETS – ALBEMARLE SOUND AREA- MANAGEMENT UNIT A - DECEMBER COMMERCIAL LARGE MESH GILL NET FISHERY CLOSURE
Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Tuesday, December 1, 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 - 75º56.8200’ 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 and greater than 3 ¼ inches (except as described in Section IV).
B. It is unlawful to fail to actively fish gill net sets with a stretched mesh length of 3 inches through 3 ¼ inches at least once during a 24 hour period no later than noon each day.
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:
It is unlawful to use more than 800 yards of gill net with a stretched mesh length of 3 through 4 inches in any combination per commercial fishing operation.
IV. GEAR EXEMPTIONS AND RESTRICTIONS FOR RUN-AROUND, STRIKE, DROP, DRIFT AND
MULTI-PANEL TRAMMEL GILL NETS
A. Exempted gear definitions (including multi-panel trammel gill nets):
1. Runaround, strike, drop or multi-panel trammel gill nets - gill nets that are set and then are immediately retrieved. 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.
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.
C. It is unlawful to use run-around, strike, drift, drop and multi-panel trammel gill nets with a stretched mesh length less than 3 inches and greater than 3 ¼ inches. Except in the area of Management Unit A south of the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge and the Washington Baum Bridge, run-around, strike, drift, drop and multi-panel trammel gill nets with a stretched mesh length of 3 inches through 4 inches may be used.
D. It is unlawful to use or possess more than 800 yards of run-around, strike, drift, drop and multi-panel trammel gill net per commercial fishing operation.