RE: LARGE MESH GILL NETS: INTERNAL COASTAL WATERS
Dr. Louis B. Daniel III Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 9:00 A.M. Thursday, February 2, 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 the Albemarle Sound Management Area as described in Marine Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 03R .0201 (a) and the Neuse, Bay and Pamlico rivers described as follows:
B. For the American and hickory shad fishery, the following areas are exempt from the restrictions listed in Section IV. A., B., and D of this proclamation. The maximum yardage limit in IV. C is still in effect.
1. 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.
1. Pamlico Sound – south of a line beginning at a point 35° 48.3693’N – 75° 43.7232’W on Roanoke Marshes Point, running southeasterly to a point 35° 44.1710’N – 75° 31.0520’W on the north point of Eagle Nest Bay. North of a line at the Wainwrights beginning at a point 34° 59.7942’N – 76° 14.6514’W on Camp Point; running easterly to a point at 34° 58.7853’N – 76° 09.8922’W on Core Banks.
2. In Cape Fear River and its tributaries, north of a line running from a point on the west shore at 34° 04.6040’N – 77° 56.4780’W; running easterly to a point on the east shore at 34° 04.7920’N – 77° 55.4740’W.
3. In New River north of the Highway 172 Bridge.
III. EXEMPTION FOR RUN-AROUND, STRIKE OR DROP NETS
A. 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 SETTING REQUIREMENTS
A. It is unlawful to use large mesh gill nets (defined as 4 inches to 61/2 inches stretched mesh inclusive) for daytime sets other than during the setting and retrieval periods specified below. Only single night overnight soaks are permitted, and are only lawful if set and retrieved as follows:
1. Nets set for Tuesday retrieval may be set no sooner than one hour before sunset on Monday and must be retrieved no later than one hour after sunrise on Tuesday.
2. Nets set for Wednesday retrieval may be set no sooner than one hour before sunset on Tuesday and must be retrieved no later than one hour after sunrise on Wednesday.
3. Nets set for Thursday retrieval may be set no sooner than one hour before sunset on Wednesday and must be retrieved no later than one hour after sunrise on Thursday.
4. Nets set for Friday retrieval may be set no sooner than one hour before sunset on Thursday and must be retrieved no later than one hour after sunrise on Friday.