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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - RCGL Pots

Marine Fisheries

Recreational Commercial Gear License Pots

8-point rule



Gear Requirements - Shrimp pots cannot have a mesh smaller than 1 ¼ inches stretch or 5/8 inch bar. Eel pots have a minimum mesh size of ½ inch by ½ inch.
Crab pots must have a minimum of three escape rings per pot that are at least 2 5/16 inches inside diameter. 
For crab pots with a divider: 1) Two escape rings are located on opposite outside panels of the upper chamber of the pot; and 2) At least one escape ring is located within one full mesh of the corner and one full mesh of the bottom of the divider in the upper chamber of the pot. 3) A divider is defined as a panel that separates the crab pot into upper and lower sections.
For crab pots without a divider: 1) Two escape rings are located on opposite outside panels of the pot; and 2) At least one escape ring is located within one full mesh of the corner and one full mesh of the bottom of the pot.

Pot Limits – Limited to a total of five eel, fish, shrimp or crab pots; of the five, only two can be eel pots. Peeler pots are not allowed.

Buoy Lines – All crab pots must use non-floating.

Marking Requirements – One solid hot pink buoy on each pot (see buoy requirements).

Attendance - Fished at least every five days. Crab pots cannot be fished or retrieved from one hour after sunset to one hour before sunrise.

Designated Areas – There are areas where pots cannot be set from May 1- Nov. 30 each year. Contact DMF to find out about your area. Pots must not be placed in navigation channels marked by state or federal agencies or in any turning basin maintained and marked by the N.C. Ferry Division.

Closed Season - All pots must be removed from internal (non-ocean) waters Jan. 15 - Feb. 7 of each year.

Exemptions - One crab pot per person with properly marked buoys may be attached to the shore on privately owned land or to a privately owned pier without a RCGL.

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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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