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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Tournament FAQs

Marine Fisheries

North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament FAQ

What is the North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament?
The North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament, commonly referred to at the “Citation Program,” runs from January 1 to December 31 of each calendar year. The program recognizes anglers for their outstanding recreational catches of fish most commonly caught in North Carolina.

What is a citation?
A citation is an 8 ½ by 11-inch certificate that is suitable for framing.

How do I know that I qualify for a citation?
Fish that qualify for a citation are of exceptional size. Please review the rules for the tournament listed at the top of the page. For a list of weight requirements and release length requirements, click here.

What species of fish qualify for a citation?
The fish that are eligible for citations are some of the most common fish in North Carolina coastal waters. For a list of species, click here.

If I think I have a citation fish, then what do I do?
Visit an Official NC Saltwater Fishing Tournament Weigh Station, there they will weigh your fish or guide you through filling out the paper for a release citation.

Where can I get a fish weighed?
We have nearly 100 weigh stations in coastal North Carolina. Look for the below sign at your favorite tackle store, marina, or pier. For a complete list, click here.

What do I need for a release citation?
Release citations have always been awarded on the honor system, you only need a witness to sign the form. You do not have to send in photographs in order to receive your citation.

Does it cost anything?
No. We do not charge for the processing of citation certificates.

Are the forms available online?
Our forms are only available at our weigh stations. For a complete list of weigh stations, click here.

How long does it take to get my citation?
We are currently only able to process citations one time per year. All of the previous year’s citation will be mailed by the following spring.

What about freshwater fish citations?
The freshwater Angler Recognition Program is run by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, for details on their program, click here or call, 919-707-0220.

Where do I go if I have more, questions?
If you have additional questions, please contact Carole Willis, Tournament Coordinator at carole.y.willis@ncdenr.gov.

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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