February 29, 2008

Flounder size limit increases for recreational fishermen



The size limit for recreationally caught flounder will increase to 15.5 inches in many coastal waters of the state beginning March 1.
 
The new size limit applies to flounder caught in the ocean and eastern sounds, from the Virginia state line to Browns Inlet. Specific areas are detailed in the proclamation that follows.
 
The current size limit for flounder caught in these areas is 14.5 inches.
 
The size limit increase is necessary to account for overages in the 2007 recreational harvest of summer flounder, so that the state can remain in compliance with an Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission coast-wide quota. North Carolina had been allocated 137,000 fish for recreational catches in 2007. Fishermen caught 174,000 fish.
 
The creel limit will remain at 8-fish-per-day per-person in all North Carolina coastal waters. The flounder size limit will remain at 14 inches in the western rivers and sounds, and south of Browns Inlet.

The increased size limit does not apply to commercial flounder catches. Commercial flounder harvests are managed under a separate quota system. The commercial quota for 2008 was reduced Jan. 1.

For more information, contact DMF flounder biologist Chris Batsavage at (252) 808-8088, (800) 682-2632 or chris.batsavage@ncmail.net.


PROCLAMATION

RE:  FLOUNDER – RECREATIONAL PURPOSE

Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Saturday, March 1, 2008, the following restrictions will apply to the taking of flounder for recreational purposes:

I.    MINIMUM SIZE LIMITS AND AREAS
    
It is unlawful to possess flounder less than 15 ½ inches total length taken from internal and Atlantic Ocean fishing waters for recreational purposes except as specified below:
        
A.    PAMLICO SOUND - No person may possess flounder less than 14 inches total length taken from internal waters for recreational purposes west of a line beginning at a point on Point of Marsh in Carteret County at 35° 04.6166’N – 76° 27.8000’W, then running northeasterly to a point at Bluff Point in Hyde County at 35° 19.7000’N – 76° 09.8500’W.   In Core and Clubfoot creeks, the Highway 101 Bridge constitutes the boundary north of which flounder must be at least 14 inches total length.

B.    ALBEMARLE SOUND - No person may possess flounder less than 14 inches total length taken from internal waters for recreational purposes west of a line beginning at a point 35° 57.3950’N – 76° 00.8166’W on Long Shoal Point; running easterly to a point 35° 56.7316’N – 75° 59.3000’ W near Marker “5” in Alligator River; running northeasterly along the Intracoastal Waterway to a point 36° 09.3033’N - 75° 53.4916’W near Marker “171” at the mouth of North River; running northwesterly to a point 36° 09.9093’N – 75° 54.6601’W on Camden Point.

C.    BROWNS INLET-SOUTH – No person may possess flounder less than 14 inches total length in internal and Atlantic Ocean fishing waters for recreational purposes west and south of a line beginning at a point 34° 37.0000’N – 77° 15.000’W; running southeasterly to a point 34° 32.0000’N – 77° 10.0000’W.
 
II.    CREEL LIMIT
It is unlawful to possess more than eight (8) flounder taken for recreational purposes per person per day or per trip if a trip occurs on more than one calendar day.  The possession limit shall apply to flounder taken from internal and Atlantic Ocean fishing waters by all gears, including gigs, if possession is for a recreational purpose.
    
III.    GENERAL INFORMATION
    
A.    This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 113-170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52 and N.C. Marine Fisheries Rules 15A NCAC 3H .0103; 3I .0102, 3M .0503 and 3M .0512.

B.    It is unlawful to violate the provisions of any proclamation issued by the Fisheries Director under his delegated authority pursuant to N.C. Marine Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 3H .0103.

C.    The intent of this proclamation is to maintain North Carolina’s compliance with the requirements of the joint Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council-Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Summer Flounder Fisheries Management Plan under the authority of N.C. Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 3M .0512.  This proclamation continues the minimum size limit of flounder taken for recreational purposes in internal waters west of a line in Pamlico Sound from Point of Marsh to Bluff Point and in Albemarle Sound west of Alligator River at 14 inches.  The size limit east of those lines and in all other internal waters and the Atlantic Ocean north of Browns Inlet  becomes 15 ½ inches total length.

D.    This proclamation does not affect commercial fishing operations.  Commercial harvest reduction requirements were met by a reduction in their total annual quota.

E.    This proclamation supersedes Proclamations FF-9-2007, dated February 6, 2007, and FF-10-2007, dated February 8, 2007.


BY: __________________________________
Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director
DIVISION OF MARINE FISHERIES



   

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