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 Fish Post

Releases – March 6, 2014

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The Carolina Girls Outdoor School will be a series of hands on seminars for women that will be held on March 15, 2014, during the Cape Fear Wildlife Expo in Wilmington, North Carolina, at the Wilmington Convention Center.

Cost is $125.00 per person with one additional member at $75.00. This includes a 3-day admission to the Cape Fear Wildlife Expo, a catered lunch by Mike McMillion of the Crab Shack, a tee shirt for each participant, a goody bag, and a door prize drawing for fishing and hunting outdoors trip.

Seminar Topics are Flounder Fishing, Pier and Surf Fishing, Speckled Trout Fishing, Knot Tying, Cast Net Instruction, Striper and Bass Fishing, Red Drum Fishing, Introduction to Deer Hunting, Bow Hunting Instruction, General Safety, Duck and Goose Calls, Turkey Hunting, and Wildlife Photography. Other related topics are being confirmed.

Instruction will meet the needs of hunters and fisherwomen ranging from novice to advanced.

For more information on the School, call (843) 902-6532 or email wc@capefearwildlifeexpo.com or brenda@capefearwildlifeexpo.com.


The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will open the entire Roanoke River Management Area to striped bass harvest from March 1 through April 30, unless closed or extended through proclamation. The Roanoke River Management Area includes the Roanoke River and tributaries from Roanoke Rapids Lake Dam downstream to Albemarle Sound, including the Cashie, Middle, and Eastmost rivers.

The daily creel limit within the Roanoke River Management Area is two striped bass per angler. The minimum length limit is 18 inches, and no striped bass between 22 and 27 inches can be possessed at any time. Only one striped bass larger than 27 inches can be included in the daily creel limit.

Anglers are required to use a single barbless hook or a lure with a single barbless hook when fishing in the upper Roanoke River from April 1 through June 30. The upper Roanoke River is defined as the main river channel and all tributaries, upstream from the U.S. Highway 258 Bridge near Scotland Neck to Roanoke Rapids Lake Dam.

From early March until the end of May, the Commission will post online weekly fishing reports from the Roanoke River every Thursday afternoon. The fishing reports, along with other updated information on striped bass fishing and boating access areas, will be posted on the Commission’s fishing page at www.ncwildlife.org/fishing.

For more information on fishing in public, inland waters, call the agency’s Division of Inland Fisheries at (919) 707-0220.


North Carolina closed all coastal and inland waters to commercial and recreational spotted seatrout harvest at noon on Wednesday, February 5, and it will remain closed until June 15.

N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Director Louis Daniel issued a proclamation closing all coastal waters after cold stun events were confirmed in several coastal rivers, bays and creeks. Cold stun events were confirmed in the Pamlico, Alligator, Pungo, Scuppernong, Trent, Neuse, and Cape Fear rivers; Chocowinity, Blounts, and Chadwick bays; and Slades, Bath, Cahooque, Hancock, and Spooners creeks.

Under N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission rules, the spotted seatrout season automatically closes in inland waters when it closes in adjacent coastal waters.

Cold stun is a naturally occurring event. When waters cool during the winter, spotted seatrout move to deeper, warmer waters in the estuaries and ocean. But if there is a large drop in water temperature over a short period of time, the fish may be stunned or die from it.

Studies have found that cold stun events can have a significant impact on spotted seatrout populations.

Under the N.C. Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan, if a significant cold stun event occurs, the Division of Marine Fisheries will close all spotted seatrout harvest. The intent of the closure is to allow the fish that survive the cold stun event the maximum chance to spawn in this spring. Peak spawning occurs in May.

For more specifics on the closure in coastal waters, see Proclamation FF-9-2014 at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations.

For more information, contact Chip Collier with the Division of Marine Fisheries at (910) 796-7291 or Chip.Collier@ncdenr.gov.


The N.C Division of Marine Fisheries is reminding fishermen that new harvest limits on black drum will take effect on New Year’s Day.

Louis Daniel, director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, issued a proclamation that implements the following regulations as of January 1: (1) 14- to 25-inch total length slot size limit (except one fish longer than 25 inches total length may be kept); (2) 10-fish recreational bag limit; and (3) 500-pound commercial trip limit.

For specific requirements, see Proclamation FF-73-2013 at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations.

An Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fishery Management Plan required states to implement black drum possession limits and a minimum size limit of at least 12 inches by Jan. 1, 2014, and at least 14 inches by Jan. 1, 2016.

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission voted at its November business meeting to implement the more restrictive size limit to avoid confusion of another change in two years.

For more information, contact Chris Stewart in the division’s Wilmington office at (910) 796-7370 or Chris.Stewart@ncdenr.gov.


Revenues from the N.C. Coastal Recreational Fishing License will pay nearly $2 million in the coming year toward projects to help provide coastal fishing access and fisheries and habitat research.

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission, in December, approved 14 grants, totaling $1.78 million, for the 2014 cycle.

The grants are sorted into three focus areas. Grants that fall under the People Focus Area include public education and public water access projects. Grants that fall under the Fish Focus Area are fisheries research projects. Grants that fall under the Habitat Focus Area are projects that enhance, protect or research fisheries habitat.

People Focus Area – Six grants totaling $1,177,798 were awarded:

(1) Wildlife Resources Commission, Rose Bay Boating Access Area – $250,000: One-year grant to upgrade the existing boating access area off U.S. 264, southeast of Scranton in Hyde County.

(2) Onslow Bay Artificial Reef Association, Enhancement of Three Artificial Reefs in Onslow Bay – $637,500: One year grant to add materials to the Billy Murrell, Meares Harris and Phillip Wolfe reefs.

(3) Wildlife Resources Commission, Dawson’s Creek Boating Access Area – $95,000: One-year grant to upgrade the existing boating access area off Janiero Road, northeast of the Minnesott Beach Ferry in Pamlico County.

(4) Wildlife Resources Commission, Turkey Creek Boating Access Area – $130,000: One-year grant to upgrade the existing boating access area on Turkey Point Road in Onslow County.

(5) Town of Morehead City, Newport River Beach Access Ramp Restrooms – $49,431: One year grant to complete a waterfront access project on Radio Island.

(6) Town of Carolina Beach, Freeman Park Hatteras Ramp and Signage – $15,867: One-year grant to construct a Hatteras ramp to provide better access at the entrance of Freeman Park.

Fish Focus Area – Five grants totaling $428,815 were awarded:

(1) N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Multispecies Tagging Program – $109,357: Multi-year grant to tag striped bass, red drum, spotted seatrout, and southern flounder, which will provide independent estimates of abundance and biomass, as well as data on migration rate.

(2) N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Carcass Collection Program – $17,300: Multi-year grant to continue funding a coast-wide carcass collection program.

(3) N.C. State University, Stock Structure of Spotted Seatrout: Assessing Genetic Connectivity at Northern Latitudinal Limits – $111,507: Multi-year grant to study population structure of spotted seatrout, which will allow researchers to accurately delineate stock boundaries.

(4) East Carolina University, Maturation and Fecundity of the Central Southern Management Area Striped Bass Stock – $40,035: One-year grant to continue research on striped bass and provide the Division of Marine Fisheries and Wildlife Resources Commission with the ability to differentiate between the wild and hatchery reared striped bass stock.

(5) University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Estimating Mortality for Southern Flounder Using Combined Telemetry and Conventional Tagging Approach – $150,616: Multi-year grant to tag southern flounder providing data to be incorporated directly into future stock assessments.

Habitat Focus Area – Three grants totaling $176,500 were awarded:

(1) N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Mapping Along the Southern North Carolina Coast – $16,500: Multi-year grant to complete mapping submerged aquatic vegetation along the North Carolina coast.

(2) N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Monitoring of Oyster Sanctuaries and Fish Habitat with Underwater Environmental Equipment – $145,000: One-year grant to purchase underwater camera and equipment to monitor and study oyster sanctuaries and fish habitat.

(3) N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Recycled Oyster Shell Collections: Shell as a Critical Habitat – $15,000: One-year grant to provide additional shell material needed for oyster habitat restoration projects through continued collection of shell from recycling sites.

For more information on these grants or the Coastal Recreational Fishing License grant program, contact Beth Govoni, Coastal Recreational Fishing License grants coordinator, at (252) 808-8004 or Beth.Govoni@ncdenr.gov.