Stricter harvest restrictions will take effect Jan. 1, 2021 for the commercial and recreational striped bass fisheries in the Albemarle Sound Management Area. The reduced harvest is needed to end overfishing on the Albemarle-Roanoke striped bass stock.
The spring 2021 recreational harvest season will open with a one-fish-per person daily possession limit and, initially, with harvest allowed seven days a week. The recreational spring fishing season will close when allowable landings are predicted to be reached or on April 30, whichever comes first.
The Division of Marine Fisheries may reduce the recreational harvest days per week to prolong the season if it predicts that harvest may exceed allowable landings prior to April 30. Any remaining allowed landings will be available for a fall season.
The commercial season will open March 3 to coincide with the American shad gill net fishery. The commercial harvest season will close when allowable landings are predicted to be reached or on March 24, whichever occurs first. Any remaining allowable landings will be available for a fall season to coincide with the 2021 flounder season in the Albemarle Sound.
The harvest reductions are required because the most recent stock assessment for Albemarle-Roanoke striped bass indicated the stock is overfished and overfishing is occurring. A 57% reduction in landings is necessary to end overfishing. This brings the new Total Allowable Landings to 51,216 pounds, split evenly between the commercial and recreational sectors.
The new management measures were implemented through a Revision to Amendment 1 to the North Carolina Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan.
For more information, contact Charlton Godwin with the Division of Marine Fisheries at 252-531-6753 or Charlton.Godwin@ncdenr.gov.