May 28, 2015
MFC moves forward with southern flounder management
North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission moved forward with southern
flounder and sheepshead management at its meeting in Morehead City last
The commission chose six potential management proposals to include in a
draft supplement to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan that
the commission will put out for public review.
The six options range in impacts to different fisheries and gears and
will affect both commercial and recreational fisheries. They can be
found on the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/may-2015-briefing-book.
The commission decided to hold a public comment period from June 10 to
July 10 and include a public meeting as well. Details of the comment
period, with the location, date and times of the meeting, will be
The commission also chose the following management measures for sheepshead:
- 10-inch fork length minimum size limit (all commercial and recreational fisheries)
- 10-fish bag limit (recreational)
- 10-fish per person per day limit or per trip limit if multi-day trip (commercial spears and gigs)
- 300-pound trip limit (all other commercial gears, except pound nets)
Sheepshead is a highly sought recreational fish and is caught in a
variety of commercial fisheries. Until 2012, sheepshead was managed
under the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Snapper-Grouper
Fishery Management Plan, and was included in a 20-fish snapper-grouper
recreational bag limit aggregate. When sheepshead was removed from the
South Atlantic plan, management of the fishery was left up to the
The new sheepshead regulations will be implemented by a proclamation later this week, and be effective June 1.
In other business, the commission voted to:
the N.C. Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan in 2017 instead of
this year, aligning the review with a statutorily required five-year
review schedule. The decision followed a presentation on the latest
stock assessment that showed that the stock is not overfished and
overfishing is not occurring.
up to $10,000 from the Marine Fisheries Commission Conservation Fund
for the James Francesconi Memorial Artificial Reef project
the rulemaking process this summer to adopt an amendment to the N.C.
Striped Mullet Fishery Management Plan later this year.
with a review of the N.C. Kingfish Fishery Management Plan as an
information update, which means no management changes are proposed.
Audio of the meeting can be found online at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/may-2015-briefing-book. For more information, contact Nancy Fish in the Marine Fisheries Commission Office at 252-808-8021 or [email protected].