December 5, 2017

  Marine Fisheries Continues Red Snapper Carcass
Collection Through Extended Mini-Season


The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will continue to collect red snapper carcasses from recreational fishermen through an extension of this year’s mini-season to help federal officials better assess the population and health of red snapper.

The National Marine Fisheries Service announced it will reopen the recreational red snapper season for a third, three-day weekend (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) Dec. 8-11 with a one-fish bag limit and no size limit. The agency originally opened recreational red snapper harvest for two, three-day weekends in November; however, preliminary estimates indicate that the catch limit was not caught, likely due to inclement weather.  To read the National Marine Fisheries Service bulletin on the reopening, go here.

The division will maintain freezers at 20 locations along the coast where fishermen can take their carcasses. In return, the angler will receive a citation (certificate) from the N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament.

For a map of these locations, go here.

Fishermen should leave the head and tail intact on the fish carcass. Instructions on how to deposit the carcasses are posted on each freezer. Anglers will be asked to give information related to how and when the fish was caught. Fishermen also will be asked for their names and addresses to receive their reward and citation.

Division biologists will measure the fish, determine the sex, if possible, and remove the otoliths (ear bones) to determine the fish’s age. The information collected will be provided to the National Marine Fisheries Service for use in future red snapper stock assessments. Stock assessments rely on a variety of information, including biological data, to provide an understanding of a species’ population.

For specific regulations for recreational red snapper harvest, go here. Also, recreational fishermen are encouraged to voluntarily report their landings electronically through the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council’s MyFishCount web portal here.

Regulations for the commercial mini-season, which opened Nov. 2 with a 75-pound gutted weight trip limit, remain unchanged. It will close Dec. 31 or when the commercial quota is met (whichever comes first). Division biologists will obtain data from commercially-caught red snapper at the fish houses. Commercially-caught carcasses should not be left in the freezers listed above.

For more information on the division’s Red Snapper Carcass Collection Program, go here, or contact Carole Willis, division sportfishing specialist, at 252-808-8081 or [email protected].


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