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June 22, 2017 8:10 pm EST
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Marine Fisheries Begins Red Snapper Carcass Collection Program



MOREHEAD CITY – Recreational anglers who catch red snapper during the upcoming mini-season can help manage this fishery and get a reward by donating their filleted carcasses to biologists.



The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has set up freezers at eight locations along the coast where fishermen can take their carcasses. In return, the angler will receive a limited edition fishing towel and a citation (certificate) from the N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament.



The freezers are located at:



Hurricane Fleet

9975 Nance St.

Calabash


Ocean Isle Fishing Center

65 Causeway Beach

Ocean Isle Beach


Carolina Beach Fishing Center

313 Canal Drive

Carolina Beach


Tex’s Tackle

215 Old Eastwood Road

Wilmington


Dudley’s Marina

106 Cedar Point Blvd.

Swansboro


Capt. Stacy Fishing Center

415 Atlantic Beach Causeway

Atlantic Beach


Carolina Princess Fishing Center

604 Evans St.

Morehead City


Oden’s Dock

57878 N.C. 12

Hatteras


For a map of these locations, go to
http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/snapper/freezer-locations.



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 in order 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 possible use in an upcoming red snapper stock assessment.



The division plans to use this mini-season as a pilot project to determine if it is practical to expand it to include other species on a coast-wide basis in North Carolina.



The federal government prohibited the commercial and recreational harvest of red snapper in January 2010 amid concerns the stocks were depleted. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council has now determined the stocks have improved enough to allow a limited number of fish to be harvested.



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The recreational red snapper season will open Sept. 14 for a three-day weekend and a second three-day weekend beginning Sept. 21. There will be a one-fish bag limit and no size limit.



The commercial mini-season will open on different dates.



For specific information on commercial and recreational harvest limits, go to
http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamation-ff-39-2012. To read the National Marine Fisheries Service bulletin on the subject, go to http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/bulletins/pdfs/2012/FB12-061_SA_Red_Snapper%20_Temp_Rule.pdf.



For more information on this red snapper carcass collection program, go to
http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/snapper/red-snapper-collection or contact Carole Willis, division sportfishing specialist, at 252-808-8081 or carole.y.willis@ncdenr.gov
.

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