Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Sunday, January 24, 2016, the following restrictions will apply to the taking of flounder for recreational purposes in Internal Coastal Waters and Atlantic Ocean Waters:
I. MINIMUM SIZE LIMIT
It is unlawful to possess flounder less than 15 inches total length.
II. CREEL LIMIT
It is unlawful to possess more than six (6) flounder taken for recreational purposes per person per day or per trip if a trip occurs on more than one calendar day. The possession limit shall apply to all gears, including gigs, if possession is for recreational purposes.
III. GEAR RESTRICTION
A. It is unlawful to possess flounder taken by Recreational Commercial Gear License holders for recreational purposes from anchored large mesh gill nets with a stretched mesh length less than 6 inches.
B. For the purpose of this proclamation an anchored large mesh gill net is any gill net with a stretched mesh length of 4 inches through 6 ½ inches that is anchored by any means at either or both ends of the net.
IV. GENERAL INFORMATION
A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 113-170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52 and N.C. Marine Fisheries Rules 15A NCAC 03H .0103; 03M .0503 and 03M .0512.
B. It is unlawful to violate the provisions of any proclamation issued by the Fisheries Director under his delegated authority pursuant to N.C. Marine Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 03H .0103.
C. The intent of this proclamation is to manage the flounder fishery in accordance with Amendment 1 and Supplement A to Amendment 1 of the N.C. Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan and to maintain North Carolina’s compliance with the requirements of the joint Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council-Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Summer Flounder Fisheries Management Plan under the authority of N.C. Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 03M .0512.
D. All portions of N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03O .0302 are still in effect.
E. In accordance with N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Inland Fishing Regulations, “seasons, size and creel limits for flounder are the same as those recreational limits established by the Division of Marine Fisheries in adjacent joint and coastal fishing waters.”
F. In accordance with N.C. General Statute 113-221.1(c). All persons who may be affected by proclamations issued by the Fisheries Director are under a duty to keep themselves informed of current proclamations.
G. Contact N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557 252-726-7021or 800-682-2632 for more information or visit the division website at www.ncmarinefisheries.net/.
H. This proclamation supersedes Proclamation FF-69-2015, dated December 17, 2015. It makes it unlawful to possess flounder taken by Recreational Commercial Gear License holders for recreational purposes from anchored large mesh gill nets with a stretched mesh length less than 6 inches. It maintains a 15 inch total length minimum size limit and a 6 fish creel limit for the recreational fishery. This action is being taken in accordance with Supplement A to Amendment 1 of the N.C. Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan.
Marla J. Chuffo
Office Assistant IV
Division of Marine Fisheries
P. O. Box 769
3441 Arendell Street
Morehead City, NC 28557