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2006 Striped Bass Season for Lower Roanoke River Extended

RALEIGH, N.C. (April 11, 2006) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will extend the period that striped bass may be harvested from the lower Roanoke River through April 22. The season had been set to expire on April 15.

The lower Roanoke River is defined as the Roanoke River and its tributaries downstream from the U.S. 258 bridge near Scotland Neck to Albemarle Sound, including the Cashie, Middle and Eastmost rivers.

"The season is being extended to allow anglers additional opportunity to harvest striped bass in accordance with the North Carolina Estuarine Striped Bass Management Plan," said Kent Nelson, fisheries program manager for the Division of Inland Fisheries. "Harvest restrictions first implemented on Roanoke River and Albemarle Sound striped bass in 1991 and subsequent growth of the population are paying dividends. The increase in abundance has allowed us to increase our allowable catch of striped bass from 29,400 pounds in 1991 to 137,500 pounds in 2004."

The Albemarle Sound – Roanoke River stock of striped bass was declared recovered by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission in 1997.

"Restricting harvest was an important component in the rebuilding of the population, and we’ll continue to monitor harvest," Nelson said.

Recreational and commercial harvests are limited under the fisheries management plan and monitored by the Wildlife Resources Commission and Division of Marine Fisheries, who cooperatively manage the population.

"Harvest is limited on the population to conserve adequate numbers of breeding adults and is based on the mortality rates of these fish," Nelson said, "Fishing mortality rates are established by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission."

The season to harvest striped bass from the upper Roanoke River and its tributaries, from the U.S. 258 bridge near Scotland Neck upstream to Roanoke Rapids Lake Dam, will end at 11:59 p.m. on April 30.

The daily creel limit within the Roanoke River Management Area is two striped bass per person. The minimum length limit is 18 inches, and no striped bass between 22 and 27 inches may be possessed at any time. Only one striped bass larger than 27 inches may be included in the daily creel limit. Another striped bass regulation requires the use of a single barbless hook or a lure with a single barbless hook when fishing in the upper Roanoke River from April 1 through June 30.

For more information on fishing in public inland waters, visit the Fishing section.

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