Updated Recreational Coastal Waters Guide

Recreational Guide May 1 2016 in Word

SYMBOLS TO LOOK FOR

  1. Albemarle Sound Management Area: contact DMF for seasons, areas or other limits; Atlantic Ocean year-round: 1 per person per day at 28” TL minimum; Other Coastal                                                             Fishing Waters; 2 per person per day at 18” TL minimum except unlawful to possess between 22” – 27” TL in Joint Fishing Waters. This Includes hybrid bass.                                                                     Season: October through April, statewide by Proclamation. Moratorium in Cape Fear River system.
  2.           Limit of 10/person/day or 60/trip, whichever is less. On headboats, limit is 10/person/day. No sale of recreational bag limit on vessels operating as charter or headboats.
  3.           Unlawful to possess red drum greater than 27 inches total length. Unlawful to gig, spear, or gaff red drum.One black drum per person per day over 25” TL is allowed.

(D) Black sea bass NORTH of Cape Hatteras, open in TWO harvest seasons: 12:01 A.M. May 15 through midnight September 21, 2016 AND 12:01 A.M. October 22 through midnight December 31, 2016.

(E) See prohibited species list above; Legal sharks include: tiger, blacktip, spinner, lemon, bull, nurse, smooth and scalloped and great hammerhead, blacknose, finetooth, bonnethead, shortfin mako, blue, thresher, porbeagle, and oceanic whitetip. One (1) Atlantic sharpnose (no minimum size) and one bonnethead (no minimum size) per person per day may be landed in addition to allowable bag limits for other sharks.  Spiny dogfish and smoothhound sharks (smooth dogfish) are exempt from harvest and size restrictions See most recent Proclamation.

(F) Mature female crabs are exempt from minimum size.

(G) In state or federal waters, federal permit required for Highly Migratory Species, excluding Atlantic bonito, little tunny (albacore), and blackfin tuna: 978-281-9370. Prior to removal from vessel, all billfishes, swordfish and bluefin tuna must be reported at NC HMS reporting stations. DMF website for more details.

(H) Snapper grouper complex species: whitebone porgy, jolthead porgy, knobbed porgy,  saucereye porgy, gray triggerfish,  bar jack, almaco jack, lesser amberjack, banded rudderfish, white grunt, margate, sailor’s choice, spadefish and scup (south of Hatteras). 20 per person per day in combination when the species are open to harvest. (see note I below).

(I) For seasons, bag limits, size limits or closures for tunas, billfishes, and sharks contact NMFS Highly Migratory Species Division 800-894-5528. For snapper, grouper, and mackerels contact the South Atlantic Council 843-571-4366 or www.safmc.net, and see the most recent FF-Snapper Grouper recreational proclamation. Possession of red snapper is prohibited.

(J) Shallow water grouper species (gag, black, red, scamp, rock hind, red hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin, and yellowmouth grouper) harvest is prohibited January 1–April 30.

(K) Grouper in the management unit include: snowy, red, yellowfin, yellowmouth, black, yellowedge, misty, gag, scamp, red hind, rock hind, graysby, and coney. The three (3) grouper bag limit also includes blueline, golden and sand tilefish. Maximum of one golden tilefish per person per day and maximum of one blueline tilefish and one snowy grouper per vessel per day (when season is open). New regulations establish a May 1 through August 31 season of one snowy grouper and one blueline tilefish per vessel per day. No possession of Nassau, goliath and warsaw groupers and speckled hind.

(L) It is unlawful to possess blacknose, finetooth, blacktip, bull, lemon, nurse, spinner, tiger, blue, oceanic whitetip, porbeagle, shortfin mako and common thresher less than 54 inches (FL). It is unlawful to possess great, scalloped and smooth hammerhead sharks less than 78 inches (FL). It is unlawful to possess a great, scalloped or smooth hammerhead or oceanic whitetip shark while in possession of tunas, billfish or swordfish.

(M) One crab pot may be used from private property or private pier, without a license – Reference 15A NCAC 3J .0302.

(N) Contact DMF or visit http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations for seasons, areas, or other restrictions. Bay Scallop and Oyster harvest are closed.

(O) It is unlawful to take or possess American Shad from the Atlantic Ocean. For aggregate creel limits for American shad and hickory shad, see most recent Proclamation.

(P) Season open July 1 – August 31.

(Q) Season open January 1 – August 31, except year round when taken by baited pots.

(R) Season open January 1 – October 15.

▲ Size and creel limits for spotted seatrout, flounder, red drum and gray trout taken in inland waters are the same as the recreational limits for those species in adjacent joint and coastal waters.

Total length (TL) is measured from tip of snout with mouth closed to top of compressed tail. Fork length (FL) is measured from tip of snout to middle of fork in tail. Lower jaw fork length (LJFL) is measured from lower jaw to middle of fork in tail. Curved fork length (CFL) is the measurement of the length taken in a line tracing the contour of the body from the tip of the upper jaw to the fork of the tail. Anglers cannot catch both a federal and state bag limit for the same species on the same trip.

Ocean boundary is defined as water seaward of the COLREGS Demarcation Lines as indicated on National Ocean Service navigation charts.

No one may possess aboard a vessel or while engaged in fishing any fish subject to limits without head and tail attached, except for alewife and blueback herring used for bait provided not more than two fish per boat/operation may be cut at any one time – Reference 15A NCAC 3M .0101


THIS FLYER IS EFFECTIVE May 1, 2016 AND IS FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES AND HAS NO LEGAL FORCE OR EFFECT. FISHERY RULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. THESE RESTRICTIONS APPLY TO FISH TAKEN FOR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES AND INCLUDE HOOK AND LINE. Updated State regulations can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-fishing-size-and-bag-limits and updated Recreational Commercial Gear License information can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-commercial-gear-license. Issued 05/1/16.This document is printed on recycled paper.

Recreational Fishing Guide

 

2016 NORTH CAROLINA RECREATIONAL COASTAL WATERS GUIDE FOR SPORTS FISHERMEN — February Version
**IMPORTANT** CHECK WITH DIVISION OF MARINE FISHERIES FOR MOST CURRENT MINIMUM LENGTHS AND CREEL LIMITS.

252-726-7021 OR 800-682-2632. FOR INLAND WATER FISHING REGULATIONS, CALL WILDLIFE RESOURCES COMMISSION 919-707-0220 OR WWW.NCWILDLIFE.ORG

Persons engaged in recreational fishing in North Carolina coastal waters are required to possess a Coastal Recreational Fishing License in accordance with G.S. 113-174.1

 

   

STATE COASTAL WATERS (Internal and 0-3 miles)

EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE-EEZ (3-200 miles)

EEZ restrictions noted in italics are Federal Rules

FINFISH SPECIES (note symbols)
Minimum Length
Bag Limits (per person) Minimum Length Bag Limits (per person)
Greater Amberjack 28” FL 1/Day 28” FL 1/Day
Bluefish None 15/Day, only 5 greater than 24” TL None 15/Day
Cobia 33” FL 1/Day 33” FL State rules apply when landing
Wahoo None 2/Day None 2/Day
Dolphin (B) None 10/Day None 10/Day
King Mackerel (I) 24” FL 3/Day 24” FL 3/Day
Spanish Mackerel (I) 12” FL 15/Day 12” FL 15/Day
Tuna (I): Bluefin (G), Bigeye and Yellowfin Bigeye and Yellowfin tuna

27” Curved FL

Yellowfin tuna

3 per day

Bigeye and Yellowfin tuna

27” Curved FL

Yellowfin tuna

3 per day

Sharks (excluding Smoothhound Sharks (smooth dogfish) and Spiny Dogfish) (E, I, L) (E, I and L) 1/Vessel/Day (E, I and L) 1/Vessel/Day
Sharks: Atlantic Sharpnose, and Bonnethead (E) None (E) None (E)
Blue Marlin (G) 99” LJFL 1 per vessel per trip, either blue marlin or white marlin 99” LJFL State rules apply when landing
White Marlin (G) 66” LJFL 66” LJFL
Sailfish (G) 63” LJFL 1/Day 63” LJFL  
Red Drum (Channel Bass, Puppy Drum)▲ 18” – 27” TL (C) 1/Day

UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS

Flounder ▲ (R) 15” TL 6/Day 15” TL

6/Day

Spotted Seatrout (Speckled Trout) ▲ 14” TL 4/Day 14” TL 4/Day
Weakfish (Gray Trout) ▲ 12” TL 1/Day

12” TL

State rules apply when landing

Sheepshead 10” FL 10/Day

State rules apply when landing

State rules apply when landing

Black Drum 14” – 25” TL (C) 10/day

14” – 25” TL (C)

10/Day

Tarpon None 1/Day

None

1/Day

Striped Bass (A) (A)

UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS

American Shad (O) None (O)

UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS

Hickory Shad (O) None (O)

None

10/Day

Alewife and Blueback Herring
UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS

UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS

American Eel (Q) 9” TL 25/Day

9” TL

25/Day

Scup (North of Cape Hatteras only) 8” TL 50/Day 9” TL 50/Day
Black Sea Bass (North of Cape Hatteras) (D) UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS

UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS

Black Sea Bass (South of Cape Hatteras) 13” TL 5/Day 13” TL 5/Day
Grouper (H, I, J and K) UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS SHALLOW WATER GROUPER

JAN 1 THROUGH APRIL 30 (SEE NOTE J)

UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS SHALLOW WATER GROUPER

JAN 1 THROUGH APRIL 30 (SEE NOTE J)

Red, Scamp, Yellowfin and Yellowmouth Grouper, and Tilefish (no size limit on Tilefish) 20” TL  

3/Day (all grouper combined; includes 1 golden tilefish and no more than 1 black or gag grouper, individual or combined)

(J) & (K)

20” TL

 

3/Day (all grouper combined; includes 1 golden tilefish and no more than 1 black or gag grouper, individual or combined)

(J) & (K)

Black and Gag Grouper 24” TL

24” TL

 

Snowy Grouper, Blueline Tilefish (K) 1/vessel/day (included in 3 grouper aggregate)

Harvest allowed May 1 through August 31

1/vessel/day (included in 3 grouper aggregate)

Harvest allowed May 1 through August 31

Red Porgy (Silver Snapper, Pinky) 14” TL 3/Day

14” TL

3/Day

Dog, Gray, Cubera, Mahogany, Queen and Yellowtail, Silk, Blackfin and Black (no size limit) Snapper 12” TL 10/Day (species combined)

12” TL

10/Day (species combined)

Mutton Snapper 16” TL

16” TL

 

Lane Snapper 8” TL

8” TL

 

Red Snapper (J) UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS
Hogfish (Hog Snapper) (J) 12” FL 5/Day 12” FL 5/Day
Vermilion Snapper 12” TL 5/Day 12” TL 5/Day
Wreckfish (P) None 1/Vessel/Day None 1/Vessel/Day

 

 

 

 

STATE COASTAL WATERS (Internal and 0-3 miles)

EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE-EEZ (3-200)

EEZ restrictions noted in italic are Federal Rules

FINFISH SPECIES (note symbols) Minimum Length Bag Limits (per person) Minimum Length Bag Limits (per person)
SNAPPER GROUPER COMPLEX SPECIES Includes spadefish, white grunt, knobbed porgy and more (see note H and I) N/A 20/Day

N/A

20/Day

Gray Triggerfish (see note H and I) 12” FL

12” FL

Mullet, striped and white 200/Day (species combined)

 

PROHIBITED FINFISH SPECIES

COASTAL WATERS (Internal waters and Atlantic Ocean out to 3 miles)

FEDERAL WATERS (Atlantic Ocean more than 3 miles)

Sharks; (whale, basking, white, sand tiger, bigeye sand tiger, Atlantic angel shark, bigeye sixgill, bigeye thresher, bignose, Caribbean reef, Caribbean sharpnose, dusky, Galapagos, longfin mako, narrowtooth, night, sandbar, silky, sevengill, sixgill, and smalltail), sturgeon, Snowy Grouper, Nassau grouper, Goliath grouper (jewfish), Warsaw grouper, speckled hind and red snapper.

Sharks; (whale, basking, white, sand tiger, bigeye sand tiger, Atlantic angel shark, bigeye sixgill, bigeye thresher, bignose, Caribbean reef, Caribbean sharpnose, dusky, Galapagos, longfin mako, narrowtooth, night, sandbar, silky, sevengill, sixgill, and smalltail), red drum, striped bass, sturgeon, Snowy Grouper, Nassau grouper, Goliath grouper (jewfish), red snapper, speckled hind, Warsaw grouper and longbill spearfish.

SHELLFISH and CRUSTACEANS

STATE COASTAL AND EEZ WATERS (Internal and 0-200 miles)
Minimum Size
Bag Limits (per person) No Shellfish License Required for these quantities and less

BLUE CRAB (M)

5” Carapace Width (minimum) (F)

 

50 crabs/day not to exceed 100 crabs/vessel/day
HARD CLAM 1 “ Thick 100 clams/day not to exceed 200 clams/vessel/day
OYSTER (N) 3” Shell Length 1 bushel/day not to exceed 2 bushels/vessel/day
BAY SCALLOP (N) None

1 bushel/day, not to exceed one bushel per vessel

CONCHS and WHELKS None 10/day not to exceed 20/vessel/day
MUSSELS None 100/day not to exceed 200/vessel/day
SHRIMP

Closed Shrimping Area

None 4 quarts (heads on) or 2 ½ quarts (heads off) of shrimp per person per day (Cast Net Only)
Open Shrimping Area None

48 quarts (heads on) or 30 quarts (heads off) of shrimp per person per day or if vessel is used, per vessel per day (RCGL max. limit of 2 /vessel)

SYMBOLS TO LOOK FOR

  • Albemarle Sound Management Area: contact DMF for seasons, areas or other limits; Atlantic Ocean year-round: 1 per person per day at 28” TL minimum; Other Coastal                                                            Fishing Waters; 2 per person per day at 18” TL minimum except unlawful to possess between 22” – 27” TL in Joint Fishing Waters. This Includes hybrid bass.                                                                     Season: October through April, statewide by Proclamation. Moratorium in Cape Fear River system.
  • Limit of 10/person/day or 60/trip, whichever is less. On headboats, limit is 10/person/day. No sale of recreational bag limit on vessels operating as charter or headboats.
  • Unlawful to possess red drum greater than 27 inches total length. Unlawful to gig, spear, or gaff red drum.One black drum per person per day over 25” TL is allowed.

(D)              Black sea bass NORTH of Cape Hatteras, currently closed: Proclamation to establish season dates will be forthcoming.

(E)              See prohibited species list above; Legal sharks include: tiger, blacktip, spinner, lemon, bull, nurse, smooth and scalloped and great hammerhead, blacknose, finetooth, bonnethead, shortfin mako, blue, thresher, porbeagle, and oceanic whitetip. One (1) Atlantic sharpnose (no minimum size) and one bonnethead (no minimum size) per person per day may be landed in addition to allowable bag limits for other sharks. Spiny dogfish and smoothhound sharks (smooth dogfish) are exempt from harvest and size restrictions See most recent Proclamation.

(F)              Mature female crabs are exempt from minimum size.

(G)              In state or federal waters, federal permit required for Highly Migratory Species, excluding Atlantic bonito, little tunny (albacore), and blackfin tuna: 978-281-9370. Prior to removal from vessel, all billfishes, swordfish and bluefin tuna must be reported at NC HMS reporting stations. DMF website for more details.

(H)              Snapper grouper complex species: whitebone porgy, jolthead porgy, knobbed porgy, saucereye porgy, gray triggerfish, bar jack, almaco jack, lesser amberjack, banded rudderfish, white grunt, margate, sailor’s choice, spadefish and scup (south of Hatteras). 20 per person per day in combination when the species are open to harvest. (see note I below).

(I)               For seasons, bag limits, size limits or closures for tunas, billfishes, and sharks contact NMFS Highly Migratory Species Division 800-894-5528. For snapper, grouper, and mackerels contact the South Atlantic Council 843-571-4366 or www.safmc.net, and see the most recent FF-Snapper Grouper recreational proclamation.

(J)              Shallow water grouper species (gag, black, red, scamp, rock hind, red hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin, and yellowmouth grouper) harvest is prohibited January 1–April 30. Possession of red snapper is prohibited.

(K)              Grouper in the management unit include: snowy, red, yellowfin, yellowmouth, black, yellowedge, misty, gag, scamp, red hind, rock hind, graysby, and coney. The three (3) grouper bag limit also includes blueline, golden and sand tilefish. Maximum of one golden tilefish per person per day and maximum of one blueline tilefish and one snowy grouper per vessel per day (when season is open). New regulations establish a May 1 through August 31 season of one snowy grouper and one blueline tilefish per vessel per day. No possession of Nassau, goliath and warsaw groupers and speckled hind.

(L)              It is unlawful to possess blacknose, finetooth, blacktip, bull, lemon, nurse, spinner, tiger, blue, oceanic whitetip, porbeagle, shortfin mako and common thresher less than 54 inches (FL). It is unlawful to possess great, scalloped and smooth hammerhead sharks less than 78 inches (FL). It is unlawful to possess a great, scalloped or smooth hammerhead or oceanic whitetip shark while in possession of tunas, billfish or swordfish.

(M)             One crab pot may be used from private property or private pier, without a license – Reference 15A NCAC 3J .0302.

(N)              Contact DMF or visit http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations for seasons, areas, or other restrictions.

(O)              It is unlawful to take or possess American Shad from the Atlantic Ocean. For aggregate creel limits for American shad and hickory shad, see most recent Proclamation.

(P)              Season open July 1 – August 31.

(Q)              Season open January 1 – August 31, except year round when taken by baited pots.

(R)              Season open January 1 – October 15.

▲               Size and creel limits for spotted seatrout, flounder, red drum and gray trout taken in inland waters are the same as the recreational limits for those species in adjacent joint and coastal waters.

Total length (TL) is measured from tip of snout with mouth closed to top of compressed tail. Fork length (FL) is measured from tip of snout to middle of fork in tail. Lower jaw fork length (LJFL) is measured from lower jaw to middle of fork in tail. Curved fork length (CFL) is the measurement of the length taken in a line tracing the contour of the body from the tip of the upper jaw to the fork of the tail. Anglers cannot catch both a federal and state bag limit for the same species on the same trip.

Ocean boundary is defined as water seaward of the COLREGS Demarcation Lines as indicated on National Ocean Service navigation charts.

No one may possess aboard a vessel or while engaged in fishing any fish subject to limits without head and tail attached, except for alewife and blueback herring used for bait provided not more than two fish per boat/operation may be cut at any one time – Reference 15A NCAC 3M .0101

 

Morehead City Office (24 hours)

800-682-2632 or

252-726-7021

Elizabeth City Office

800-338-7805 or

252-264-3911

Manteo Office

252-473-5734

Washington Office

800-338-7804 or

252-946-6481

Wilmington Office

800-248-4536 or

910-796-7215

NMFS (Fed. Reg.)

301-427-8505

THIS FLYER IS EFFECTIVE FEBRUARY 27, 2016 AND IS FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES AND HAS NO LEGAL FORCE OR EFFECT. FISHERY RULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. THESE RESTRICTIONS APPLY TO FISH TAKEN FOR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES AND INCLUDE HOOK AND LINE. Updated State regulations can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-fishing-size-and-bag-limits and updated Recreational Commercial Gear License information can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-commercial-gear-license. Issued 02/27/2016.This document is printed on recycled paper.

2015 NORTH CAROLINA RECREATIONAL COASTAL WATERS GUIDE FOR SPORTS FISHERMEN — August Version

2015 NORTH CAROLINA RECREATIONAL COASTAL WATERS GUIDE FOR SPORTS FISHERMEN — August Version
**IMPORTANT** CHECK WITH DIVISION OF MARINE FISHERIES FOR MOST CURRENT MINIMUM LENGTHS AND CREEL LIMITS.

252-726-7021 OR 800-682-2632. FOR INLAND WATER FISHING REGULATIONS, CALL WILDLIFE RESOURCES COMMISSION 919-707-0220 OR WWW.NCWILDLIFE.ORG

Persons engaged in recreational fishing in North Carolina coastal waters are required to possess a Coastal Recreational Fishing License in accordance with G.S. 113-174.1

 

   

STATE COASTAL WATERS (Internal and 0-3 miles)

EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE-EEZ (3-200 miles)

EEZ restrictions noted in italics are Federal Rules

FINFISH SPECIES (note symbols)
Minimum Length
Bag Limits (per person) Minimum Length Bag Limits (per person)
Greater Amberjack 28” FL 1/Day 28” FL 1/Day
Bluefish None 15/Day, only 5 greater than 24” TL None 15/Day
Cobia 33” FL 2/Day 33” FL 2/Day
Wahoo None 2/Day None 2/Day
Dolphin (B) None 10/Day None 10/Day
King Mackerel (I) 24” FL 3/Day 24” FL 3/Day
Spanish Mackerel (I) 12” FL 15/Day 12” FL 15/Day
Tuna (I): Bluefin (G), Bigeye and Yellowfin Bigeye and Yellowfin tuna

27” Curved FL

Yellowfin tuna

3 per day

Bigeye and Yellowfin tuna

27” Curved FL

Yellowfin tuna

3 per day

Sharks (excluding Smoothhound Sharks (smooth dogfish) and Spiny Dogfish) (E, I, L) (E, I and L) 1/Vessel/Day (E, I and L) 1/Vessel/Day
Sharks: Atlantic Sharpnose, and Bonnethead (E) None (E) None (E)
Blue Marlin (G) 99” LJFL 1 per vessel per trip, either blue marlin or white marlin 99” LJFL State rules apply when landing
White Marlin (G) 66” LJFL 66” LJFL
Sailfish (G) 63” LJFL 1/Day 63” LJFL  
Red Drum (Channel Bass, Puppy Drum)▲ 18” – 27” TL (C) 1/Day

UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS

Flounder ▲ 15” TL 6/Day 15” TL

6/Day

Spotted Seatrout (Speckled Trout) ▲ 14” TL 4/Day 14” TL 4/Day
Weakfish (Gray Trout) ▲ 12” TL 1/Day

12” TL

State rules apply when landing

Sheepshead 10” FL 10/Day

State rules apply when landing

State rules apply when landing

Black Drum 14” – 25” TL (C) 10/day

14” – 25” TL (C)

10/Day

Tarpon None 1/Day

None

1/Day

Striped Bass (A) (A)

UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS

American Shad (O) None (O)

UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS

Hickory Shad (O) None (O)

None

10/Day

Alewife and Blueback Herring
UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS

UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS

American Eel (Q) 9” TL 25/Day

9” TL

25/Day

Scup (North of Cape Hatteras only) 8” TL 50/Day 9” TL 50/Day
Black Sea Bass (North of Cape Hatteras) (D) 12.5” TL 15/Day

12.5” TL

15/Day

Black Sea Bass (South of Cape Hatteras) 13” TL 5/Day 13” TL 5/Day
Grouper (H, I, J and K) UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS SHALLOW WATER GROUPER

JAN 1 THROUGH APRIL 30 (SEE NOTE J)

UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS SHALLOW WATER GROUPER

JAN 1 THROUGH APRIL 30 (SEE NOTE J)

Red, Scamp, Yellowfin and Yellowmouth Grouper and Tilefish (no size limit on Tilefish) 20” TL  

3/Day (all grouper combined; includes tilefish and no more than 1 black or gag grouper, individual or combined)

(J) & (K)

20” TL

 

3/Day (all grouper combined; includes tilefish and no more than 1 black or gag grouper, individual or combined)

(J) & (K)

Black and Gag Grouper 24” TL

24” TL

 

Snowy Grouper (K) 1/vessel/day

Harvest allowed May 1 through August 31

1/vessel/day

Harvest allowed May 1 through August 31

Red Porgy (Silver Snapper, Pinky) 14” TL 3/Day

14” TL

3/Day

Dog, Gray, Cubera, Mahogany, Queen and Yellowtail, Silk, Blackfin and Black (no size limit) Snapper 12” TL 10/Day (species combined)

12” TL

10/Day (species combined)

Mutton Snapper 16” TL

16” TL

 

Lane Snapper 8” TL

8” TL

 

Red Snapper (J) UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS
Hogfish (Hog Snapper) (J) UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS UNLAWFUL TO POSSESS
Vermilion Snapper 12” TL 5/Day 12” TL 5/Day
Wreckfish (P) None 1/Vessel/Day None 1/Vessel/Day

 

 

 

 

STATE COASTAL WATERS (Internal and 0-3 miles)

EXCLUSIVE ECONOMIC ZONE-EEZ (3-200)

EEZ restrictions noted in italic are Federal Rules

FINFISH SPECIES (note symbols) Minimum Length Bag Limits (per person) Minimum Length Bag Limits (per person)
SNAPPER GROUPER COMPLEX SPECIES Includes spadefish, white grunt, knobbed porgy and more (see note H and I) N/A 20/Day

N/A

20/Day

Gray Triggerfish (see note H and I) Effective   7/1/15 12” FL

12” FL

Mullet, striped and white 200/Day (species combined)

 

PROHIBITED FINFISH SPECIES

COASTAL WATERS (Internal waters and Atlantic Ocean out to 3 miles)

FEDERAL WATERS (Atlantic Ocean more than 3 miles)

Sharks; (whale, basking, white, sand tiger, bigeye sand tiger, Atlantic angel shark, bigeye sixgill, bigeye thresher, bignose, Caribbean reef, Caribbean sharpnose, dusky, Galapagos, longfin mako, narrowtooth, night, sandbar, silky, sevengill, sixgill, and smalltail), sturgeon, Snowy Grouper, Nassau grouper, Goliath grouper (jewfish), Warsaw grouper, speckled hind and red snapper.

Sharks; (whale, basking, white, sand tiger, bigeye sand tiger, Atlantic angel shark, bigeye sixgill, bigeye thresher, bignose, Caribbean reef, Caribbean sharpnose, dusky, Galapagos, longfin mako, narrowtooth, night, sandbar, silky, sevengill, sixgill, and smalltail), red drum, striped bass, sturgeon, Snowy Grouper, Nassau grouper, Goliath grouper (jewfish), red snapper, speckled hind, Warsaw grouper and longbill spearfish.

SHELLFISH and CRUSTACEANS

STATE COASTAL AND EEZ WATERS (Internal and 0-200 miles)
Minimum Size
Bag Limits (per person) No Shellfish License Required for these quantities and less

BLUE CRAB (M)

5” Carapace Width (minimum) (F)

 

50 crabs/day not to exceed 100 crabs/vessel/day
HARD CLAM 1 “ Thick 100 clams/day not to exceed 200 clams/vessel/day
OYSTER (N) 3” Shell Length 1 bushel/day not to exceed 2 bushels/vessel/day
BAY SCALLOP (N) None

1 bushel/day, not to exceed one bushel per vessel

CONCHS and WHELKS None 10/day not to exceed 20/vessel/day
MUSSELS None 100/day not to exceed 200/vessel/day
SHRIMP

Closed Shrimping Area

None 4 quarts (heads on) or 2 ½ quarts (heads off) of shrimp per person per day (Cast Net Only)
Open Shrimping Area None

48 quarts (heads on) or 30 quarts (heads off) of shrimp per person per day or if vessel is used, per vessel per day (RCGL max. limit of 2 /vessel)

SYMBOLS TO LOOK FOR

  • Albemarle Sound Management Area: contact DMF for seasons, areas or other limits; Atlantic Ocean year-round: 1 per person per day at 28” TL minimum; Other Coastal                                                            Fishing Waters; 2 per person per day at 18” TL minimum except unlawful to possess between 22” – 27” TL in Joint Fishing Waters. This Includes hybrid bass.                                                                    Season: October through April, statewide by Proclamation. Moratorium in Cape Fear River system.
  • Limit of 10/person/day or 60/trip, whichever is less. On headboats, limit is 10/person/day. No sale of recreational bag limit on vessels operating as charter or headboats.
  • Unlawful to possess red drum greater than 27 inches total length. Unlawful to gig, spear, or gaff red drum.One black drum per person per day over 25” TL is allowed.

(D)              Black sea bass NORTH of Cape Hatteras, State open season dates: May 15 through September 21 and October 22 through December 31, 2015.

(E)              See prohibited species list above; Legal sharks include: tiger, blacktip, spinner, lemon, bull, nurse, smooth and scalloped and great hammerhead, blacknose, finetooth, bonnethead, shortfin mako, blue, thresher, porbeagle, and oceanic whitetip. One (1) Atlantic sharpnose (no minimum size) and one bonnethead (no minimum size) per person per day may be landed in addition to allowable bag limits for other sharks. Spiny dogfish and smoothhound sharks (smooth dogfish) are exempt from harvest and size restrictions See most recent Proclamation.

(F)              Mature female crabs are exempt from minimum size.

(G)              In state or federal waters, federal permit required for Highly Migratory Species, excluding Atlantic bonito, little tunny (albacore), and blackfin tuna: 978-281-9370. Prior to removal from vessel, all billfishes, swordfish and bluefin tuna must be reported at NC HMS reporting stations. DMF website for more details.

(H)              Snapper grouper complex species: whitebone porgy, jolthead porgy, knobbed porgy, saucereye porgy, gray triggerfish, bar jack, almaco jack, lesser amberjack, banded rudderfish, white grunt, margates, sailor’s choice, spadefish and scup (south of Hatteras). 20 per person per day in combination when the species are open to harvest. (see note I below).

(I)               For seasons, bag limits, size limits or closures for tunas, billfishes, and sharks contact NMFS Highly Migratory Species Division 800-894-5528. For snapper, grouper, and mackerels contact the South Atlantic Council 843-571-4366 or www.safmc.net, and see the most recent FF-Snapper Grouper recreational proclamation.

(J)              Shallow water grouper species (gag, black, red, scamp, rock hind, red hind, coney, graysby, yellowfin, and yellowmouth grouper) harvest is prohibited January 1–April 30. Possession of red snapper and hogfish (hog snapper) is prohibited.

(K)              Grouper in the management unit include: snowy, red, yellowfin, yellowmouth, black, yellowedge, misty, gag, scamp, red hind, rock hind, graysby, and coney. The three (3) grouper bag limit also includes blueline, golden and sand tilefish. Maximum of one golden tilefish per person per day and maximum of one blueline tilefish and one snowy grouper per vessel per day (when season is open). New regulations establish a May 1 through August 31 season of one snowy grouper per vessel per day. No possession of Nassau, goliath, and warsaw groupers, blueline tilefish, golden tilefish and speckled hind.

(L)              It is unlawful to possess blacknose, finetooth, blacktip, bull, lemon, nurse, spinner, tiger, blue, oceanic whitetip, porbeagle, shortfin mako and common thresher less than 54 inches (FL). It is unlawful to possess great, scalloped and smooth hammerhead sharks less than 78 inches (FL). It is unlawful to possess a great, scalloped or smooth hammerhead or oceanic whitetip shark while in possession of tunas, billfish or swordfish.

(M)             One crab pot may be used from private property or private pier, without a license – Reference 15A NCAC 3J .0302.

(N)              Contact DMF or visit http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations for seasons, areas, or other restrictions.

(O)              It is unlawful to take or possess American Shad from the Atlantic Ocean. For aggregate creel limits for American shad and hickory shad, see most recent Proclamation.

(P)              Season open July 1 – August 31.

(Q)              Season open January 1 – August 31.

▲               Size and creel limits for spotted seatrout, flounder, red drum and gray trout taken in inland waters are the same as the recreational limits for those species in adjacent joint and coastal waters.

Total length (TL) is measured from tip of snout with mouth closed to top of compressed tail. Fork length (FL) is measured from tip of snout to middle of fork in tail. Lower jaw fork length (LJFL) is measured from lower jaw to middle of fork in tail. Curved fork length (CFL) is the measurement of the length taken in a line tracing the contour of the body from the tip of the upper jaw to the fork of the tail. Anglers cannot catch both a federal and state bag limit for the same species on the same trip.

Ocean boundary is defined as water seaward of the COLREGS Demarcation Lines as indicated on National Ocean Service navigation charts.

 

No one may possess aboard a vessel or while engaged in fishing any fish subject to limits without head and tail attached, except for alewife and blueback herring used for bait provided not more than two fish per boat/operation may be cut at any one time – Reference 15A NCAC 3M .0101

 

Morehead City Office (24 hours)

800-682-2632 or

252-726-7021

Elizabeth City Office

800-338-7805 or

252-264-3911

Manteo Office

252-473-5734

Washington Office

800-338-7804 or

252-946-6481

Wilmington Office

800-248-4536 or

910-796-7215

NMFS (Fed. Reg.)

301-427-8505

THIS FLYER IS EFFECTIVE AUGUST 20, 2015 AND IS FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES AND HAS NO LEGAL FORCE OR EFFECT. FISHERY RULES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. THESE RESTRICTIONS APPLY TO FISH TAKEN FOR RECREATIONAL PURPOSES AND INCLUDE HOOK AND LINE. Updated State regulations can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-fishing-size-and-bag-limits and updated Recreational Commercial Gear License information can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-commercial-gear-license. Issued 08/20/15.This document is printed on recycled paper.

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