on Mar 04, 2011 12:00 AM • Views 5072
Media Contact: Jodie B. Owen, Public Information Officer
(919) 707-0187

RALEIGH, N.C. (March 4, 2011) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has scheduled four public hearings in late March to gather input on a proposed rule that would standardize regulations for sea trout (spotted or speckled), flounder, gray trout (weakfish) and red drum taken in inland, joint or coastal fishing waters. 

Regulations for saltwater fishes found in inland waters are set by the Wildlife Commission and typically mirror the rules established by the Marine Fisheries Commission in adjacent waters. However, because the rule-making timelines between the two agencies are not the same, it often takes up to a year or more to unify regulations across all jurisdictional waters.

The proposed rule would expedite this process by establishing the same seasons and size and creel limits for these four saltwater fish species when caught in inland waters by referencing those regulations set by the Marine Fisheries Commission.

If adopted, the proposed rule change would provide consistency for managing these four saltwater fish species and should minimize confusion for anglers fishing in different jurisdictional waters.

“The disparity in rule cycles between the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Wildlife Commission often resulted in regulations being different for anglers fishing for the same species in coastal waters and those fishing in inland waters,” said Christian Waters, program manager for the Wildlife Commission’s Division of Inland Fisheries. “We’ve heard from a lot of recreational anglers that the current regulation framework for these four saltwater species is confusing, so we hope this proposed change to standardize regulations among the jurisdictional waters will eliminate their confusion, streamline future regulation changes and improve communications with all our fishing constituents.”
All meetings begin at 7 p.m. 

Date City Location
March 28, 2011 Elizabethtown Bladen County Courthouse
166 Courthouse Drive
March 29, 2011 New Bern Craven County Courthouse
302 Broad Street
March 30, 2011 Edenton Chowan County Agricultural Center
730 North Granville Street, Suite A
March 31, 2011 Raleigh N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Headquarters Centennial Campus
1751 Varsity Drive

In addition to the four hearings, the public can provide comments by:

The public comment period for this proposed rule ends May 2, 2011.

For more information on fishing public, inland waters, visit www.ncwildlife.org/fishing. For information regarding management of spotted sea trout, gray trout, flounder and red drum, visit the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ website at www.ncdmf.net.