RALEIGH, N.C. (July 28, 2011)
– New N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission regulations that standardize seasons and size and creel limits for sea trout (spotted or speckled), flounder, gray trout (weakfish) and red drum taken in inland waters with the recreational limits for those species in adjacent joint or coastal fishing waters become effective Aug. 1.
Regulations for saltwater fishes found in inland waters are set by the Wildlife Resources Commission and typically mirror the rules established by the Marine Fisheries Commission in adjacent joint and coastal waters. However, because the rule-making timelines for the two agencies differ, it often takes up to a year or more to unify a change in regulations across all jurisdictional waters.
The new rule will 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 recreational regulations set by the Marine Fisheries Commission in adjacent joint and coastal waters. This change will provide consistency for managing these four saltwater fish species and should minimize confusion for anglers fishing in different jurisdictional waters.
Online and print versions of the Commission’s 2011-2012 North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest
(PDF) direct anglers to the Division of Marine Fisheries’ phone numbers and website for information regarding the current recreational seasons and size and creel limits.
“The disparity in rule cycles between the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Wildlife Resources 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 hope these new regulations to standardize seasons and size and creel limits for these four marine species among the jurisdictional waters will eliminate any angler confusion, streamline future regulation changes and improve communications with all our fishing constituents.”
For more information on fishing in inland waters, visit www.ncwildlife.org/fishing
or call 919-707-0220.
For more information on fishing in coastal waters, visit the Division of Marine Fisheries website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/
or call 800-682-2632, 252-726-7021.