As the fishing season ramps up in eastern NC, coastal anglers are itching to be fishing.
When the water temperature breaks the mid-60s mark at the NC coast, inshore anglers start to get an itch that makes them spend all weekend on a skiff with nothing but a sandwich, a bucket of minnows, a few cold beers, and an outboard engine chugging along at its lowest speed.
This time of year brings anglers to the water, hoping to do some flounder pounding for doormat slabs.
Unfortunately, the flounder stock is dwindling in our coastal waters along the Southeast of the U.S. so anglers need to know that the fishing regulations for Flounder along North Carolina’s coast have changed.
According to the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, currently, the recreational bag limit for flounder is zero fish per person, per day.
The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries held a public “scoping period” from Dec. 4-18, 2019 to solicit public comments on potential management strategies for Amendment 3. The primary management strategy for Amendment 3 is long-term sustainable harvest in the southern flounder fishery.
Comments have been taken now we are waiting to see if the new Amendment 3 is going to allow for recreational flounder fishing in 2020. We don’t know when these changes might be announced, however, as soon as we know something we will publish an update to this article.
According to the North Carolina Department of Marine Fisheries a minimum 52% reduction in total removals is needed to rebuild the female spawning stock biomass to sustainable levels and end the overfished status within 10 years. Management in Amendment 2 called for a 62% reduction in 2019 and 72% reduction beginning in 2020 until Amendment 3 is passed.
It is important to note that management measures in Amendment 3 will be based on the 2019 stock assessment, meaning a minimum of 52%reduction in total removals starting in 2021 is still needed to rebuild the spawning stock population within 10 years.