RE: GILL NETS – CENTRAL AND WESTERN ALBEMARLE SOUND MANAGEMENT AREA
Dr. Louis B. Daniel, III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective at 12:01 A.M., Tuesday, February 1, 2011, the following provisions shall apply to the use of gill nets in the following areas:
I. AREA DESCRIPTION
A. Albemarle Sound and its tributaries, west of a line beginning at a point 35° 57.5590’N - 75° 56.8200’W; running northeasterly to a point 36° 04.8280’N - 75° 47.4050’W.
B. Currituck Sound north of the Highway 128 Wright Memorial Bridge beginning at a point on the western shore at 36° 04.8280’N - 75° 47.4050’W; running easterly along the south side of the bridge to a point on the east shore at 36° 05.5770’N - 75° 44.5850’W.
II. NET RESTRICTIONS
Only gill nets meeting the specified mesh lengths may be used in the areas identified above. A fishing operation, regardless of the number of vessels or persons involved, shall adhere to the gill net restrictions specified:
A. No gill nets with a mesh length greater than six inches shall be used.
B. Gill nets with a mesh length less than 3 ¼ inches shall not be used.
C. Gill nets with a mesh length of 3 ¼ inches shall not exceed 800 yards.
D. Gill nets with a mesh length of 5 ¼ inches and larger shall not exceed 1,000 yards, except as provided in Section II. E.
E. Gill nets with a mesh length of 5 ½ inches and larger are required to be equipped with tie downs spaced no farther apart than 10 yards, restricting the vertical distance between the top and bottom lines to 48 inches or less unless they are equipped with floats that do not exceed 2 inches in diameter and 6 inches in length placed a minimum of 10 yards apart, not to exceed 11 floats per 100 yards of net. Nets must be set so as to fish on the bottom not to exceed a vertical height of 48 inches. Gill nets with a mesh length of 5 ½ inches and larger shall not exceed 3,000 yards in length combined for a fishing operation.
F. No gill nets may be used in the area southwest of a line from Black Walnut Point 35° 59.3833’N - 76° 41.0060’W; running 138° (M) to a point 35° 56.3333’N - 76° 36.0333’W at the mouth Mackey’s Creek, including Roanoke, Cashie, Middle and Eastmost rivers.
G. Drift gill nets may not be used in the Joint Waters portion of the Roanoke, Middle, Eastmost, Cashie, Chowan, Meherrin rivers and all other joint water tributaries of the Albemarle Sound Management Area.
III. RECREATIONAL NET RESTRICTIONS
Recreational Commercial Gear License (RCGL) gill nets with a mesh length of 5 ½ inches and larger are required to be equipped with floats that do not exceed 2 inches in diameter and 6 inches in length, with float placement no less than 10 yards apart. The nets shall be set so as to fish on the bottom not to exceed a vertical fishing height of 48 inches. RCGL holders are not permitted to use stretched mesh less than 5 ½ inches. The net(s) shall be attended when used from one hour after sunrise through one hour before sunset.
IV. GENERAL INFORMATION
A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 113-170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52 and N.C. Marine Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 3H .0103, 3J .0103, 3Q .0107 (1) (c) and 3M .0202 and 3M .0513.
B. It is unlawful to violate provisions of any proclamation issued by the Fisheries Director under his delegated authority pursuant to N.C. Marine Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 3H .0103.
C. The intent of this proclamation is to allow directed fisheries for mullet, white perch, American shad, hickory shad and flounder while managing Albemarle Sound Management Area striped bass stock within the quota established by the North Carolina Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan and the river herring stocks under a no harvest measure, as recommended by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission in the North Carolina River Herring Fishery Management Plan, and controlling the bycatch of striped bass in directed gill net fisheries.
D. This proclamation supersedes Proclamation M-35-2010, dated December 17, 2010.
January 18, 2011