Catches of fish by North Carolina recreational anglers increased in 2010 following a 15 percent decline in 2009.
Recreational harvests rose from 13.6 million pounds in 2009 to 14.4 million pounds in 2010, according to the division’s Coastal Angling Program.
The increased harvest corresponds to a 7 percent rise in the overall number of recreational fishing trips. However, fishing trips into federal waters (beyond three miles from shore) dropped by 18 percent.
“The recreational rise was due mainly to the poundage associated with the striped bass catches and the increase in bluefish landings,” said division Recreational Statistics Coordinator Doug Mumford. “The bluefish increase resulted from the increase in beach, bank and pier trips.”
The jump in ocean striped bass harvests likely resulted from more fish migrating into North Carolina waters during the past winter than in previous years, Mumford said.
“There was an overall shift in recreational fishing effort in North Carolina to trips that were less expensive,” he said.
Dolphin landings decreased by nearly 15 percent to 3.3 million pounds. Even so, dolphin remained the top recreational catch, followed by yellowfin tuna, up 48 percent to 1.2 million pounds; bluefish up 21 percent to 1.2 million pounds; ocean striped bass, up 239 percent to 711,184 pounds; and Spanish mackerel, down 35 percent to 579,638 pounds.
Recreational angler fishing trips rose by about 4 percent from piers and other man-made structures; by about 8 percent from the beach or bank; nearly 10 percent from guide and charter boats; and 9 percent from private vessels. Party boat trips decreased by 15 percent.
A full report of 2010 commercial and recreational landings statistics can be found on the division website at http://www.ncfisheries.net/download/2010_Annual_NC_Fisheries_Bulletin.pdf. For more information, contact License and Statistics Section Chief Don Hesselman at (252) 808-8099 or Don.Hesselman@ncdenr.gov.
source: N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries