The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission recently announced it has adopted a supplement to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan.
New regulations will include a combination of size limit changes, modifications to fishing gear allowances, total allowable landings, and season closures.
Beginning Jan. 1, 2016, the commercial minimum size limit will go up from 14 inches to 15 inches, making it the same as the recreational fishery.
A 6-inch minimum mesh size will be in effect for anchored large-mesh gill nets. Starting in 2016, a statewide season closure of anchored, large-mesh gill nets will be put in place each year from Oct. 16-Dec. 31.
Also beginning in 2016, the recreational southern flounder season will close Oct. 16-Dec. 31 for the hook-and line and gig fisheries.
Flounder pound nets will be subject to a 5 ¾-inch escape panel requirement. Flounder pound nets will also be subject to total allowable landings for different water bodies that represent a 38 percent reduction compared to 2011-2015 pound net landings.
The commercial gig fishery will close when the pound net quota is met.
The Dec. 1-31 commercial southern flounder closure will remain in effect this year.
The N.C. Division of Marine Fishery plans to present information on what the quotas will be under these regulations at the commission’s February, 2016 meeting.
source: North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission