Commercial red drum season closed for summer after harvest exceeds quota 

Red Drum

Fisherman C.R. “Buzz” Frederick, of Swansboro, stands along side his boat in Swansboro Friday afternoon. Frederick is a member of the Carteret County Fisherman’s Association which wants to protect the commercial fishing industry and the ability to harvest local, wild-caught seafood for the public.

John Sudbrink/The Daily News    
Published: Thursday, April 24, 2014 at 01:55 PM.

Commercial fishermen will go nearly a year without a red drum season following an unusually large harvest in the fall that has prompted a closure.

“Every red drum we catch between now and Sept. 1 we have to throw back,” said David Jarvis, a commercial fisherman from the Swansboro area.

Jarvis acknowledges that there is a quota in place and that fisheries officials had to close the season under current regulations. However, he denies claims that commercial fishermen illegally targeted the fish.

What Jarvis did see was more red drum in the water than he has in recent years.

“It was a banner year for them,” he said.

Red drum are harvested as a by-catch fishery in North Carolina, meaning a certain number can be kept by fishermen as by-catch while they are catching another species.

The state’s red drum plan splits the state’s commercial harvest into two seasons: a Sept. 1 to April 30 season is allocated 150,000 pounds of the annual harvest limit and a May 1 to Aug. 31 season is allocated 100,000 pounds.

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