MOREHEAD CITY | A reduction in the bag limit for recreational flounder fishing will take effect March 1.
The recreational flounder bag limit will decrease from six fish to four fish per person, per day in North Carolina waters, according to a North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries news release.
The recreational size limit will remain at 15 inches.
The bag limit reduction is necessary to comply with requirements of Addendum XXVIII to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s Summer Flounder, Scup, and Black Sea Bass Fishery Management Plan.
The board, in August 2016, approved an approximate 30-percent reduction in catch limits for both the commercial and recreational summer flounder fisheries in response to a 2016 stock assessment update, which indicated the resource is experiencing overfishing but is not overfished.
Failure to implement the reduced bag limit would result in default management measures of a 20-inch size limit, a two-fish bag limit and a fishing season from July 1 through Aug. 31.
Because North Carolina manages its recreational fishery for all species of flounder with the same size and bag limits, the changes will apply to all recreational flounder fishing in all estuarine and ocean waters.
The overall commercial summer flounder quota has already been reduced by 30 percent, establishing the 2017 North Carolina commercial summer flounder quota to 1.6 million pounds.
For more information, contact Chris Batsavage at 252-808-8009 or Chris.Batsavage@ncdenr.gov.