For Ocracoke news, click here.
From the state Marine Fisheries Commission:
The state will not close flounder season on Oct. 16 for the recreational hook-and-line and gig fisheries, as was planned. The recreational flounder season will remain open with the current 15-inch minimum size limit and six-fish bag limit.
Flounder season will remain open for the anchored, large-mesh gill net fisheries, as well. However, there will still be a Dec. 1 to 31 commercial flounder season closure, as in previous years.
The changes are due to a recent court order whereby a judge issued a temporary injunction against these and other regulations adopted by the Marine Fisheries Commission. The commission adopted the changes in November 2015 as part of a supplement to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan.
The temporary injunction will remain in effect until a full hearing on a lawsuit filed by the North Carolina Fisheries Association against the state and the commission. No court date has been set for this hearing.
The judge also struck down a pound net quota and closure established under the flounder plan supplement.
Other provisions of the flounder plan supplement remain in place, including:
- A 15-inch minimum size limit for the commercial fisheries.
- A 6-inch minimum mesh size for anchored large-mesh gill nets.
- A 5 ¾-inch escape panel for flounder pound nets.