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MOREHEAD CITY (June 29, 2006) – Both commercial and recreational fishermen need to be aware new harvest rules for shrimp and striped mullet go into effect July 1, 2006.

The following are new shrimp rules recommended in the Shrimp Fishery Management Plan approved by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission earlier this spring:
· Limit the length of trawl headropes to 90 feet in inshore waters, except in the Pamlico Sound and portions of the Neuse and Pamlico rivers;
· Allow skimmer trawls with a combined headrope of less than 26 feet to be used by Recreational Commercial Gear License holders; and
· Implement a 48-quart heads on (30-qt. heads off) per person possession limit on recreationally caught shrimp.

The following areas are closing to trawling:
· Newport River upstream of a point running from Penn Point to Hardesty Farms;
· White Oak River upstream of Hancock Point;
· Intracoastal Waterway from Marker #105 to Wrightsville Beach drawbridge;
· Cape Fear River in the bays south of Fort Fisher and the Baldhead Island creeks; and
· Core Sound along the banks side north of Drum Inlet to Wainwright Island.

The following areas are closing to shrimp trawling (crab trawling will still be allowed):
· Neuse River upstream of a point running from Wilkinson Point to Cherry Point;
· Pamlico River upstream of Wades Point and Goose Creek; and
· Pungo River upstream of Wades Point and Abels Bay.

The MFC also established a four-year phase out of otter trawls, to be replaced with skimmer trawls, in the New River upstream of the Hwy. 172 Bridge. This rule will be implemented in April 2010.

Additionally, the Division of Marine Fisheries director will issue a proclamation restricting channel nets in the upper New River and Topsail Sound area when these areas are closed to mobile gear and any portion of a channel net set in the marked channel from the Intracoastal Waterway to New River Inlet will be prohibited by proclamation.

The following new rules were recommended in the Striped Mullet Fishery Management Plan and will also go into effect July 1:
· Allow fishermen using striped mullet as bait to be exempted from the mutilated finfish rule; and
· Restrict the recreational harvest of striped mullet to 200 mullet per person per day.

For information about the proposed shrimp rules, please contact Rich Carpenter at 800-248-4536 or 910-796-7215. For information of the proposed striped mullet rules, please contact David Taylor at 800-682-2632 or 252-726-7021.
 
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