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MOREHEAD CITY – Fishermen are reminded of new trawling restrictions in the Dare County area.

Last summer, Outer Shallowbag Bay and Kitty Hawk Bay/Buzzards Bay were designated as special secondary nurseries - areas that have large numbers of juvenile fish and shrimp during late spring and early summer. Because of the presence of the juveniles, special secondary nursery areas automatically close to trawling May 14 - August 16, each year. The areas may open, by proclamation, August 17 - May 13, each year.

For more information on these new rules, please contact Beth Burns with the Division of Marine Fisheries in Wanchese at 252-473-5734.


MOREHEAD CITY – Recreational anglers need to pay special attention when landing mackerel to ensure they are abiding by North Carolina size and bag limits for the various species.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries reminds recreational fishermen that king mackerel have a 24-inch size limit, and anglers can keep up to three of these fish per day. King mackerel have a very pronounced dip in their lateral line.

Spanish mackerel have a 12-inch size limit and fishermen are allowed up to 15 per day. These fish have a very definite black spot at the beginning of their dorsal (top) fin.

Unfortunately, juvenile kings look very much like Spanish mackerel so make sure you can identify your mackerel and it measures up before you put that fish in your cooler.

Visit to view a mackerel identification chart.


MOREHEAD CITY – Both recreational and commercial fishermen are reminded new harvest limits for southern flounder went into effect April 1.
The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission approved conservation measures as part of the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan, which was designed to protect declining stocks of the state’s inshore flounder population. The current flounder stock is comprised primarily of very young fish, with few older, more productive spawners. A healthy stock generally has fish of all ages.
The new restrictions include:

· 14-inch size limit, eight fish possession limit for recreational fishermen in internal waters, including gigged fish; and
· 14-inch size limit for commercial fishermen in internal waters.

Additional flounder restrictions will be forthcoming in future months.
For more information on these new management measures, contact Chris Batsavage by e-mail at [email protected] or by calling 800-682-2632 or 252-726-7021.
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