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RALEIGH, N.C. (March 2, 2006) - The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has approved 54 changes to state hunting, fishing and trapping regulations, including a moratorium on fishing for river herring and restrictions on importing deer parts from other states.

The new rules take effect for hunting, fishing and trapping seasons that begin after July 1. The rules changes underwent a series of public hearings across the state in January.

Public input led to the modification of some rules changes, such as the river herring moratorium. As approved by the Commission, the revised rule allows anglers to possess alewife and blueback herring - collectively known as river herring - up to 6 inches long in the inland fishing waters of coastal rivers and their tributaries.

Robert Curry, chief of inland fisheries for the Commission, said the exception allows anglers to continue fishing for striped bass using herring as bait without affecting migrating stocks of river herring. Adult herring on their spring spawning migrations are typically longer than 6 inches, Curry said, and most herring shorter than 6 inches that are caught for bait are taken with cast nets above dams.

"We're still protecting the river herring in their spawning grounds," Curry said.

Also approved by the Commission was a limitation on importing parts of deer and related animals from states or Canadian provinces that have had an occurrence of chronic wasting disease. To protect North Carolina's deer, elk and other cervids from the fatal disease, the new rule restricts what parts a hunter may bring into the state. Antlers and finished taxidermy products are permitted; teeth and skull caps must be cleaned; meat must be cut and wrapped, boned out and have no spinal column or head attached; hides must be caped; and all products must be clearly labeled.

For a complete list of regulation changes either approved or disapproved by the Wildlife Resources Commission, log onto
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