Commercial red drum season closes tomorrow
MOREHEAD CITY – Commercial fishermen have likely exceeded the red drum harvest limit allocated for the winter harvest period, and the season will close Saturday.
Landings calculated just from electronically-submitted trip tickets showed fishermen have caught 144,258 pounds of the 150,000-pound harvest limit allocated for the Sept. 1 – April 30 harvest period. Paper trip tickets for September and October have not yet been entered into the database, and most of the November trip tickets have not yet been received.
“Since many fishermen report their landings through paper trip tickets, the red drum landings may be above the harvest limit for this period,” said Louis Daniel, director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries.
Daniel issued a proclamation today closing the fishery as of 8 a.m. Saturday. For specifics on the closure see Proclamation FF-61-2013 at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations.
Daniel said he will present options for dealing with any overages to the annual harvest limit at the February Marine Fisheries Commission meeting.
The N. C. Red Drum Fishery Management Plan allows for an annual harvest limit (Sept. 1 through Aug. 31) of 250,000 pounds. Of that, 150,000 pounds is allocated to the period Sept. 1- April 30 and the remainder is allocated to the period of May 1-Aug. 31. Overages in overall 250,000 pound harvest limit must be deducted from the subsequent year’s annual harvest limit.
The red drum season will not reopen until at least May 1, when the summer harvest season begins.
For more information, contact Lee Paramore in the division’s Manteo office at 252-473-5734 or Lee.Paramore@ncdenr.gov.