Fishery council votes to reopen deep-water bottom fishing in South Atlantic, feds still must approve decision

North Carolina charter guides hope change will reinvigorate their businesses.

Jerry Dilsaver

August 26, 2011 at 10:35 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

If a recent South Atlantic Fishery Managment Council decision is approved by federal officials, deep-water bottom fishing can begin again off the North Carolina coast.
Photo courtesy of Southport Angler Outfitters
If a recent South Atlantic Fishery Managment Council decision is approved by federal officials, deep-water bottom fishing can begin again off the North Carolina coast.
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council voted unanimously in a special meeting on Aug. 10 to reopen bottom fishing in waters 240 feet deep out to 200 miles after being closed since January.

The decision will next go to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce for review, and upon approval, it will become law.

Fishermen in the Carolinas were thrilled by the decision, having complained that it unnecessarily shut down fisheries for several species of bottom fish whose status was not threatened like the speckled hind and Warsaw grouper the closure was aimed at protecting.

During the closure, fishermen have been denied access to golden tilefish, snowy grouper and wreckfish, the latter primarily a commercial fishery.

Capt. Bobby Freeman, who operates Sunrise Charters out of Morehead City hopes reopening the fishery will bring back some of his lost business.

“During the hearings, before it was implemented, we told them (SAFMC members) the closure was not necessary and would hurt us badly, but they didn’t listen,” Freeman said. “I don’t know how it hurt other folks, but I have long-time customers who quit coming because they couldn’t catch enough fish to make the trip worthwhile.

“If this is approved, we will be able to go back to deeper water and catch some tilefish and snowies, and maybe some of those folks will start coming again. It’s a little step, but it’s a step in the right direction.”

Also at the meeting, the SAFMC set annual catch limits for members of the snapper-grouper complex and other pelagic species, along with allocations between commercial and recreational fishermen.

The ACL for wreckfish was dramatically reduced from 2 million to 250,000 pounds, with commercials getting 95 percent of the allocation.

After reviewing public comment, the SAFMC also voted to modify include management of several species that had been slated for removal from the Snapper Grouper Management Complex, establishing additional “groupings” where species with similar characteristics would be grouped and aggregate ACLs applied.

The SAFMC set the allocation for dolphin at 14,596,216 pounds, 92.7 percent of that recreational. The allocation for wahoo will be 1,481,785 pounds, with recreational fishermen getting 95.7 percent of the allocation.

No changes were made to bag limits of either species, although a minimum size of 20 inches (fork length) for dolphin (already in effect off Florida and Georgia) will be extended to include South Carolina.

The ACL for king mackerel will be 10.46 million pounds, up from 10 million a year ago, with recreational fishermen getting 62.9 percent of the allowance. Spanish mackerel will be capped at 5.69 million pounds, a 20-percent decrease from 2010 limits.

The proposed ACL for cobia will be 1,571,399 pounds, with an allocation of 92 percent recreational and 8 percent commercial. 

Creel and size limits will not change for either mackerel species or cobia under the new allocations.


View other articles written Jerry Dilsaver


Reports / Forum
Opening Day Success  This report contains photos  
April 13 at 2:44 am | 2171 Views | 3 Comments
Opening Morning Double!!  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 8:17 am | 927 Views | 4 Comments
First Turkey...  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 12:39 pm | 655 Views | 4 Comments
Black Bass Fishing is Great  This report contains photos  
April 12 at 5:21 pm | 577 Views | 0 Comments
Tagged out in two days  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 11:26 am | 533 Views | 3 Comments
opening day success  This report contains photos  
April 15 at 12:29 pm | 503 Views | 1 Comments
Twin Girls First Turkey!  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 8:51 am | 477 Views | 2 Comments
Weldon Stripers 
April 15 at 7:14 am | 453 Views | 1 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 8:03 pm | 321 Views | 2 Comments
TAGGED OUT!!  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 6:43 am | 307 Views | 2 Comments
First Turkey 
April 14 at 12:27 pm | 303 Views | 0 Comments
Youth Day  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 11:10 am | 261 Views | 1 Comments
Caleb's First Turkey  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 6:47 pm | 239 Views | 1 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 6:15 am | 187 Views | 0 Comments
Paisley's first turkey 
Yesterday at 10:59 am | 149 Views | 0 Comments
Sport fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 10:39 am | 139 Views | 0 Comments
Heaviest bird yet  This report contains photos  
2 hours ago | 67 Views | 0 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum
First Turkey...  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 12:39 pm | 655 Views | 4 Comments
Opening Morning Double!!  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 8:17 am | 927 Views | 4 Comments
Tagged out in two days  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 11:26 am | 533 Views | 3 Comments
Opening Day Success  This report contains photos  
April 13 at 2:44 am | 2171 Views | 3 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 8:03 pm | 321 Views | 2 Comments
TAGGED OUT!!  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 6:43 am | 307 Views | 2 Comments
Twin Girls First Turkey!  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 8:51 am | 477 Views | 2 Comments
Youth Day  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 11:10 am | 261 Views | 1 Comments
Caleb's First Turkey  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 6:47 pm | 239 Views | 1 Comments
opening day success  This report contains photos  
April 15 at 12:29 pm | 503 Views | 1 Comments
Weldon Stripers 
April 15 at 7:14 am | 453 Views | 1 Comments
Heaviest bird yet  This report contains photos  
2 hours ago | 67 Views | 0 Comments
Paisley's first turkey 
Yesterday at 10:59 am | 149 Views | 0 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 6:15 am | 187 Views | 0 Comments
Sport fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 10:39 am | 139 Views | 0 Comments
First Turkey 
April 14 at 12:27 pm | 303 Views | 0 Comments
Black Bass Fishing is Great  This report contains photos  
April 12 at 5:21 pm | 577 Views | 0 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum
Heaviest bird yet  This report contains photos  
2 hours ago | 67 Views | 0 Comments
Paisley's first turkey 
Yesterday at 10:59 am | 149 Views | 0 Comments
Boats Unlimited NC Team Trail Q4 results..Falls Lake..Apr. 12th  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 6:15 am | 187 Views | 0 Comments
Autumn Evans first Turkey its a family Tradition  This report contains photos  
Yesterday at 8:03 pm | 321 Views | 2 Comments
Youth Day  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 11:10 am | 261 Views | 1 Comments
Sport fishing Happy Day Today  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 10:39 am | 139 Views | 0 Comments
TAGGED OUT!!  This report contains photos  
April 17 at 6:43 am | 307 Views | 2 Comments
Caleb's First Turkey  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 6:47 pm | 239 Views | 1 Comments
Tagged out in two days  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 11:26 am | 533 Views | 3 Comments
Twin Girls First Turkey!  This report contains photos  
April 16 at 8:51 am | 477 Views | 2 Comments
opening day success  This report contains photos  
April 15 at 12:29 pm | 503 Views | 1 Comments
Weldon Stripers 
April 15 at 7:14 am | 453 Views | 1 Comments
First Turkey...  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 12:39 pm | 655 Views | 4 Comments
First Turkey 
April 14 at 12:27 pm | 303 Views | 0 Comments
Opening Morning Double!!  This report contains photos  
April 14 at 8:17 am | 927 Views | 4 Comments
Opening Day Success  This report contains photos  
April 13 at 2:44 am | 2171 Views | 3 Comments
Black Bass Fishing is Great  This report contains photos  
April 12 at 5:21 pm | 577 Views | 0 Comments
Post | Reports | Forum

Free Classifieds

GUN HUNTS IN KANSAS
GUN HUNTS IN KANSAS
Only a few days left to get your Kansas deer hunting license & permits. Last day to apply is April 24th. I have 3-4 spots available for the exciting gun season Dec 8th thru Dec 14th. Come hunt with me in 'The Land of Giants' on privately managed...
April 14 at 10:51 pm | 45 Views
Brand New Carbon Express Cross Bow
Brand New Carbon Express Cross Bow
This is a brand new bow in the box never been opened never been fired. It is a Carbon Express X-Force 400 Cross Bow. It is a complete package with Rope Cocker and Rail Lube, 4x32 Deluxe Scope, Quick detach 3 arrow quiver, 3 20' crossbolts and 3...
April 15 at 7:38 pm | 41 Views
Wanted anything Dan Wesson.
Wanted anything Dan Wesson.
Looking for revolvers anything Dan Wesson, thanks please call Will at 919-937-7687...
April 16 at 5:04 pm | 18 Views
1998 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4x4
1998 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4x4
Very good condition 1998 Jeep Wrangler Sport. It has been very wellrnkept. It appears to have always been garaged and only driven on cityrnstreets and not been offroaded. This Jeep was owned and cared for by arnperson who appreciated nice things....
Yesterday at 5:06 pm | 35 Views
G3 Gator Tough 1860 CC Tunnel
G3 Gator Tough 1860 CC Tunnel
70hp Yamaha 4 stroke with 6' jack plate, only 25 hours. 2012 custom fit float on/off trailer w/removable tongue, Mossy oak W/ Bimini top. Fish finder, GPS, 55lb Min Kota trolling motor, live well, cooler bench seat with leaning post, two lockable...
35 minutes ago | 6 Views
Late 60\'s Early 70\'s Zabala 20 Gauge Double Barrell
Late 60\'s Early 70\'s Zabala 20 Gauge Double Barrell
Late 60's Early 70's Eagle Arms by Zabala 20 Gauge Double Barrel Shotgun. 26' Barrel, 3' shells. This gun was handed down to me and I am not a gun enthusiast, so do not have a need for it. Can provide more pics, info if necessary. Email...
April 16 at 5:30 pm | 74 Views