The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) has established two 3-day weekend seasons this month; recreational fishermen will be allowed to keep one red snapper per day, and the NCDMF wants to examine those carcasses asking them to take them to collection centers along the coast.
Fishermen who bring their fish carcasses to these collection stations will receive a limited edition fishing towel and a (certificate) from the N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament.
Freezers will be at the collection points, along with instructions on how to deposit the carcasses. Fishermen are asked to filet the fish and leave the head and tail intact on the carcass and will be asked for basic information on how and when the fish was caught. Fishermen also will be asked for their names and addresses in order to receive their reward and citation.
NCDMF wants to use this special mini-season as a pilot project to determine if it is practical to collect fish carcasses for research along the coast. Biologists will measure the fish, determine the sex (when possible) and age the fish. All the information will be provided to the NMFS for use in the red snapper stock assessment scheduled for 2014.
The recreational red snapper season will open Sept. 14 for three days and again on Sept. 21 for three more days. The will also be a Sept. 17-13 season for commercial fishermen.
From north to south across the coast, collection sites will be at the following locations:* Oden's Dock – 57878 NC 12, Hatteras; * Carolina Princess Fishing Center, 604 Evans St., Morehead City; * Capt. Stacy Fishing Center, 415 Atlantic Beach Causeway, Atlantic Beach;* Dudley's Marina, 106 Cedar Point Blvd. (NC 24), Swansboro;* Tex's Tackle, 215 Old Eastwood Rd., Wilmington; * Carolina Beach Municipal Docks, 313 Canal Dr., Carolina Beach;* Ocean Isle Fishing Center, 65 Causeway Dr., Ocean Isle Beach;
* Hurricane Fleet, 9975 Nance St., Calabash.
For a map of these locations, visit http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/snapper/freezer-locations. For more information on this red snapper carcass collection program, go to http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/snapper/red-snapper-collection or contact Carole Willis, DMF Sportfishing Specialist, at 252-808-8081 or email@example.com.This will be the first red snapper harvest in the South Atlantic since January 2010. The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council (SAFMC) has determined the stocks have improved enough to allow a limited number of fish to be harvested and the NMFS agrees.