There are seven freezer sites along the coast where anglers can drop off fish carcasses for scientific research.
The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries Carcass Collection Program currently accepts the carcasses of Atlantic croaker, black drum, black sea bass, bluefish, cobia, gray triggerfish, kingfishes, or sea mullet, king mackerel, Spanish mackerel, red drum, sheepshead, snappers, groupers, spotted seatrout and weakfish, or gray trout.
While the catch is still fresh, take the carcass to the nearest freezer location. Instructions on how to deposit the carcasses are posted on each freezer. Anglers will be asked to give information related to how and when the fish was caught. They also will be asked for their names and addresses if they wish to receive an angler incentive.
Biologists will measure the carcasses, determine the sex, if possible, and remove the ear bone to determine the fish’s age. The information collected may be used in future state and federal stock assessments, which rely on a variety of information, including biological data, to provide an understanding of a species’ population.
When cleaning the fish, leave the head and tail intact and, if possible, leave the guts in the fish. Anglers who fished on a charter boat or head boat should let the fish cleaner know the fish will be donated.
For more information contact Carole Willis, division sportfishing specialist, at 252-808-8081 or firstname.lastname@example.org