Recreational fishers who catch legal-lenght flounder during this year’s season can donate the carcass to the Division of Marine Fisheries for biologists to learn more about the stock.
This year’s recreational flounder season will open at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, and close at 11:59 p.m. Sept. 30 for both the recreational hook-and-line and gig fisheries. There is a one flounder per person per day creel limit with a minimum size limit of 15-inch total length from the tip of the snout to the tip of the compressed tail.
The division has set up eight temporary freezer locations, in addition to the 10 carcass collection locations available throughout the year, where recreational fishermen can drop off their flounder carcasses.
Temporary locations include the following:
- Oden’s Dock, 57878 N.C. 12, Hatteras.
- Bridge Tender Marina, 1418 Airlie Road, Wilmington.
- Division of Marine Fisheries, 943 Washington Square Mall N.C. 17, Washington.
- Sea Gate Marina, 729 Sea Gate Drive, Newport.
- Chasin’ Tails Outdoors, 709 Atlantic Beach Causeway, Atlantic Beach.
- Ocean Isle Marina, 2000 Sommersett Road SW, Ocean Isle Beach.
- Seapath Yacht Club, 330 Causeway Drive, Wrightsville Beach.
- Dudley’s Marina, 106 Cedar Point Blvd. No. 8000, Cedar Point.
Year-round locations include the following:
- Cape Pointe Marina, Harkers Island.
- Frisco Rod & Gun, Frisco.
- Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head.
- Pogies Fishing & Kayaking Center, Swansboro.
- Pelagic Hunter Fishing Center, Sneads Ferry.
- Sea View Crab Co., Wilmington.
- Tex’s Tackle, Wilmington.
- N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Headquarters, Morehead City.
- N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Wilmington.
- Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point – Environmental Affairs Office, for those with military base access.
When cleaning the fish, officials ask that the head and tail remain 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 carcass will be donated.
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 and must provide their names and addresses if they wish to receive a certificate or citation.
Biologists will measure the fish, determine the sex, if possible, and remove the ear bones to determine the age of the fish. The information collected will be used in future flounder stock assessments.
Anglers who donate legal carcasses and provide a completed carcass collection catch card will be eligible for either an Angler Recognition Certificate, one per season for fish 15 inches to less than 24 inches total length, or a North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament Citation, one per fish for fish 24 inches or greater total length.
For specific recreational harvest regulations, go to Proclamation FF-44-2022.