Division of Marine Fisheries officials will reopen the commercial flounder season Sunday, Oct. 9, for gigs and hook and line in internal coastal waters statewide.
The recreational flounder season will close as scheduled at 11:59 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30.
Additionally, a flounder trip limit has been established for the Pound Net Southern Management Area starting Saturday, Oct. 1.
The harvest season for both the Northern and Southern Management Areas will close when the total allowable landings limit is approached, or at 6 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, whichever is first, officials said Friday.
The Northern Management Area includes the upper portion of Core Sound and waters north to the Virginia State line. The Southern Management Area encompasses the lower portion of Core Sound and waters south to the South Carolina state line.
The commercial flounder season closed Sept. 22 for mobile gears in the Northern Management Area and Sept. 21 for mobile gears in the Southern Management Area because the quota was nearly caught in both areas, officials said. After evaluating landings, division staff determined that enough quota remained for a limited reopening in both mobile gear management areas.
Once the reopened season closes, division staff will reevaluate landings once all daily dealer reports are submitted. The division will announce if staff determines there is quota available for additional harvest days.
Starting at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, pound net harvest in the Pound Net Southern Management Area will be limited to 1,000 pounds per day.
The Pound Net Southern Management Area includes Core Sound south to the South Carolina state line. The division said the trip limit is needed to ensure this fishery does not exceed its harvest quota. The Pound Net Northern Management Area trip limit of 1,000 pounds will continue.
The commercial flounder seasons for pound nets in the Central Management Area and in the Southern Management Area open Oct. 1. For more specifics on the commercial flounder season for internal coastal waters, see the proclamation.
North Carolina’s southern flounder fisheries are managed under the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan Amendment 3. For more information on the management measures, see the Southern Flounder Information Page under Hot Topics.