The post has been updated to reflect the division’s Feb. 21 announcement of a new location for the March 16 meeting and link for March 14 web conference.
The state Division of Marine Fisheries is holding a public scoping period March 13-24 to collect public input on Amendment 1 that staff is developing for the Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan.
The stock assessment indicates overfishing is occurring in the fishery. The primary management strategies under consideration for Amendment 1 are sustainable harvest and reducing recreational release mortality in the spotted seatrout fishery.
A scoping document outlining the 2022 benchmark stock assessment results and potential management strategies are on the division website under Information on Spotted Seatrout FMP Amendment 1.
From March 13-24 the public can share their thoughts with the state agency on the potential management strategies for the upcoming amendment and discuss stakeholder priorities. Scoping is the best opportunity for the public to inform the plan, officials said.
The public may provide feedback starting March 13 through an online form on the Amendment 1 webpage or submit written comments through the mail to N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Spotted Seatrout Scoping, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557. Comments must be received by 5 p.m. March 24.
Division staff will hold the following four meetings during the public scoping period:
- March 14: McKimmon Conference and Training Center at NC State, 1101 Gorman St. Raleigh, or attend via web conference.
- March 16: NC Cooperative Extension, Currituck County Center, 120 Community Way #120, Barco.
- March 21: New Bern-Craven County Public Library, 400 Johnson St., New Bern.
- March 23: Cape Fear Community College, 411 N. Front St., Wilmington.
All meetings are from 6 to 8 p.m. Division staff will give a short presentation, and then the public will have the opportunity to provide comment.
Following the public comment period, attendees will get time to discuss subject matter concerns directly with species leads in small groups. Stakeholder comments and concerns will be considered in developing management strategies and management measures in Amendment 1.