N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet Feb. 19-21 at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center, 203 South Front St., New Bern. The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. on Feb. 19, at 8:30 a.m.
Feb. 20, and at 9 a.m. Feb. 21.
Public comment periods are scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Feb.
19 and at 8:30 a.m. Feb. 20. Members of the public may speak to the
commission on any fisheries-related topic. The chairman will allow each
speaker to comment for three minutes. More time may be allotted, at the
chairman's discretion, depending on the number who sign up to speak.
Those making comments will be asked to speak only once, either at the
Feb. 19 or the Feb. 20 session, but not during both public comment
The deadline for submitting written comments to the
commission through the Marine Fisheries Commission Office is 5 p.m. Feb.
17. Those who wish to submit comments electronically may do so through an
online format by clicking here.
Those who wish to bring their own handouts to give to the
commission during the public comment period should bring at least 12 copies
to the meeting. The Marine Fisheries Commission Office will
not accept public comment for this meeting through email.
The public may listen to the meeting online. Up to 200
participants may listen to audio and view presentations in real-time on a
first-come, first-served basis. Directions for participating in the
webcast, including information on system requirements and testing, can be
found here. Following the meeting, an audio recording will be
The meeting agenda and full 1200+ page briefing book materials are posted
CCA NC will be offering comments in support of potential Rulemaking for
Small Mesh Gill Nets to include:
The gill net free zones established
upstream in the Pamlico and Neuse have saved, for the most part, the two
good year classes of stripers that are present in these systems.
From what we are seeing, these fish have remained in the systems and are
currently in place ready to move up the rivers this spring to
Mild winters and ideal environmental
conditions for successful spawns have resulted in a trifecta boom in
three species: speckled trout, red drum and striped bass. The upstream
net free zones are not responsible for this boom, but these large
protected areas resulting from the net restrictions have provided a
sanctuary, making the fish more accessible for an economically booming recreational
fishery and easier for enforcement to protect.
The reduced bag limits and increased size
limit on speckled trout imposed on recreational anglers have also played
a huge role in the rebound in those stocks. Again, combined with the mild
winters and ideal environmental conditions, the large, spawning size
speckled trout are now allowed a chance to escape harvest and grow
another season, resulting in an abundant stock now targeted by both
recreational and commercial fishermen.
The Commission needs to recognize the
extraordinary gift we have been given by Mother Nature and do everything
in its power to protect these abundant stocks for future generations. The
public trust interest in these natural resources should be protected for
the majority and not allowed to be exploited by the few. The reason for
the gill net zones was to protect several good year classes of striped
bass. They are still out there. The need to protect these
fish is just as great as it was when the closures were first
established. If anything, the need to maintain the gill net free
zones or sanctuaries is greater than before and consideration should be
given to expanding this "gill net sanctuary" to the mouths of
the Pamlico, Neuse and Bay rivers or simply use the current
The Commission will also consider Rulemaking to make Tarpon a
"catch and release" only fishery. CCA NC supports the proposed
rules changes that would make it illegal to possess or sell tarpon; hook
and line only means of catching; and unlawful to gaff, spear or puncture.
Recreational anglers and supporters of coastal conservation are
encouraged to attend the meeting to share their experiences and concerns.
It is important for the Commission to hear from the community that owns
the public trust resources the Commission is given a fiduciary
responsibility to manage and protect for current and future generations.
February 15, Onslow Bay Chapter Banquet,
Swansboro, NC. This
year the Onslow Bay Chapter will be honoring
Dick Henry, a true legend in the fishing tackle world and North Carolina
treasure. Dick was the founder of Henry's Tackle that has now evolved
into the global giant, Big Rock Sports. The auctions will include spa
packages, wine tasting, fishing and hunting trips, and great vacation
destinations. There will also be a new ATV, oyster roast for 40, fishing
tackle, a used boat, motor and trailer, plus donations from many local
companies, and much, much more! Join us for the fun at the Swansboro
Civic Center on Saturday, February 15th. For tickets or more information
please contact Rocky Carter at (336) 423-9100 or Matthew Wallin at (757)
February 27, East Carolina Chapter Banquet, Greenville, NC.
The East Carolina Chapter returns to the beautiful and spacious Rock
Springs Center for their 31st annual banquet. The auctions include
fishing trips and popular vacation destinations, local donations of jewelry
and clothing, boats, motors and trailers, and an off-road vehicle. And
did we mention a puppy?! For tickets and more information please contact
Billy Byrd at (252) 341-0191 or Matthew Wallin at (757) 508-3980.
March 5, Neuse River Chapter Banquet, New Bern, NC. The
Neuse River Banquet returns to the Shrine Club located on South
Glenburnie Road. The event features one of the best banquet meals found
in the state served up by Chef Ben Wheat and Two Chefs Catering, plus
live and silent auctions, and raffles featuring one of the best tackle
line ups at this type of event! For tickets and more information please
contact Donald Willis (252) 670-3853 or Matthew Wallin (757) 508-3980.
March 26, Charlotte Chapter Annual Banquet, hosted
by The Palmer Building. For more information please contact Joe Neely
Tickets for all CCA NC
spring banquets can be purchased online: ccanc.org/events-calendar/
FEBRUARY 19 -21, NC
MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION MEETING, at the New Bern Riverfront
Convention Center. The
meeting agenda is available now at: portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mfc-meetings
Public comment is
welcome both Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
BEAUFORT GAME FAIRE, at the Beaufort Hotel, Beaufort, NC.
Featuring the introduction
of the Carolina Conservation Cup, 5 Stand Championship and Calcutta to
auction off teams and shooters from NC's Big 5 conservation groups ---
Ducks Unlimited, Coastal Conversation Association, National Wild Turkey
Federation, Quail Forever & NC Wildlife Federation will compete to carry
home the trophy and donations from the Beaufort Game Faire. The winning
bidders in the Calcutta will carry home a Caesar-Guerini/Syren shotgun,
keep your eye on the clay birds, folks. For more
information visit their website at: www.beaufortgamefaire.com