Fish Post

Releases – March 28, 2013

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The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has completed renovations to the Sawpit Landing Boating Access area in Pender County, and it is now open to the public.

Wildlife Commission staff replaced the boat ramp, installed a floating dock and improved the parking area. They also made the site accessible for the disabled.

“Sawpit Landing is located on the Northeast Cape Fear River, and will offer access for anglers, boaters, and wildlife watchers,” said Tommy Hughes, coastal area eco-region supervisor. “Anglers can fish for largemouth bass, panfish and catfish, and wildlife watchers might see alligators, beavers, waterfowl, neotropical migratory birds, turkeys and white-tailed deer.”

Construction of the site was funded with motorboat registration fees and Sport Fish Restoration funds. Visit the Commission’s boating web page at www.ncwildlife.org for more information on boating in North Carolina, including an interactive map of more than 200 public access areas across the state.

The Oak Island Open Pier Tournament with be held April 27-28, 2013, at Ocean Crest Pier and Oak Island Pier. The Oak Island Open Pier Fishing Tournament is a unique pier fishing tournament for all levels of fisherman. Participants can fish on their favorite pier, Saturday anytime between 6am -6pm and Sunday 6am-12noon.

Categories are as follows: Category 1—spot, croaker, whiting, spade, pompano, and pinfish; Category 2—spanish, blue, sheepshead, trout, red drum, black drum, and flounder; Category 3—king mackerel, cobia, jack crevalle, and amberjack. Anglers may enter one or all three of the species categories.

For information on how to register, call the Oak Island Parks & Recreation Department at (910) 278-5518 or visit www.oakislandpiertournament.com.

The Oak Island Parks & Recreation Department is offering the annual fishing program called WAIT!: “Women Anglers In Training.”  The “WAIT!” program is for beginner and advanced angler women only and promises to put participants at ease and develop their potential as anglers. The event is April 27-28, 2013, in Oak Island, NC, and the cost starts at $49.00.

OI Parks and Rec have created a stress free environment where women can ask questions and try their hand at a variety of angling activities. This two-day experience will introduce surf fishing, pier fishing, bottom fishing, tying lures, trolling with live bait, king fishing, flounder fishing, net casting, and much more.

The event concludes with a daylong fishing trip on Sunday, either on the pier or by boat. Participants will receive two-days of fishing instruction, numerous samples, door prizes, lunch both days, and much more.

For more information or to register, call Rebecca at (910) 278-4747, or you can visit www.oakislandnc.com/recreation.

NOAA Fisheries is seeking public comment on proposed actions in Amendment 28 to the Fishery Management Plan for the Snapper-Grouper Fishery of the South Atlantic Region (Amendment 28). The notice of availability was published in the Federal Register on March 12, 2013 (78 FR 15672).  Comments must be submitted by May 13, 2013.

The actions in Amendment 28, if implemented, would establish (1) a process to determine if a fishing season will occur each year, which would include specification of the allowable harvest and season lengths for the commercial and recreational sectors; (2) an equation to determine the annual catch limit amount for each sector; and (3) management measures if fishing is allowed. It is important to note that the proposed actions, if they are implemented, only specify a process to determine if a season would occur.

If NOAA Fisheries determines that the estimated landings and dead discards that occurred in the previous year are equal to or greater than the acceptable biological catch for the current year, no harvest would be allowed and the annual catch limit would remain equal to zero. However, if NOAA Fisheries determines that the previous year’s estimated landings and dead discards are less than the acceptable biological catch, then the annual catch limit would be set to the amount of harvest that may be allowed for the current year.

If a season is allowed, NOAA Fisheries would calculate the season length for each sector based on an evaluation of historical harvest levels and fishing effort. The proposed equation is contained in Section 2.0 of the amendment.

If a red snapper season is allowed, Amendment 28 proposes the following measures for the commercial sector: (1) opening date of second Monday in July, and the season would end when the annual catch limit is projected to be met; (2) elimination of the current 20 inch minimum size limit during the fishing season; (3) commercial trip limit of 75 pounds gutted weight.

If a red snapper season is allowed, Amendment 28 proposes the following measures for the recreational sector: (1) opening date of second Friday in July, the season would only consist of weekends (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), and the end date would be announced at the same time the opening day is announced; (2) elimination of the current 20 inch minimum size limit during the fishing season; (3) a recreational bag limit of one fish per person per day.

Comments on Amendment 28 must be received no later than May 13, 2013, to be considered by NOAA Fisheries. You may submit comments either electronically or through mail. Comments received through other means may not be considered.

Submit all electronic public comments via the Federal e-Rulemaking Portal. Go to www.regulations.gov/#!docketDetail;D=NOAA-NMFS-2013-0040; Click on “Comment Now!”. Complete the required fields, and enter or attach your comments; Attachments to electronic comments (up to 10 MB) will be accepted in Microsoft Word, Excel, WordPerfect, or Adobe PDF file formats only.

For mail submissions, send comments to Rick DeVictor, NOAA Fisheries, Southeast Regional Office, Sustainable Fisheries Division, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701-5505.

All comments will be part of the public record, and generally posted for public viewing to www.regulations.gov without change. All personal identifying information (for example, name, address, etc.) voluntarily submitted by the commenter may be publicly accessible. Do not submit confidential business information or otherwise sensitive or protected information. Anonymous comments will be accepted.

More information, including Frequently Asked Questions for Amendment 28, can be found online at: http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/sf/SASnapperGrouperHomepage.htm.

In March the NOAA released the report Fisheries Economics of the United States 2011. The report provides economic statistics on U.S. commercial and recreational fisheries and marine-related businesses for each coastal state and the nation. The report is the sixth volume in an annual series designed to give the public accessible economic information on fishing activities in the U.S., and is a companion to Fisheries of the United States.

This report highlights that U.S. commercial and recreational saltwater fishing combined to generate more than $199 billion in sales and supported 1.7 million jobs in the nation’s economy in 2011. Both the landings and value climbed in 2011, demonstrating U.S. fisheries are moving in the right direction—even during this challenging time of transition in some of our fishing communities.

The seafood industry-harvesters, seafood processors and dealers, seafood wholesalers and retailers-generated $129 billion in sales impacts, $37 billion in income impacts, and supported 1.2 million jobs in 2011, the most recent year included in the report.

Recreational fishing generated $70 billion in sales impacts, $20 billion in income impacts, and supported 455,000 jobs in 2011. Compared to 2010, the numbers are up for all of these impacts except commercial seafood sales.

The report is posted on the NOAA Fisheries, Office of Science and Technology homepage, at www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov.

An Elizabeth City woman admitted guilt and agreed to two years unsupervised probation and other punishments in connection with charges related to the theft of crab pots in Pasquotank County.

A Pasquotank County judge on March 8 approved a deferred prosecution agreement with Carla Winslow Dewald, 42, of 409 Lane Dr., Elizabeth City, in which she admitted guilt to one count of misdemeanor larceny and one count of improper buoys on crab pots. In addition to the probation period, Dewald agreed to perform 40 hours of community service in 180 days and pay fines, fees, court costs and restitution costs totaling $1,238.

“The Division of Marine Fisheries is just not going to stand for commercial fishermen stealing gear from each other,” said Louis Daniel, director of the Division of Marine Fisheries. “We hope that this sends a clear message that Marine Patrol will investigate and prosecute these types of offenders.”

Marine Patrol Sgt. Brian Long arrested Dewald Aug. 20 on a total of 25 charges: eight larceny; eight possession of stolen property; eight robbery and injury to crab pots; and one improper buoys on commercial crab pots. She was accused of stealing 48 crab pots from eight different victims in the Little River in Pasquotank County.

Marine Patrol had received a report from several commercial crabbers that they were missing crab pots and believed they had seen their property in Dewald’s line of pots, Long said. Marine Patrol checked Dewald’s line of pots and found the stolen property, he said.

“It was a case of stealing a little bit from everybody around,” Long said.

The stolen gear has been returned to the victims, Long said, and he credited the victims with making the reports for the outcome of the case.

“This is a case of how when we’re given good information, we’re able to act on it in a timely manner and bring the matter to court,” Long said.

For more information, contact Long at (252) 473-1233 or Cbrian.Long@ncdenr.gov.