KINSTON — State fisheries managers will take action Wednesday on gill nets at an emergency meeting in Kinston.
The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries announced Monday that the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission, the rulemaking body that creates the fisheries regulations the DMF enforces, will hold an emergency meeting at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Lenoir County commissioners’ meeting room in the Lenoir County Courthouse at 130 S. Queen St. in Kinston.
While the meeting Wednesday is open to the public, the MFC will not accept public comment at the meeting Live stream audio of the meeting won’t be available.
The commission will address directing DMF Director Stephen Murphey to issue a proclamation regarding gill nets, similar if not identical to the one requested at the commission’s February meeting. According to minutes from the February meeting, the commission requested 5-4 that Mr. Murphey issue a proclamation restricting the use of gill nets that interact with striped bass upstream of the ferry lines and requiring attendance of gill nets interacting with striped bass upstream of the tie-down lines.
DMF Public Information Officer Patricia Smith said a proclamation announcing a supplement to the N.C. Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan went into effect Monday. This supplement closed the striped bass season, both recreational and commercial, in many waters in the Central Southern Management Area; an area which includes Carteret County. Areas in the county affected by the supplement include, but aren’t limited to, Core Sound, Neuse River, White Oak River and their tributaries.
However, Ms. Smith said Mr. Murphey declined to issue a second proclamation that the MFC requested, along with the above proclamation, at the February MFC meeting. She said five commission members have requested the emergency meeting to address this matter: Chairman Rob Bizzell, Recreational Industry representative Cameron Boltes, Scientist representative Pete Kornegay, Recreational Fisherman representative Chuck Laughridge and At-Large representative Brad Koury.
According to minutes from the MFC meeting in February, Mr. Boltes was the commissioner to make the motion requesting a second proclamation, seconded by Mr. Kornegay.
The commission will also discuss requesting that the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission adopt concurrent regulations regarding recreational harvest of striped bass in the joint waters of the state.
Contact Mike Shutak at 252-726-7081 ext. 206, email firstname.lastname@example.org; or follow on Twitter at @mikesccnt.