Starting Sunday, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will require recreational anglers who catch striped bass along the Outer Banks to participate in a 15-week tagging and reporting program.
From 12:01 a.m. July 15 through 12:01 a.m. Nov. 1, recreational fishermen must obtain and complete a “catch card” for the striped bass they catch and attach a landing tag through the mouth and gill cover of every fish taken from the Atlantic Ocean north of Ocracoke Inlet.
“Catch cards” are forms that document the vessel, trip type, the number, size and weight of the striped bass caught, and the number that correlates to a number on a landing tag. Fishermen will receive the tags when they fill out the catch cards.
Cards and tags are available at North Carolina striped bass reporting stations, a list of which can be found on the DMF website at www.ncdmf.net, ocean fishing piers and most tackle shops along the Outer Banks. They also will be available from DMF Recreational Port Agents.
The cards must be completed and the tags affixed to the fish before removing the fish from the boat, or taking the boat out of the water. Anglers taking striped bass from fishing piers should report their catch at the pier house before. Surf fishermen should report catches of striped bass at the nearest reporting station.
This is the third year DMF has implemented temporary tagging and reporting requirements for ocean-caught striped bass. It is necessary to enable better catch estimates of ocean harvests during the closed season for striped bass in the Albemarle Sound Management Area. Catch estimates provided by the Marine Recreational Fishery Statistics Survey are not precise enough for the state’s management needs.
For-Hire Permit and For-Hire Blanket Coastal Recreational Fishing License holders may apply for an on-board kit with catch card and landing tag materials that allows self-reporting. The for-hire kits can be obtained by contacting Doug Mumford or David Daniel by phone at either 1-800-338-7804 or (252) 946-6481 or by email at Doug.Mumford@ncmail.net, or David.Daniel@ncmail.net.
Anglers who get to the dock after business hours can report catches at a toll free number, 1-800-682-2632, and receive a verification number as evidence of compliance.