Fishermen can help set sheepshead policy

CorrespondentSeptember 11, 2013 

With the feds handing over management of sheepshead to states, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries must decide how to manage the species in this state. So the division is asking the people who fish for sheepshead.

“Our Marine Fisheries commissioners, when they’re looking at things, they do listen to the public on things that they want to see,” Patricia Smith, the division’s public information officer, said by phone Monday.

Public hearings will be held on a proposal to give the division director proclamation authority for setting sheepshead fishery recreational and commercial limits, along with size, gear, season and time restrictions.

Three hearings, each at 6 p.m., are scheduled on sheepshead and other proposals:

• Sept. 17 at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Central District Office, 5285 U.S. 70 West, Morehead City.

• Sept. 18 at the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Office, 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington.

• Sept. 19 at DENR Regional Office, 127 Cardinal Drive, Wilmington.

Sheepshead no longer are managed under the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Snapper Grouper Fishery Management Plan, in which the species was included in an aggregate 20-fish snapper-grouper recreational bag limit.

Other proposed rules cover shellfish dealers, seed oyster management areas, Scientific and Educational Activity permits and Coastal Recreational Fishing License Exemption permits, hybrid striped bass culture and a Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan amendment.

Public comment ends Sept. 30. Email Catherine.Blum@ncdenr.gov, fax to 252-726-0254 or visit go to http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mfc-proposed-rules-links.

The commission will vote at its Nov. 13-15 meeting.

“It’s always good to speak up beforehand,” Smith said. “This is the time to speak up – now.”

Collector show in Raleigh: The Old North State Antique Gun and Military Collector Show takes place at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh this weekend. The show is a great place to buy, sell, trade, browse or have items appraised.

Visitors to the Scott Building will find antique guns, U.S. and foreign arms and memorabilia from World Wars I and II, the Civil War, Vietnam and other conflicts, as well as relics, books, uniforms and insignias.

Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10-4 Sunday. Admission is $7 for adults, $1 for children 6-12 and free for ages 6 and younger. Learn more at www.thecarolinatrader.com, or contact Richard Shields at (704) 282-1339.

Fishing club meets: The Raleigh Saltwater Sportfishing Club will meet 7-8 p.m. Sept. 17 at the N.C. State Faculty Club, 4200 Hillsborough St. The meeting is free. Dinner, which starts at 6:30, costs $15. Learn more on the club’s redesigned website at www.rswsc.org.

Down East boats in book: Lawrence Earley, author of “The Workboats of Core Sound: Stories and Photographs of a Changing World,” is scheduled to speak at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at Quail Ridge Books and Music in Raleigh.

The store is located at 3522 Wade Ave. in the Ridgewood Shopping Center. Call (919) 828-1588. Learn more at www.quailridgebooks.com.

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Boggess: boggess.teri@gmail.com

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