N.C. flounder season closing on Sept. 4

N.C.'s flounder closure will go into effect on Sept. 4, 2019 for all three species of flounder.

2020 season dates have not been determined

Earlier today (Aug. 28, 2019), NC Division of Marine Fisheries Director Stephen W. Murphey announced that effective at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 4, 2019, North Carolina’s flounder fishery will be closed. This announcement closes the recreational harvest to all three species of flounder found in North Carolina’s waters.

As of Sept. 4, the following restrictions will apply to the taking of flounder for recreational purposes in Internal Coastal Waters and Atlantic Ocean Waters:


It is unlawful to possess flounder for recreational purposes.


A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G.S. 113-170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52 and N.C. Marine Fisheries Rules 15A NCAC 03H .0103; 03M .0503 and 03M .0512.

B. It is unlawful to violate the provisions of any proclamation issued by the Fisheries Director under his delegated authority pursuant to N.C. Marine Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 03H .0103.

C. The intent of this proclamation is to manage the recreational flounder fishery in accordance with Amendment 2 to the N.C. Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan.

D. Fishermen are encouraged to return all flounder to the water in a manner that ensures the highest likelihood of survival.

E. In accordance with N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission Rule 15A NCAC 03I .0120 it shall be unlawful to possess or transport through State coastal fishing waters any species of fish that is subject to State season, size, or harvest restrictions, regardless whether the species was taken in State or federal waters, unless all fish taken are in compliance with the restrictions for the waterbody or area being fished. If State season, size, or harvest restrictions differ from comparable restrictions pursuant to a fishery management plan adopted by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission or pursuant to the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, or if there are no corresponding federal regulations, the State restrictions shall apply during such periods of possession or transportation.

Flounder closure applies to Inland Waters as well

F. In accordance with N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Inland Fishing Regulations 15A NCAC 10C .0307, seasons, size and creel limits for spotted sea trout, flounder, and red drum, taken in Inland Waters are the same as those recreational limits established by the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries in adjacent joint and coastal fishing waters.

G. In accordance with N.C. General Statute 113-221.1(c). All persons who may be affected by proclamations issued by the Fisheries Director are under a duty to keep themselves informed of current proclamations.

H. Contact N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632 for more information or visit the division website at www.ncmarinefisheries.net

I. This proclamation supersedes Proclamation FF-4-2017, dated February 21, 2017. It closes the recreational flounder fishery, making it unlawful to possess flounder for recreational purposes in Internal Coastal Waters and Atlantic Ocean Waters. The recreational fishery will re-open by proclamation on a date in 2020 not yet determined. This action is being taken to comply with the requirements of Amendment 2 to the N.C. Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan.

–N.C. Environmental Quality, N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries News Release

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