New Fisheries Rules in Effect This Summer

New regulations for coastal N.C. fishermen include the Coastal Recreational Fishing license (CRFL) and several size and number limit changes.

MOREHEAD CITY – Recreational fishermen heading to North Carolina beaches this Memorial Day weekend need to make sure they pick up or download an updated copy of the N.C. Recreational Coastal Waters Guide for Sports Fishermen.

This two-page document gives the most recent size and possession limits for saltwater recreational fishing in the state, and there have been a few changes since last summer.

Most notably, the recreational size limit for ocean-caught flounder increased in February from 14 inches to 14 ½ inches. The bag limit remains at eight fish per person per day. The size limit for flounder caught in the rivers and sounds remains at 14 inches with an eight fish per person per day bag limit.

Also, regulations on black sea bass caught south of Cape Hatteras changed in October. The size limit increased from 10-inches to 11-inches and the bag limit decreased from 20 fish to 15 fish per person per day. As of June 1, the size limit increases to 12 inches south of Cape Hatteras.

Some other recent changes to recreational size and bag limits include a 200-fish bag limit on striped mullet and a 48-quart cooler possession limit on shrimp caught recreationally with a trawl net.

Updated recreational size and bag limits for saltwater fishing can be found at tackle shops, at N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries offices or on the agency’s Web site at

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