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North Carolina 2021 recreational flounder season announced

The North Carolina 2021 recreational flounder season will open Aug. 16 and close Sept. 30 for internal and ocean waters of the state, as prescribed by Amendment 2 to the Southern Flounder Fishery Management Plan. Amendment 3 is currently underway and could impact the open season.

When the season opens, the minimum size limit will be 15 inches total length, and the creel limit will be four fish per person per day during the open recreational season. Since all species of flounder are managed under the same recreational regulations, the recreational season applies to all recreational flounder fishing.

The N.C Division of Marine Fisheries is currently developing Amendment 3 and is scheduled to seek public comment on the draft amendment this spring. The draft amendment includes options for commercial and recreational quotas, accountability measures for both sectors, commercial trip limits, recreational bag limits, regulations on the recreational use of commercial gear to harvest flounder, separating southern flounder from other flounder species in recreational management, evaluating inlet corridors as a management tool, and evaluating recreational and commercial slot limits.

Final adoption of draft Amendment 3 is scheduled for August 2021. If additional management measures are approved, the division will implement them as directed by the Marine Fisheries Commission, which may impact the 2021 season.

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