NC Marine Fisheries sets scoping period for spotted seatrout

Published 1:23 pm Thursday, March 2, 2023

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The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries is developing Amendment 1 to the N.C. Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan (FMP). The division will hold a public scoping period March 13 to 24 to solicit input on potential management strategies for the upcoming amendment and discuss stakeholder priorities. Scoping is the best opportunity for the public to inform the plan.

A scoping document outlining the 2022 benchmark stock assessment results and potential management strategies can be found on the division website under Information on Spotted Seatrout FMP Amendment. The stock assessment indicates overfishing is occurring in the fishery. The primary management strategies under consideration for Amendment 1 are sustainable harvest and reducing recreational release mortality in the spotted seatrout fishery.

Beginning March 13, the public may provide feedback through an online form available on the Information webpage or submit written comments through the mail to N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Spotted Seatrout Scoping, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557. Comments must be received by 5 p.m., March 24, 2023.

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All meetings will begin at 6 p.m. and end at 8 p.m. The March 14 meeting will also be available for public participation by web conference. The meeting dates and locations are:

March 14, McKimmon Conference and Training Center at NC State, 1101 Gorman St., Raleigh

March 16, NC Cooperative Extension, Currituck County Center, 120 Community Way, #120, Barco

March 21, New Bern-Craven County Public Library, 400 Johnson St. New Bern

March 23, Cape Fear Community College, 411 N. Front St., Wilmington

Division staff will give a short presentation and then the public will have the opportunity to provide comment. Following the public comment period, attendees will get time to discuss subject matter concerns directly with species leads in small groups. Stakeholder comments and concerns will be considered in developing management strategies and management measures in Amendment 1.