Out and About in North Carolina's Woods and Waters

Outdoor Notes

2021 Recreational Flounder Season Announced

The N. C. Division of Marine Fisheries (NCDMF) has announced that the 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.

The NCDMF is currently developing Amendment 3 and is scheduled to seek public comment on the draft amendment this spring. The draft amendment will address things such as options for commercial and recreational quotas; accountability measures for both sectors; commercial trip limits; regulations on the recreational use of commercial gear to harvest flounder, and other issues. Final adoption of draft Amendment 3 is scheduled for August 2021.

Striped Bass Seasons on Roanoke River

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) has issued a proclamation outlining significant changes to the 2021 striped bass harvest season in the Roanoke River Management Area. Striped bass open harvest dates will be:

  • April 10-16 in the lower river zone (downstream of the U.S. Hwy. 258 bridge at Scotland Neck to the mouth at Albemarle Sound.
  • April 24-30 in the upper river zone (upstream of the Hwy. 258 bridge at Scotland Neck to the base of Roanoke Rapids Dam).

Changes to the season framework became necessary when the harvest quota in the Roanoke River was reduced from 68,750 lb. to 12,800 lb. The reduction was deemed a necessary conservation action intended to rebuild the striped bass population. A 2020 stock assessment indicated that the stock was has been overfished and overfishing continues The separate weeks selected in each river zone coincide with the highest average weekly harvest totals observed by Wildlife Commission fisheries staff over the last nine years.

Size limits and daily creel limits will remain the same. During the two separate harvest periods, the minimum length is 18 inches and no striped bass between 22 and 27 inches (the protective slot) may be possessed at any time. The daily creel limit is two fish, only one of which may be larger than 27 inches.

Virtual Turkey Hunting Seminars To Be Offered

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) will offer free, online turkey hunting seminars in coming weeks. Topics will include biology, species habits, habitats, scouting, essential equipment, setup, effective shot placement and much more. Each class will be held from 7-8 p.m. and will conclude with an interactive question-and-answer session.

“The seminars are intended to be taken as a consecutive three-night workshop, however the virtual format allows for flexibility. Students may take one or more classes in the order they choose,” said Walter ‘Deet’ Dames of the NCWRC. “Although open to all skill levels, the seminars are especially intended for those that have never hunted (turkeys) and lack access to a hunting mentor.”

The 2021 Turkey Hunting Seminar schedule is:

  • Mar. 9 – Biology for Hunters, Regulations, Where to Hunt and Scouting
  • Mar. 10 – Firearms, Ammo, Clothing and Miscellaneous Equipment
  • Mar. 11 – Hunting Techniques and Strategies

Space is limited and pre-registration is required on the Wildlife Commission’s website (www.ncwildlife.org). Classes will be held via Zoom and participants will receive their link after registering. The seminars will be held prior to the wild turkey seasons which are April 3-9 for youth under 18, and April 10 – May 8 statewide.The season limit is two bearded turkeys per hunter.

Hatchery Supported Mountain Trout Waters Closed For Stocking

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission have closed approximately 1,000 miles of Hatchery Supported Trout Waters in the state’s mountain counties to fishing and will reopen them at 7 a.m. on April 3. This year, Wildlife Commission personnel will stock approximately 960,000 trout – 96% of which will average 10 inches in length, with the other 4% exceeding 14 inches in length.

Hatchery Supported Trout Waters are stocked at frequent intervals in the spring and early summer every year and are marked by green-and-white signs at the fishing locations. Anglers can harvest a maximum of seven trout per day in those streams,with no minimum size limit or bait restriction.

Hunting Seasons

Shooting Preserves: (quail, chukars, pheasant) through Mar. 31

Wild Turkey: Youth Season (under age 18) – Apr. 3-9; Open Season – Apr. 10 – May 8

Coyotes: no closed season

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