Jakes Outdoor Adventures - Cobia Regulation 2017

Since my last article, there has been a lot of action on the Cobia regulation front. During the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries meeting last February, the board voted not to comply with the Federal Government’s closed season for Cobia. Instead they voted to do the following during the 2017 North Carolina recreational cobia season. The Cobia Season in North Carolina state controlled water from three miles inside the Economic Exclusive Zone will be from May 1 to August 31 with a one-fish-per-person-per-day possession limit and a four-fish-per-vessel-per-day maximum possession limit seven days a week. The size limit will increase to 36-inches fork length. The maximum charter boat limit will include the captain and mate, as well as customers. Additionally, the commission requested that all cobia harvested be recorded and tagged at a current or future N.C. Citation Station and that the length and weight of the fish be recorded to provide a more accurate harvest estimate for future use in determining needed regulations. The division is evaluating ways to accommodate this request. At press time the NCDMF has yet released how they will require anglers to weigh and report Cobia caught. The North Carolina Commercial Cobia Season will also continue as it was with a two fish limit per person for each day. NC Commercial Fisherman has been recording their catches via the trip ticket program that weighs and measures the fish. Once again, hats off to the dedicated research, lobbying and hard work Jonathan French and Billy Gorham have done to keep our access open to this public resource.
When the Finfish Management Advisory Committee of the Virginia Marine Resources Commission met in late February, they heard from 14 speakers that represented Charter and Recreational fisherman as well as Tackle Shop Owners. VMRC has yet to take action on what the Virginia Season will be. Last year, Virginia followed North Carolina’s lead and opened the fishery in their state waters with reduced bag and size limits. VMRC’s next public meeting will be in March 28th, 2017, so the Virginia 2017 Cobia Season is still in limbo as of press time.
One thing we, as recreational fishermen, need to do as a group from here on out is to be involved in the process. There were no Fishing Organizations working in this fight-- it was a grassroots effort. From here on out, we all will need to be proactive in contacting our state and federal elected officials by phone and mail. We need to attend all the state and federal fisheries meetings if they are in your area. We have to fill the seats and show that we care and we will fight. When public comment is open, make sure you go online and take the time to post your comments in the public record and have your friends and family do the same. The fight is far from over and we must not be complacent. Visit my Facebook Page Jake’s Outdoor Adventures for further updates.

Jakes Outdoor Adventures - Cobia Regulation 2017 Jakes Outdoor Adventures - Cobia Regulation 2017 Reviewed by kensunm on 7:00:00 PM Rating: 5

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