Marine Fisheries Division accepts plaice carcass donations and issues tournament citations during recreational plaice fishing season
The Marine Fisheries Division will accept flounder for the Carcass Collection and Saltwater Fishing Tournament (Citation) programs during the upcoming recreational fishing season.
The division has also set up a single source of information for the 2021 recreational plaice season, which begins on September 1.
The division has set up five temporary locations, in addition to the nine carcass collection locations available throughout the year, where recreational fishermen can donate their plaice carcasses.
The temporary locations are:
- Elizabeth City Office Marine Fisheries Division
- The Department of Environmental Quality Washington Regional Office
- Seagate Marina cleaning station, Newport
- Chasin ‘Tail Guides Dock, Atlantic Beach
- Breakday Charters cleaning station, Atlantic Beach
The locations all year round are (map available here):
- Cape Pointe Marina, Harkers Island
- East Side Bait and Tackle, Washington
- Frisco Rod & Gun, Frisco
- Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head
- Sea View Crab Company, Wilmington
- Tex Tackle, Wilmington
- Dudley’s Marina, Swansboro
- NC Marine Fisheries Division Headquarters, Morehead City
- Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point – Office of Environmental Affairs (only available to those with access to the military base)
When cleaning the fish, fishermen should leave the head and tail intact and, if possible, leave the entrails in the fish. Anglers who have fished on a charter boat or lead boat should notify the fish cleaner that the carcass will be donated.
While the catch is still fresh, take it to the nearest donation point. Instructions on how to deposit carcasses are posted at each site. Fishermen will be asked to provide information on how and when the fish was caught. Fishermen will also be asked to provide their names and addresses.
Biologists in the division will measure the fish, determine the sex, if possible, and remove the otoliths (ear bones) to determine the age of the fish. The information collected will be available for use in future plaice stock assessments.
Saltwater fishing tournament
In addition, the division will issue citations to the North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament for plaice catches weighing 5 pounds or more during recreational plaice season.
A citation from the North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament is a certificate, suitable for framing, that shows the angler’s name and species, weight and date of catch. The division does not issue citations for plaice when the recreational season is closed.
Anglers who wish to apply for a flounder quote need to do two things:
- Weigh the fish at one of the official North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament weighing stations to verify that it meets the weight requirements.
- Submit a request through the online plaice citation request form.
No citation will be issued for released fish.
Recreational plaice season
The 2021 recreational plaice season will open at 12:01 a.m. on September 1 and end at 11:59 p.m. on September 14 in North Carolina’s inland and ocean waters. The minimum size limit will remain at 15 inches in total length, and the creel limit will remain at four fish per person per day during the open recreational season.
Since all plaice species are managed under the same recreational regulations, the recreational season applies to all recreational plaice.
Recreational fishers using gillnets with a commercial recreational gear license cannot participate in the plaice season this year.
For more information on donating a plaice carcass, requesting a citation for a saltwater fishing tournament for plaice or recreational plaice season, see the Flounder Season Information web page. 2021 recreational plaice.