Marine Fisheries asks anglers to help with data collection during cobia season

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The recreational cobia fishing season opens May 1 in North Carolina waters, and the Marine Fisheries Division is asking anglers for help with data collection.

The recreational cobia fishery is managed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC), and its cobia fishery management plan identifies several data needs, including collecting size information, age and maturity, as well as collecting fin clips to help genetically identify stock differences.

Recreational anglers can help collect this data by donating cobia carcasses to the Division’s Carcass Collection Program. Freezer locations can be found on the Carcass Collection Program web page.

Additionally, creel attendants will collect cobia fin clips during interviews with recreational anglers. The information collected will be provided to ASMFC for use in future stock assessments.

During the open season, the minimum size limit will be 36 inches in fork length (measured from the tip of the snout to the fork of the tail) and the possession limit will be one fish per person per day. The vessel limit while fishing aboard a private vessel will be one fish per person per day with a maximum of two fish per vessel per day if two or more people are on board a vessel, from the 1st May to June 30. the private vessel limit will decrease to one fish per vessel per day on July 1.

The possession limit for fishing aboard a vessel for hire will be: one fish per person per day, with a maximum of four fish per vessel per day if four or more people are on board a ship.

The cobia recreational season ends December 31, 2022.

For more specific information on recreational cobia regulation, see Proclamation FF-29-2022 on the Marine Fisheries Division Proclamation webpage.

For more information, contact Marine Fisheries Division Biologist Anne Markwith at 910-796-7292 or Anne.Markwith@ncdenr.gov.

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