Up & Coming Weekly

February 28, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 19 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM MARCH 1 - 7, 2023 UCW 19 e N.C. Wildlife Resources Com- mission's Executive Director, Cam- eron Ingram, has signed a procla- mation outlining the 2023 striped bass harvest season in the Roanoke River Management Area. e entire Roanoke River Man- agement Area will be open for harvest of striped bass April 14 to 17 and April 22 to 23. e daily creel limit is one striped bass per day. e minimum length limit is 18 inches, and no striped bass between 22 and 27 inches may be possessed at any time. e Roanoke River Management Area includes the Roanoke River and tributaries from the Roanoke Rapids Lake Dam downstream to the Albemarle Sound, including the Cashie, Middle and Eastmost rivers. In 2020, a stock assessment of striped bass in the Roanoke River/ Albemarle Sound indicated that the stock was overfished, and overfish- ing was occurring. To conserve and rebuild the striped bass population in the Roanoke River, this year's harvest quota is 12,804 pounds. e six harvest days outlined in the proclamation were selected using past angler creel data with the goal of anglers having an opportunity to harvest fish throughout the river. "Since 2006, we've seen declines in the abundance of Striped Bass, specifically, dramatic declines in the abundance of fish larger than 30 inches. ese larger, older fish can produce over 1 million eggs per spawn. River flow is also important to having a successful spawns and high egg survival rates. NCWRC staff work weekly with staff from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to provide the best possible flow for spawning fish on the Roanoke River. Larger fish and river flow during critical spawning periods are keys to rebuilding the Roanoke River-Albe- marle Sound Striped Bass popula- tion," said Chris Smith, District 1 Fisheries Biologist with the Wildlife Commission. "However, appropri- ate flows alone will not help. e current management actions are intended to increase striped bass survival on the spawning grounds. Over time we anticipate the popu- lation will rebuild including larger older females which are very valu- able to the population." Anglers can continue to catch and release striped bass throughout the spring. To reduce handling stress on fish that are released, the Wildlife Commission recommends anglers use a single barbless hook or a lure with a single barbless hook, which is a requirement when fishing in the upper Roanoke River above the U.S. Highway 258 bridge near Scotland Neck from April 1 through June 30. Signage will be posted at boating access areas along the Roanoke Riv- er to notify anglers of the changes to the open harvest dates. More information can be found using the agency's online BAA locator. N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Since 1947, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has been dedicated to the conservation and sustainability of the state's fish and wildlife resources through research, scientific manage- ment, wise use and public input. e Commission is the state regula- tory agency responsible for the enforcement of fishing, hunting, trapping and boating laws and pro- vides programs and opportunities for wildlife-related educational, rec- reational and sporting activities. To purchase or renew a fish- ing, trapping and hunting li- cense and renew a vessel registra- tion visit ncwildlife.org. SPORTS & RECREATION e striped bass harvest season will be April 14 to 17 and 22 to 23 in the Roanoke River Management Area. (Photo courtesy NC Wildlife Resources Commission) Harvest season announced for striped bass a STAFF REPORT For more information: 910.484.6200 & presents States of Mind: P a i n t i n g s b y A n g e l a S t o u t E x h i b i t O p e n u n t i l M a r c h 2 4 t h M o n - F r i 9 : 0 0 A . M . - 4 : 0 0 P . M . PRINTS AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE

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