H.B.353 aimed to tag Red Drum, Speckled Trout, and Striped Bass not “dead” as some report.
Raleigh, NC – House Bill 353, which seeks game fish status for Red Drum, Speckled Trout, and Striped Bass, has been stalled in a House committee as the Legislature concentrates on the battle over the State Budget. Reports of this bill being “dead” are widely exaggerated and efforts to make a final push continue. “Unfortunately, this bill, among many others introduced this session, has fallen victim to the overwhelming attention being given to the budget battle”, stated Greg Hurt CCANC Government Relations Chairman. With adjournment expected at week’s end, the window of opportunity is closing fast.
CCA NC continues the push to have the bill voted on this session. Your calls and e-mails to your elected Senators and Representatives are still needed. “Game Fish status is still a very important initiative for these species, says Jay Dail, CCA NC Chairman. “Whether in this session, or the next, we need to hold our elected officials accountable for the economic boost this would provide our coastal communities, as well as the overall health of these fish”.
CCA NC urges you to call and write your Representative today and let them know you want HB 353 heard. It’s not too late!
The primary sponsors of HB 353 are Representatives Darrell McCormick (R – Iredell, Surry, Yadkin), Rick Glazier (D – Cumberland), Dan Ingle (R – Alamance), and Ruth Samuelson (R – Mecklenburg).
A game fish designation prohibits the taking of any species by means other than hook and line and also the sale of the species.
CCA NC has tried for years to make sure these important species, which comprise less than 2 % of the states commercial harvest, were managed properly. The continued decline in the Spotted Sea Trout stock, the directed commercial harvest of Red Drum, as well as the inability of the Marine Fisheries Commission (MFC) to address wasteful commercial fishing practices of Striped Bass, figured highly in the decision to introduce this bill.
Economic impact was also a major consideration. The financial impact felt by the recreational angling community (via licensing, travel, hotel/motel, tackle and bait, etc.) is some one-hundred and fifty (150) times that of the commercial fishery for these species.