A new harvest slot limit of 18 to 25 inches will take effect Jan. 1, 2023 for both the recreational and commercial striped bass fisheries in the Albemarle Sound Management Area. All striped bass measuring fewer than 18 inches and greater than 25 inches total length must be immediately returned to the waters where they were caught.
Striped bass can live to be at least 31 years old. Larger and older female striped bass can produce millions of eggs annually. By protecting striped bass over 25 inches, the number of older females in the stock will increase spawning stock biomass and provide resiliency to the stock. Current stock conditions show that the number of older, larger fish in the population has declined.
The new size limits, along with additional measures aimed at rebuilding the Albemarle-Roanoke striped bass stock and increasing the abundance of larger females in the population, were approved by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission in November as part of Amendment 2 to the North Carolina Estuarine Striped Bass Fishery Management Plan. Amendment 2 and outreach materials are available on the Division website.
The Albemarle Sound Management Area includes the Albemarle, Currituck, Roanoke, and Croatan sounds and all their tributaries, except the Roanoke, Middle, Eastmost, and Cashie rivers, where striped bass recreational regulations are set by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. For Wildlife Resources Commission striped bass seasons and regulations go to https://www.ncwildlife.org or call 919-707-0010.