By Sam Walker on May 19, 2013A bill that would ban commercial fisherman from catching puppy drum, speckled trout, and estuary striped bass is still very much alive in the General Assembly, despite earlier conflicting reports.
The gamefish legislation, which would only allow the hook-and-line catches of the three popular species, is considered a state spending bill because it also would compensate commercial fisherman for losing out on selling the fish and includes money to pay for inlet dredging.
Because the bill is considered an appropriation measure, it was exempt from having to meet last week’s crossover deadline.
Most bills had to be approved by at least one chamber by Thursday to have a chance of becoming law this year.
Rep. Paul Tine of Kitty Hawk says the gamefish bill has significant opposition in the House, and could be modified to only ban red drum from being commercially caught.