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Carcass Collection Program to Help Biologists

MOREHEAD CITY – There are 12 freezers set up along the coast for donated fish carcasses, which will help state fisheries biologists learn more about about fish being caught. 

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Carcass Collection Program is currently accepting the carcasses of black sea bass, black drum, croaker, cobia, flounder, gray trout (weakfish), grouper, red drum, sea mullet (kingfish), sheepshead, snapper, Spanish mackerel spotted seatrout (speckled trout), striped bass and triggerfish.

When cleaning the fish, leave the head and tail intact and the guts, if possible. If fishing on a charter boat or head boat, let the fish cleaner know the fish will be donated.

While the catch is still fresh, take the carcass to the nearest freezer location. Instructions on how to deposit the carcasses are posted on each freezer. Anglers will be asked to give information related to how and when the fish was caught as well as their name and address.

Division biologists will measure the fish, determine the sex, if possible, and remove the ear bones to determine the fish’s age. The information collected will be used in future stock assessments, which rely on a range of information, including biological data, to provide an understanding of a species’ population.

For more information, contact Carole Willis, division sportfishing specialist, at 252-808-8081 or

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.