Two changes take effect Saturday for fishermen participating in the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Saltwater Fishing Tournament.

The tournament is not a competition but a longstanding certification program that recognizes outstanding saltwater catches. The tournament year runs from Saturday to Dec. 31.

For 2011, the division will remove red snapper from the program due to a federal fishery closure. The closure went into effect Jan. 4, 2010, and is not expected to be lifted anytime soon, according to a DMF news release.

Additionally, requirements for a bluefin tuna citation will change to promote the release of larger fish. Currently, a fisherman may receive a citation for landing an 80-pound bluefin tuna or releasing one of any size. Beginning Jan. 1, released bluefin tuna must be at least 70 inches curved fork length to receive a citation. Landed fish must weigh at least 200 pounds, the release said.

For more information, contact Carole Willis, DMF sport fishing specialist, at 252-726-7021 or A list of 2011 requirements can be downloaded via the website at

Tournament changes take effect Saturday | changes, Saturday, effect – News – Jacksonville Daily News

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