Georgia Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Mark Williams has announced that Georgia's whelk trawl harvest season will open at 6:30 a.m. on Monday, January 30, 2017 and close at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 31, 2017. The DNR will continue its policy of requiring those who possess or fish for whelks with trawl gear in Georgia waters to have a no-charge letter of authorization, the original of which must remain onboard the vessel during fishing activities.
Individuals possessing or fishing for whelk with trawl gear must adhere to all requirements in the letter of authorization, possess all proper licenses, including a Georgia commercial fishing license, and adhere to all gear regulations for whelk trawls, including the use of minimum 4-inch stretch mesh trawl gear and a certified Turtle Excluder Device (TED).
Whelk fishermen are reminded that a limit of no more than two (2) bushels of blue crabs may be retained at any time on their vessel, regardless of the number of crew onboard. All retained blue crabs must be of legal size and sponge crabs may not be kept. Operators of whelk trawling vessels must also maintain and report records of harvested crabs.
Individuals interested in whelk trawling must contact Julie Califf with the Coastal Resources Division at (912) 264-7218 to request a letter of authorization. For more information on regulations associated with the whelk fishery, please call the Coastal Resources Division at (912) 264-7218.