Flounder Carcass Collection

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will collect legal sized flounder carcasses from recreational fishermen during the 2023 flounder season from September 15-29. The division has set up five temporary freezer locations, in addition to the eleven carcass collection locations available throughout the year, where recreational fishermen can take their flounder carcasses.

Anglers that donate legal carcasses and provide a completed carcass collection catch card will be eligible for N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament Citation (15” or greater total length).

When cleaning the fish, anglers should leave the head and tail intact and, if possible, leave the guts in the fish. Anglers who fished on a charter boat or head boat should let the fish cleaner know the carcass will be donated.     
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. Fishermen also will be asked for their names and addresses if they wish to receive a citation.

Division biologists will measure the fish, determine the sex, if possible, and remove the otoliths (ear bones) to determine the age of the fish. The information collected will be used to inform future flounder stock assessments. Learn more about what the division does with the carcasses on the Carcass Collection Program webpage.     

Temporary Freezer Locations

Temporary Freezer Location Address
Cee Bee Marina - Belhaven 4163 NC Highway 99-S
Chasin’ Tails Outdoors – Morehead City 709 Atlantic Beach Causeway, Atlantic Beach
Wildlife Bait & Tackle - Southport 4381 Fish Factory Rd SE, Southport, NC 28461
Holden Beach Marina 3238 Pompano St SW, Supply, NC 28462
Mad Kingz Tackle – Ocean Isle 6855 Beach Dr SW, Ocean Isle Beach, NC 28469

Permanent Freezer Locations

If this map is not displaying properly, view it in a standalone browser window.

Location Address
Jennetts Pier – Nags Head 7223 S Virginia Dare Trail, Nags Head NC, 27959
Frisco Rod & Gun 53610 NC-12, Frisco NC, 27936
Odens Dock - Hatteras 57878 NC Hwy 12, Hatteras NC 27943
Eastside Bait & Tackle - Washington 1218 John Small Ave Washington, NC 27889
Cape Pointe – Harkers Island  1390 Island Rd, Harkers Island NC, 28513
NC DMF Headquarters – Morehead City 3441 Arendell St, Morehead City NC, 28557
Dudley's Marina - Swansboro 106 Cedar Point Blvd. #8000, Cedar Point NC, 28584
Pelagic Hunter Sportfishing – Sneads Ferry 104 James St, Sneads Ferry NC, 28460
Eastern Outfitters - Hampstead 21241 US-17 S, Hampstead, NC 28443
Tex's Tackle - Wilmington 215 Old Eastwood Rd, Wilmington NC, 28403
Seaview Crab Company - Wilmington 6458 Carolina Beach Rd, Wilmington NC, 28409
Cherry Point - Havelock Environmental Affairs Office (only to those with base access)

More Information

Tab/Accordion Items

three species of flounder

View the division's brochure on how to identify North Carolina's three species of flounder

Southern Flounder

  • This is the most common flounder caught in North Carolina, especially in estuarine waters.
  • Non-ocellated spots cover the body
  • Upper jaw extends to beyond rear margin of eye
  • 8 to 11 gill rakers on lower limb of first gill arch
  • 63 to 74 anal fin rays

Gulf Flounder

diagram of gulf flounder ocellated spot locations

  • This species is occasionally seen in North Carolina waters, usually in the ocean
  • 3 prominent ocellated spots form triangle on body, apex towards caudal fin (can have more than 3 over entire body, but three will be prominent)
  • Upper jaw extends beyond rear margin of eye
  • 9 to 12 gill rakers on lower limb of first gill arch
  • 56 to 63 anal fin rays

Summer Flounder

diagram of summer flounder ocellated spots

  • This species is commonly seen around inlets, in the ocean and in estuarine waters
  • At least 5 ocellated spots on body — 5 prominent ocelli form the pattern from the five-side of a die
  • Upper jaw extends to rear margin of eye
  • 13 to 18 gill rakers on lower limb of first gill arch
  • 60 to 73 anal fin rays

Step 1: Once back to the dock, fillet your fish. If you are part of a charter or headboat party please let your fish cleaner know you’d like to donate your carcass. 

Step 2: Keep the head and tail intact and, if possible, leave the guts in the fish. This is important to the biologist collecting data.

Step 3: While your catch is still fresh, take the carcass to the nearest donation location. 

Step 4: All of the needed supplies are found inside of the Carcass Collection freezers. Use a pencil to fill out the provided carcass card in full. Please include as much information about your trip and number of species harvested as possible.

Step 5: Place the fish carcass or carcasses and the completed catch card into the plastic bags provided. If more than one bag is needed, please include a catch card in each bag.

Step 6: Tie the bag closed, and place your closed bag in the collection freezer.