Representative Paul Tine announced today that the gamefish bill will not be run.

The Ocracoke Current received the following press release late Wednesday afternoon. We'll be celebrating with some good ol' Ocracoke fish cakes. (See recipe below.)

"Representative Tine announced today that House Bill 983, entitled The Fisheries Economic Development Act, will not be run this session.  “I spoke with the bill sponsor this evening after the bill was considered in the majority caucus and he assured me the bill will not be run or folded into the budget,” said Representative Tine. “It was truly a bipartisan effort to defeat the bill and it would not have happened without all the work of the opponents who made sure their voice would be heard in Raleigh.” 

After growing opposition, the bill sponsor sought the will of the Republican Caucus and found that opposition there, combined with a significant number of votes in the Democratic Caucus, would make it difficult for the bill to move through committee.

“This bill pitted the recreational interests against the commercial fisherman, the consumer, the fish houses, the restaurants and the seafood stores,” stated Rep. Tine.  “The bill sponsor was fair in the process allowing all sides to be heard and in the end; most legislators decided that it was best that all sides have access to these public trust fisheries.”

The bill would have designated the Red Drum, Speckled Trout and Rockfish as Game Fish limiting their access only to recreational fishermen."

Recipe courtesy of Ocracoke Seafood Company, a.k.a. the Fish House:

Ocracoke Fish Cakes

Old Ocracoke recipes prefer Drum. For “dinner” or the afternoon meal islanders loved boiled Drum, potatoes, hard boiled eggs, fresh onions and fried out salt pork – of which a portion was used for gravy. For the evening meal, all ingredients were combined by hand and made into fish cakes which were fried in the grease from the salt pork.

Photo courtesy of Soundside Records blog.
Photo courtesy of Soundside Records blog.

Today the recipe might read:

Cut fish into large chunks, salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Then boil until done.

Boil potatoes (separately)
Hard boil eggs
Fresh green onions
Bacon, slice of ham or salt pork. Cooked till crispy (for the die-hard O’cockers)

Substitute for Drum: Sheapshead, Rock/Sriped Bass or Black Drum

Combine by hand leftover fish, potatoes, onions, eggs, and bits of bacon (optional).
Fry in vegetable oil or bake in oven.