By Associated Press - Friday, June 29, 2018

WASHINGTON, N.C. (AP) - There were fewer fishing trips and fewer fish caught along the North Carolina coast last year.

Information from the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries shows those engaged in recreational fishing made about 4.5 million trips last year. That included shoreline or pier fishing, charter boats, private boats or in man-made ponds near the coast.

The agency says that’s down from 5.4 million fishing trips in 2016. Officials say Hurricanes Jose and Maria were part of the reason for last year’s decline.

The number of fish caught was also down in 2017. The number of fish caught dropped from 8.6 million in 2016 to 5.5 million last year.

Carolina Beach charter captain Charlie Schoonmaker said he thinks much of the decline was because of a lack of fish.

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