The estuarine trawl fishery in North Carolina is composed of two harvesting sectors, shrimp and crab trawls. The incidental capture of juvenile finfish and shellfish in conjunction with these fisheries has long been a concern to managers, fishermen, and the public alike. The magnitude of the bycatch is highly variable, influenced by, time, area, depth, and bottom and gear characteristics. Unfortunately, adequate fishery-independent and dependent data are unavailable to quantitatively address this problem. There is general agreement among all concerned that methods that reduce bycatch through manipulation of existing gears or by developing new gears that are species specific need to be examined. The objectives of this study were to: (1) test two tailbag sizes (4 in and 4.5 in) and a belly trawl in crab trawls; (2) develop and test various shrimp pot designs; and (3) examine the feasibility of using cast nets to harvest brown shrimp in the Pamlico Sound complex.