James A. Ruhle Sr., a well-known North Carolina captain and commercial fishing advocate, passed away Sept. 28 at age 75.

Ruhle was a 2004 recepient of National Fisherman’s Highliner award, recognizing his long dedication to responsible fisheries management and cooperative research. Ruhle served for nine years on the Mid-Atlantic Fishery Management Council and participated in numerous research projects with scientists.

Ruhle and his Wanchese, N.C.-based trawler Darana R were instrumental to the Northeast Area Monitoring and Assessment Program, a cooperative trawl survey of Mid-Atlantic and southern New England nearshore waters designed to fill data gaps for state and federal fisheries management.  

Born in Oceanside, N.Y. on Jan. 4, 1948, Ruhle moved to Wanchese age 15 and made his home there for more than 60 years. In 1966 he married his wife Kathy Daniels, who passed away May 4, 2023.

Jimmy Ruhle is survived by four children: Darana, Betsy, Bobby (Ina), and Stevie (Stephanie); four grandchildren: Laurin, Ethan, Lexi, and Kate; and his brother Billy. In addition to Kathy he was preceded in death by his son Jim, and brothers Phily, Tommy, and Bobby.

Donations in Jimmy Ruhle’s memory may be made to Bethany’s Joy Class (P.O. Box 239, Wanchese, NC 27981); the North Carolina Fisheries Association (NCFA, PO Box 86, Morehead City, NC 28557); or other commercial fisheries associations.


Have you listened to this article via the audio player above?

If so, send us your feedback around what we can do to improve this feature or further develop it. If not, check it out and let us know what you think via email or on social media.

Join the Conversation