Waters close to recreational and commercial harvest of spotted seatrout
MOREHEAD CITY – North
Carolina will close all coastal and inland waters to commercial and
recreational spotted seatrout harvest at noon Wednesday and remain closed until
Division of Marine Fisheries Director Louis Daniel issued a proclamation today
closing all coastal waters after cold stun events were confirmed on Friday and
Saturday in several coastal rivers, bays and creeks. Cold stun events were
confirmed in the Pamlico, Alligator, Pungo, Scuppernong, Trent, Neuse and Cape
Fear rivers; Chocowinity, Blounts and Chadwick bays; and Slades, Bath,
Cahooque, Hancock and Spooners creeks.
N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission rules, the spotted seatrout season automatically
closes in inland waters when it closes in adjacent coastal waters.
stun is a naturally occurring event. When
waters cool during the winter, spotted seatrout move to deeper, warmer waters in
the estuaries and ocean. But if there is a large drop in water temperature over
a short period of time, the fish may be stunned or die from it.
have found that cold stun events can have a significant impact on spotted
the N.C. Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan, if a significant cold stun
event occurs the Division of Marine Fisheries will close all spotted seatrout
harvest. The intent of the closure is to
allow the fish that survive the cold stun event the maximum change to spawn in
this spring. Peak spawning occurs in May.
dealers will have until Feb. 12 to dispose of unfrozen spotted seatrout taken
prior to the closure.