Carolina will close all coastal and inland waters to commercial and
recreational spotted seatrout harvest at noon Wednesday and they will
remain closed until June 15.
N.C. 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.
Wildlife Resources Commission rules, the spotted seatrout season
automatically closes in inland waters when it closes in adjacent
Cold-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.
Studies have found that cold-stun events can have a significant impact on spotted seatrout populations.
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 chance to spawn in
this spring. Peak spawning occurs in May.
Seafood dealers will have until Feb. 12 to dispose of unfrozen spotted seatrout taken prior to the closure.
For more specifics on the closure in coastal waters, see Proclamation FF-9-2014 at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations.
For more information, contact Chip Collier with the Division of Marine Fisheries at 910-796-7291 or [email protected].