RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The state Division of Marine Fisheries has closed spotted seatrout season in North Carolina waters because the fish are washing up on shore because of the recent cold weather.
A news release issued this week said the division closed the season on Jan. 5. It will remain closed until June 15.
Officials have confirmed significant numbers of cold-stunned spotted seatrout in six locations from Surf City to Manteo.
Cold stuns are natural events that occur when there is a sudden drop in water temperature or prolonged periods of cold weather that make the fish sluggish or even kill them.
Steve Poland, a spotted seatrout biologist for the division, is telling people to leave the fish alone if they see one, but to report what they see to the division.