Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective 12:00 Noon, Friday, January 14, 2011, the following will apply to spotted seatrout:
I. HARVEST RESTRICTIONS
It is unlawful to possess spotted seatrout in coastal and joint fishing waters of North Carolina.
II. GENERAL INFORMATION
A. This proclamation is issued under the authority of N.C.G. S. 113-170.4; 113-170.5; 113-182; 113-221.1; 143B-289.52 and N.C. Fisheries Rules 15A NCAC 03H .0103, and 03M .0512.
B. It is unlawful to violate the provisions of any proclamation issued by the Fisheries Director under his delegated authority pursuant to N.C. Marine Fisheries Rule 15A NCAC 03H .0103.
C. This action is being taken in response to recent cold stun events affecting mainly spotted seatrout. The intent of this action is to prevent harvest of vulnerable cold stunned fish which may recover with warming water temperatures. In approving the Spotted Seatrout Fishery Management Plan, the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission authorized the Director to intervene in the event of a catastrophic event and do what is necessary in terms of temporary closures.
D. Licensed finfish dealers will have until January 20, 2011 to sell, offer for sale, transport or have in possession unfrozen spotted seatrout taken in this fishery prior to the closure.