RE: SPOTTED SEATROUT
Dr. Louis B. Daniel III, Director, Division of Marine Fisheries, hereby announces that effective 12:01 A.M. Thursday, February 17, 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 except that a commercial fishing operation is allowed a bycatch allowance of 10% of the commercial catch other than spotted seatrout, not to exceed 50 pounds of spotted seatrout.
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. It is unlawful for a commercial fishing operation to possess or sell spotted seatrout for commercial purposes from midnight on Friday to midnight on Sunday each week. This harvest restriction is effective year-round in accordance with Proclamation FF-82-2010, dated November 23, 2010.
E. It is the intent of the Fisheries Director to open the spotted seatrout season for commercial and recreational fishing by proclamation on June 15, 2011 after surviving fish have had the opportunity to spawn.
F. This proclamation supersedes Proclamation FF-7-2011, dated January 12, 2011.
February 14, 2011