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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 01 2018 NR Archives

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Date: Jan. 5, 2018
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021 or 252-342-0642

Waters close to commercial and recreational
spotted seatrout harvest

MOREHEAD CITY — The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries closed all coastal and joint waters to commercial and recreational spotted seatrout harvest at 3 p.m. today due to widespread cold stun events.

Cold stuns are natural events that occur when there is a sudden drop in water temperature or prolonged periods of cold weather that makes the fish sluggish. Many fish will die from the cold. Others fall prey to birds and other predators. Studies suggest that cold stun events can have a significant impact on spotted seatrout populations.

The division has confirmed significant spotted seatrout cold stun events in six water bodies from Surf City to Manteo. The division is still receiving and verifying more cold stun reports and collecting associated environmental data. These efforts will continue regardless of the closure so that the division may evaluate the magnitude of the cold stun event for use in future stock assessments.

Under 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 harvests until the spring. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission automatically closes spotted seatrout season in inland waters when it closes in adjacent coastal waters.

The intent of the closure is to allow the fish that survive the cold stun event the chance to spawn in the spring before harvest reopens. Peak spawning occurs in May.

The spotted seatrout season will remain closed until June 15, when it will reopen by proclamation.

Commercial seafood dealers have until Friday, Jan. 12 to dispose of unfrozen spotted seatrout in their possession that was caught prior to the closure.

For more specifics on the closure in coastal waters, see Proclamation FF-1-2018.

Fishermen should continue to report any cold stun events they see in coastal waters.

To report a cold stun event or for more information, contact division spotted seatrout biologist Steve Poland at 252-808-8159 or Steve.Poland@ncdenr.gov.


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Jan. 5, 2018
Phone: 252-726-7021

Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee to meet 

MOREHEAD CITY — The Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan Advisory Committee will meet at 6 p.m. Jan. 17 at the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Washington regional office, 943 Washington Square Mall, Washington.

The committee is meeting to continue assisting the Division of Marine Fisheries with development of Amendment 3 to the Blue Crab Fishery Management Plan. Agenda items include a general overview of the division stock assessment process. There will also be a presentation reviewing data sources considered for the blue crab stock assessment.

A full meeting agenda can be found here.

For more information, contact Jason Rock at Jason.Rock@ncdenr.gov or 252-948-3874 or Corrin Flora at Corrin.Flora@ncdenr.gov or 252-264-3911.

nr-2-2018


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Jan. 3, 2017
Phone: 252-342-0642

Hearing on proposed shellfish leases in
New Hanover County cancelled due to weather

MOREHEAD CITY — Due to the inclement weather forecast, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has cancelled a public hearing on proposed shellfish leases in New Hanover County that was set for Jan. 4 in Wilmington.

The division will reschedule the hearing and announce it at a later date.

The hearing was for several proposed shellfish leases in Masonboro Sound.

For more information, contact Michael Graven, with the division’s Habitat and Enhancement Section, at 252-808-8061 or Michael.Graven@ncdenr.gov.

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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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