New Spotted Seatrout Regulations to Take Effect

  • 22 November 2010
  • Number of views: 13001

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (Nov. 23, 2010) – New regulations for spotted seatrout will go into effect Nov. 30 for recreational and commercial fishermen in North Carolina coastal waters.

The recreational bag limit for spotted seatrout will decrease from 10 fish to six fish per person per day. No more than two of the six fish may be greater than 24 inches in length. The current 14-inch minimum size limit will remain in effect.

Commercial harvest of spotted seatrout (possession and sale) will be prohibited year-round from midnight on Friday to midnight on Sunday each week. The current 14-inch minimum size limit will remain in effect.

The coastal regulations are required to meet harvest reductions needed for the recovery of an overfished spotted seatrout stock.

In inland waters, under the jurisdiction of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, the minimum size limit will remain at 12-inches and the bag limit at 10 fish per person per day for the 2010-2011 fishing season. The minimum size limit for spotted seatrout will increase to 14 inches in inland fishing waters for the 2011-2012 fishing season, which begins Aug. 1, 2011. The daily creel limit will remain at 10 fish per day. 

The new recreational limits were adopted Nov. 4 in separate meetings of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

The weekend closure for commercial harvest of spotted seatrout was adopted by the Marine Fisheries Commission Monday. The weekend closure replaces a previous vote to close the commercial spotted seatrout season from Dec. 15 through Feb. 28.

Also at the meeting Monday, the Marine Fisheries Commission decided not to open waters south of Cape Lookout to the commercial harvest of menhaden with purse seines.

For more information on the coastal regulations, contact David Taylor, Fisheries Management Section chief with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries at (252) 808-8074 or The proclamations implementing the new spotted seatrout regulations may be viewed on the Division of Marine Fisheries website at and

For information on the inland regulations, contact Christian Waters with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission at (919) 707-0223 or Other regulations for inland waters can be viewed on the Wildlife Resources Commission website at

Media Contact:
Patricia Smith, Division of Marine Fisheries
(252) 726-7021


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