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Outdoors: Cold halts trout fishing

For the first time, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries has closed all speckled trout fishing in North Carolina waters because of cold weather.
The moratorium for commercial and recreational anglers continues until the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission decides it should be lifted. The Commissionís next meeting is in three weeks at Pine Knoll Shores.
No one is allowed to catch, possess or sell specks until the ban is lifted.
ěThis action is being taken in response to recent cold-stun events affecting mainly spotted seatrout,î said Dr. Louis Daniel, the Marine Fisheries Commissionís executive director.
The proclamation was posted Jan. 11 on the divisionís website.
ěThe intent of this action is to prevent harvest of vulnerable cold-stunned fish which may recover with warming water temperatures,î Daniel said.
The catch-and-possession closure for specks will include all North Carolina waters, even as far south as the South Carolina line ń areas that traditionally donít experience long periods of extremely cold weather.
Licensed fish dealers have until Jan. 20 to sell, offer for sale, transport or have in possession unfrozen spotted seatrout taken in the fishery prior to the closure.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources, which controls fishing in inland waters, has yet to announce a prohibition for recreational fishing for specks in the waters it manages.

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