New N.C. Spotted Seatrout Regulations Take Effect

Dr. Louis Daniel, director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, officially issued a statement which outlined the new recreational limits for spotted seatrout. These limited have been implemented as of today, Nov. 14, in coastal and joint waters.

These new recreational regulations also apply to inland fishing waters managed by the N.C. Wildlife Commission. A rule that went into effect in August standardized seasons and size and creel limits in inland waters for four saltwater fish species, including spotted seatrout, by referencing those recreational regulations set by the Marine Fisheries Commission in adjacent joint and coastal waters.

Effective Monday Nov. 14, the new recreational regulations for spotted seatrout will be a four-fish daily creel limit per person with a 14-inch minimum size limit. The regulations also eliminate the restriction that no more than two spotted seatrout larger than 24 inches may be kept in the daily creel.

Changes to the daily commercial trip limits and restrictions to the commercial and recreational use of gill nets, included in a separate proclamation, do not apply in inland fishing waters. The commercial harvest of spotted seatrout is not allowed in inland waters, and the use of gill nets, whether commercial or recreational, is prohibited in inland waters.

For more information on the proclamation, visit the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries website, or call 800-682-2632; 252-726-7021.

For more information on fishing in public, inland waters, visit

For more regulations news, click here.

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