RALEIGH, N.C. — The state Division of Marine Fisheries has closed spotted seatrout season in North Carolina waters because the fish are washing up on shore because of the recent cold weather.

A news release issued this week said the division closed the season on Jan. 5. It will remain closed until June 15.

Officials have confirmed significant numbers of cold-stunned spotted seatrout in six locations from Surf City to Manteo.

Cold stuns are natural events that occur when there is a sudden drop in water temperature or prolonged periods of cold weather that make the fish sluggish or even kill them.

Steve Poland, a spotted seatrout biologist for the division, is telling people to leave the fish alone if they see one, but to report what they see to the division.

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