North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Neuse River Fisheries Reports - 2018

April 14-20, 2018

Sample Date

Area Sampled

Water Temp (oF)

Boat Ramp Used

4/16/18

Goldsboro

66

Cox Ferry BAA & Goldsboro BAA

4/17/18

Raleigh & Goldsboro

57, 63

Anderson Pt BAA & Cox Ferry BAA

4/18/18

Smithfield & Goldsboro

59, 63

Smithfield BAA & Stevens Mill

4/19/18

Goldsboro

63

Goldsboro BAA

Species

Striped Bass

American Shad

Hickory Shad

Number Collected Weekly

32

76

0

Min. Size (in)

15

15

 

Max. Size (in)

29

22

 

Max. Weight (lb)

10

4

 

Sex Ratio Weekly (M:F)

5.2:1

1.7:1

 

Fisheries Biologists conducting sampling: Courtney Buckley and Ben Ricks

 

 

Biologists’ Observations:

American Shad have shown up in good numbers on the spawning grounds in Goldsboro and Raleigh, although catches in Raleigh were a little lower this week.  The best American Shad fishing in the Neuse River will occur over the next few weeks. Striped Bass are starting to move upriver, and a few have made it to Goldsboro and further upstream.  Fish activity should increase in the coming weeks as water temperatures warm.    

 

River level and other water quality observations:

 

The water levels have risen due recent rains.  Water temperatures have cooled off a bit due to the increased flows but should continue to rise next week.

 

Weather conditions on sampling date:

 

Windy, Partly Sunny, 50 to 70°F

 

Observations of people fishing on the river:

 

3 Striped Bass anglers were seen on the river this week.

April 14-20

Upper Region (Goldsboro to Raleigh)

Overall catch and fishing effort was low this past week. A few bream were caught in Raleigh, and some catfish were caught outside of Goldsboro. There has been an increase in anglers targeting striped bass, but no one we intercepted successfully caught any. Also, the amount of shad anglers has been steadily declining.

 

Central Region (Core Creek to Seven Springs, Goldsboro Area)  

There was a decrease in shad anglers, but reports of a few shad still being landed were documented. Anglers targeting striped bass picked up a few keepers. The rest of fishing was typical springtime fishing activity where anglers were targeting largemouth bass, catfish, and sunfish. Wind and rainy weather last week resulted in low fishing activity.

Lower Region (Spring Garden to New Bern)

Anglers experienced good catches of spotted seatrout, and a few striped bass were caught near Lee's Landing. In the Trent River, one hickory shad was caught. Anglers targeting other species in the Trent River were catching black crappie, largemouth bass, and the largest catch of white perch we've seen in the area.

Shad and Striped Bass Regulations for the Neuse River

The daily bag limit per angler is 10 Hickory Shad and American Shad in combination, only one of which can be an American Shad.

 

The daily creel limit for Striped Bass is two fish per angler, and the minimum size limit is 18 inches. In the inland and joint waters of the Neuse River, no Striped Bass between 22 inches and 27 inches in total length shall be retained in the daily creel limit. Striped Bass may only be harvested October 1–April 30.

 

Dr. Drew Cathey of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) shared some creel survey information collected from different stretches along the Neuse River. The creel surveys are conducted during March, April, and May in the upper portions of the Tar, Neuse, and Cape Fear rivers. The surveys are administered by the Division of Marine Fisheries through Coastal Recreational Fishing License funding, and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission assists with survey design and data interpretation in the upper portions of each river.  

 


NCWRC Fisheries Biologist Courtney Buckley with a Striped Bass from the Neuse River collected in Goldsboro NC. 

April 7-13, 2018

Sample Date

Area Sampled

Water Temp (oF)

Boat Ramp Used

4/9/18

Raleigh

56

Anderson Point BAA

4/10/18

Above Goldsboro

55

Cox Ferry BAA

4/11/18

Maple Cyprus

57

Maple Cyprus BAA

4/12/18

Above Goldsboro

57

Cox Ferry BAA

Species

Striped Bass

American Shad

Hickory Shad

Number Collected Weekly

8

88

0

Min. Size (in)

15

15

 

Max. Size (in)

27

22

 

Max. Weight (lb)

7

4

 

Sex Ratio Weekly (M:F)

1:1

1.4:1

 

Fisheries Biologists conducting sampling:

Courtney Buckley and Ben Ricks

 

Biologists’ Observations:

Hickory Shad abundances have decreased in the Neuse River, and spawning activity appears to be complete. American Shad have shown up in good numbers on the spawning grounds in Goldsboro and in Raleigh. The best American Shad fishing in the Neuse River is just starting. Striped Bass are staging in the lower Neuse River and are starting to move up river, but few have made it to Goldsboro yet.  Fish activity should increase in the coming weeks as water temperatures warm.     

 

River level and other water quality observations:

 

The water levels are falling, and the Neuse River is quite muddy.  Water temperatures are rising daily. We do not recommend launching a trailered vessel at Anderson Point in Raleigh at the water level as of April 13, 2018 (~750 cfs from Falls Dam). However, launching canoes and kayaks is possible, and many bank fishing opportunities are available along the upper Neuse River near Raleigh and Knightdale as well.

 

Weather conditions on sampling date:

 

Windy, Partly Sunny, 50 to 70°F

 

Observations of people fishing on the river:

 

Striped Bass, catfish, and crappie anglers were seen on the river this week, but little fishing activity was observed.

April 2–8

Upper Region (Goldsboro to Raleigh)

Anglers reported decent catches of catfish, crappie, and bluegill in Goldsboro. In Raleigh, anglers were catching an even mix of bream, catfish, and largemouth bass. Rainy weather slowed the angler activity towards the end of the week.

 

Central Region (Core Creek to Seven Springs, Goldsboro Area)  

Rising water levels were observed throughout last week. Hickory and American shad catches and angler activity have decreased from previous weeks. A few striped bass and catfish were caught this past week.

 

Lower Region (Spring Garden to New Bern)

Anglers reported good catches of striped bass in Lawson's Creek, Trent River, and Spring Garden. Anglers targeting other species saw good catches of largemouth bass, catfish, bream, and black crappie throughout the region.

 

Shad and Striped Bass Regulations for the Neuse River

The daily bag limit per angler is 10 Hickory Shad and American Shad in combination, only one of which can be an American Shad.

 

The daily creel limit for Striped Bass is two fish per angler, and the minimum size limit is 18 inches. In the inland and joint waters of the Neuse River, no Striped Bass between 22 inches and 27 inches in total length shall be retained in the daily creel limit. Striped Bass may only be harvested October 1–April 30.

 

Dr. Drew Cathey of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) shared creel survey information collected from different stretches along the Neuse River. The creel surveys are conducted during March, April, and May in the upper portions of the Tar, Neuse, and Cape Fear rivers. The surveys are administered by DMF through Coastal Recreational Fishing License funding, and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission assists with survey design and data interpretation in the upper portions of each river.  


NCWRC Fisheries Biologist Courtney Buckley with a huge White Bass collected from the Neuse River in Raleigh NC. 

March 31-April 6, 2018

Sample Date

Area Sampled

Water Temp (oF)

Boat Ramp Used

4/2/18

Above Goldsboro

48

Cox Ferry BAA

4/3/18

Above Goldsboro

48

Cox Ferry BAA

4/4/18

Below Seven Springs

63

Seven Springs BAA

Species

Striped Bass

American Shad

Hickory Shad

Number Collected Weekly

6

141

2

Min. Size (in)

18

15

12

Max. Size (in)

24

22

17

Max. Weight (lb)

4

3

1

Sex Ratio Weekly (M:F)

1:1

2:1

2:0

Fisheries Biologists conducting sampling:

Courtney Buckley and Ben Ricks

 

Biologists’ Observations:

Hickory Shad are decreasing in the Neuse River up to Goldsboro, and spawning activity is nearly over.  American Shad are beginning to show up in good numbers on the spawning grounds in Goldsboro.  The best American Shad fishing in the Neuse River is just starting. Striped Bass are staging in the lower Neuse River and are starting to move up river.  Fish activity should increase in the coming weeks as water temperatures warm.     

 

River level and other water quality observations:

 

The water levels are falling and the Neuse River is quite muddy.

 

Weather conditions on sampling date:

 

Windy, Partly Sunny, 30 to 60°F

 

Observations of people fishing on the river:

 

A few American Shad anglers were seen on the river this week, but little fishing activity was observed.

March 26–April 1

Upper Region (Goldsboro to Raleigh)

The water level was higher at many sites than previous weeks. Angler participation and catch was low. Some American shad and catfish were reported at Milburnie Park in Raleigh at the beginning of the week.

Central Region (Core Creek to Seven Springs, Goldsboro Area)  

Rising water levels were observed throughout the week. Hickory and American shad catches and angler activity have decreased from previous weeks. A few striped bass and catfish were caught this past week.

 

Lower Region (Spring Garden to New Bern)

Anglers were catching a few legal striped bass and hickory shad near Spring Garden despite windy conditions. Some striped bass and a 14-inch spotted seatrout were also caught at Lee's Landing.

 

Shad and Striped Bass Regulations for the Neuse River

The daily bag limit per angler is 10 Hickory Shad and American Shad in combination, only one of which can be an American Shad.

 

The daily creel limit for Striped Bass is two fish per angler, and the minimum size limit is 18 inches. In the inland and joint waters of the Neuse River, no Striped Bass between 22 inches and 27 inches in total length shall be retained in the daily creel limit. Striped Bass may only be harvested October 1–April 30.

 

Dr. Drew Cathey of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) shared creel survey information collected from different stretches along the Neuse River. The creel surveys are conducted during March, April, and May in the upper portions of the Tar, Neuse, and Cape Fear rivers. The surveys are administered by DMF through Coastal Recreational Fishing License funding, and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission assists with survey design and data interpretation in the upper portions of each river.  


NCWRC Fisheries Volunteer Avery Midget with a Trent River Striped Bass collected near Pollocksville, NC.  This fish was tagged with a high reward tag.  For more information on the tagging program see (http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/striped-bass-tag).

March 24-30, 2018

Sample Date

Area Sampled

Water Temp (oF)

Boat Ramp Used

3/28/18

Above Goldsboro

50

Cox Ferry BAA

Species

Striped Bass

American Shad

Hickory Shad

Number Collected Weekly

2

5

15

Min. Size (in)

23

15

12

Max. Size (in)

24

22

17

Max. Weight (lb)

4

3

1

Sex Ratio Weekly (M:F)

1:1

4:1

3:1

Fisheries Biologists conducting sampling:

Courtney Buckley and Ben Ricks

 

Biologists’ Observations:

Hickory Shad are prevalent in the Neuse River up to Goldsboro, but numbers are decreasing and spawning activity is beginning to wane.  American Shad are beginning to show up on the spawning grounds in Goldsboro.  The best American Shad fishing in the Neuse River should begin soon. Striped Bass are staging in the lower Neuse River but have yet to start moving up river in large schools.  Recent cooler weather and rains have cooled the water significantly and have limited fish activity and migrations.  Striped Bass activity should increase in the coming weeks as water temperatures warm.     

 

River level and other water quality observations:

 

The water level has risen, is quite turbid, and water temperatures have cooled off significantly. 

 

Weather conditions on sampling date:

 

Windy, Overcast, 30 to 60°F

 

Observations of people fishing on the river:

 

Shad anglers have been observed in the area from Goldsboro to Maple Cyprus. There have been a few anglers looking for Striped Bass mostly in the lower Neuse River.   

March 19–25

Upper Region (Raleigh to Goldsboro)

Overall fishing effort and success were very low this past week and weekend. Most anglers were targeting shad and catfish with little to no success. A few Hickory Shad were reportedly caught near Raleigh over the weekend. Despite low fishing success, anglers have reported that the shad run is currently occurring in the upper Neuse.

 

Central Region (Core Creek to Seven Springs, Goldsboro Area)  

Lower Hickory Shad catches from previous weeks, however the catch was still good. The best catches of shad were in the Maple Cypress area. Rising water levels from Kinston to Seven Springs slowed down the fishing between those areas. 

 

Lower Region (Spring Garden to New Bern)

Best Catch this last week was at Lee's Landing. Anglers were catching Striped Bass (some slot sized), Red Drum, and several legal sized Spotted Seatrout. Unfavorable weather resulted in low fishing effort and success for the rest of the week.

 

Shad and Striped Bass Regulations for the Neuse River

The daily bag limit per angler is 10 Hickory Shad and American Shad in combination, only one of which can be an American Shad.

 

The daily creel limit for Striped Bass is two fish per angler, and the minimum size limit is 18 inches. In the inland and joint waters of the Neuse River, no Striped Bass between 22 inches and 27 inches in total length shall be retained in the daily creel limit. Striped Bass may only be harvested October 1–April 30.

 

Dr. Drew Cathey of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) shared creel survey information collected from different stretches along the Neuse River. The creel surveys are conducted during March, April, and May in the upper portions of the Tar, Neuse, and Cape Fear rivers. The surveys are administered by DMF through Coastal Recreational Fishing License funding, and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission assists with survey design and data interpretation in the upper portions of each river.  


NCWRC Fisheries Biologist Ben Ricks with a Neuse River Striped Bass collected near Goldsboro, NC.  This fish was tagged with a high reward tag.  For more information on the tagging program see http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/striped-bass-tag

March 10-16, 2018

Sample Date

Area Sampled

Water Temp (oF)

Boat Ramp Used

3/7/18

Goldsboro

48

Cox Ferry BAA

3/14/18

Goldsboro

50

Cox Ferry BAA

Species

Striped Bass

American Shad

Hickory Shad

Number Collected

1

36

6

Min. Size (in)

20

16

14

Max. Size (in)

 

22

17

Max. Weight (lb)

3

3

1

Sex Ratio (M:F)

1:0

2:1

2:1

BIOLOGISTS’ OBSERVATIONS & RIVER CONDITIONS

 

Fisheries Biologists conducting sampling:

Courtney Buckley and Ben Ricks

 

Biologists’ Observations:

Hickory Shad are prevalent in the Neuse River up to Kinston and are building in numbers around Goldsboro.  American Shad are beginning to show up on the spawning grounds in Goldsboro.  Striped Bass are staging in the lower Neuse River and are in decent numbers up to the Maple Cyprus area.  Largemouth Bass in good numbers and larger sizes are also being observed from in the Maple Cyprus area.     

 

River level and other water quality observations:

The water level is low to medium but the recent rain has turbidity quite high.

 

Weather conditions on sampling date:

Windy, Clear, 50 to 60°F

 

Observations of people fishing on the river:

Shad anglers were numerous last week but have tapered off since the cold front.  There have been a few anglers looking for Striped Bass mostly in the lower Neuse River.   

Upper Region (Goldsboro to Raleigh)

Despite decent weather, fishing effort was down and no fish were landed last week. A shad tournament occurred last Saturday in Goldsboro, and a few hickory and American shad were caught around Cox's Ferry.

 

Central Region (Core Creek to Seven Springs, Goldsboro Area)  

Good catches of hickory shad from Pitchkettle Creek to Seven Springs. There were increased landings of striped bass in the lower reaches of the Neuse around Maple Cyprus.

 

Lower Region (Spring Garden to New Bern)

Shad catch was up from Spring Garden to Cowpen landing (*also, a fishing guide captain reported that they caught around 150 shad near Spring Garden). One striped bass caught in Lawson creek. In Pollocksville, people were catching some crappie, catfish, and a few largemouth bass.

 

Shad and Striped Bass Regulations for the Neuse River

The daily bag limit per angler is 10 Hickory Shad and American Shad in combination, only one of which can be an American Shad.

 

The daily creel limit for Striped Bass is two fish per angler, and the minimum size limit is 18 inches. In the inland and joint waters of the Neuse River, no Striped Bass between 22 inches and 27 inches in total length shall be retained in the daily creel limit. Striped Bass may only be harvested October 1–April 30.

 

Dr. Drew Cathey of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) shared some creel survey information collected from different stretches along the Nesue River. The creel surveys are conducted during March, April, and May in the upper portions of the Tar, Neuse, and Cape Fear rivers. The surveys are administered by the Division of Marine Fisheries through Coastal


NCWRC Fisheries Biologist Courtney Buckley with a Neuse River American Shad collected near Goldsboro, NC