North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Roanoke River Fisheries Reports - 2018

April 14-20, 2018

Sample Date

Area Sampled

Water Temp (oF)

Boat Ramp Used

4/16/2018

Wedlon

57

Weldon BAA

4/20/2018

Hwy 48 bridge

59

Gaston BAA

Species

Striped Bass

American Shad

Hickory Shad

Number Collected

61

59

 

Min. Size (in)

13

15

 

Max. Size (in)

24

21

 

Max. Weight (lb)

6.7

3

 

Sex Ratio (M:F)

29.5

2.7:1

 

Fisheries Biologists conducting sampling:

Katy Potoka, Chris Smith, and Jeremy McCargo

 

Biologists’ Observations:

American Shad are spawning near the Gaston Boating Access Area, most fish are sticking close to the Hwy. 48 bridge and some activity was observed along the shoreline; we also collected 6 Striped Bass along the shoreline. We started seeing Striped Bass arriving in pulses in the Weldon area. Anglers reported catching some keepers but catching a good number of short fish. With warming temperatures and the recent flood pulse flows from Roanoke Rapids dam, Striped Bass should be pulled up to the Weldon area over the weekend. Still no big Striped Bass caught at Weldon, largest one was around 24 inches with most in the 15-20 inch range. Some Hickory Shad were observed but much fewer than last week. We will be sampling at Weldon on Monday the 23rd and Gaston on Thursday the 26th.

 

River level and other water quality observations:

Flows on the upper Roanoke were low at the beginning of the week and increased moderately by the end of the week, approximately 6,000-10,000 cfs. Check the links on this page for current water levels.

 

Weather conditions on sampling date:

During sampling air temperatures were around 60-65 degrees F, clear skies and windy.

 

Observations of people fishing on the river:

Two fishing parties were observed near the Gaston BAA, one was in the tail race while another group of kayakers floated down to Weldon. Anglers were fishing below big rock and near the s-curves; few anglers were observed fishing around the rapids and in little river.

4/30/2018

Upper River: Striped Bass catches have increased at Weldon and Edwards Ferry Boating Access Areas over the last week. Most anglers are finding a few keeper-sized Striped Bass among many short fish.

Lower River: Striped Bass catch has been scattered throughout the lower river over the last week. A few keepers and small fish were reported at Jamesville and Williamston. At Hamilton, a few anglers reported good catches of Striped Bass but didn’t land any keepers.

 

 

Shad and Striped Bass Regulations for the Roanoke 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. No Striped Bass between 22 inches and 27 inches in total length may be possessed at any time, and only one fish greater than 27 inches may be included in the daily creel limit of two fish. Striped Bass may only be harvested March 1–April 30 unless the season is extended or closed early by proclamation.

 

Jeremy McCargo, Anadromous Research Coordinator of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), shared creel survey information collected from different stretches along the Roanoke River. The Roanoke River Creel Survey is designed and administered by the NCWRC through Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration funding to estimate angler effort, catch, and harvest of Striped Bass in the Roanoke River Management Area.


A large female American Shad collected near the Gaston Boating Access Area on April 20th.

April 7-13, 2018

Sample Date

Area Sampled

Water Temp (oF)

Boat Ramp Used

4/9/2018

Weldon

54

Weldon BAA

4/12/2018

Hwy 48 bridge

56

Gaston BAA

Species

Striped Bass

American Shad

Hickory Shad

Number Collected

25

95

 

Min. Size (in)

13

15

 

Max. Size (in)

23

22

 

Max. Weight (lb)

5.7

3.7

 

Sex Ratio (M:F)

5:1

4:1

 

Fisheries Biologists conducting sampling:

Katy Potoka, Chris Smith, and Jeremy McCargo

 

Biologists’ Observations:

American Shad are arriving in good numbers on the spawning grounds, near the Gaston Boating Access Area. Most fish are staying around the bridge and middle of the river, while some larger individuals were observed below the paper plant bridge. A handful of Striped Bass was observed near the Gaston Boating Access Area as well; however, anglers reported fewer catches at that location. Striped Bass are beginning to show up around the Weldon area, and with warming water temperatures and this week’s increased flows, more Striped Bass should be congregating this weekend into the next few weeks. We didn’t catch any big Striped Bass this week, and most were between 16-20 inches. Hickory Shad were still abundant around the Weldon area this week.

 

River level and other water quality observations:

Flows on the upper Roanoke were moderate, approximately 11,500-12,000 cfs. Check the links on this page for current and projected water levels.

 

Weather conditions on sampling date:

During sampling, air temperatures were around 60-65 degrees F with clear skies and windy conditions.

 

Observations of people fishing on the river:

One fisherman was observed at the Weldon Boating Access Area on Monday. Three fishing parties were observed at the Gaston Boating Access Area on Thursday, one party was fishing for catfish, one party caught one Striped Bass, and the third party caught their limit of shad.

April 7–13

Upper River (Roanoke Rapids Dam to Scotland Neck)

Rain last Saturday slowed the fishing effort, but a few keeper Striped Bass were reported from Weldon on Sunday. Anglers reported decent Striped Bass catches during the week, but fishing is still a bit slow. Although electrofishing surveys indicate plenty of Hickory Shad are still around Weldon, very few anglers fished for shad this week.

 

Lower Region (Scotland Neck to Plymouth) 

Striped Bass are still scattered throughout the lower river. A few keepers were harvested at Jamesville and Williamston this week, and anglers reported catching some small fish as well.

 

Shad and Striped Bass Regulations for the Roanoke 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. No Striped Bass between 22 inches and 27 inches in total length may be possessed at any time, and only one fish greater than 27 inches may be included in the daily creel limit of two fish. Striped Bass may only be harvested March 1–April 30 unless the season is extended or closed early by proclamation.

 

Jeremy McCargo, Anadromous Research Coordinator of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), shared creel survey information collected from different stretches along the Roanoke River. The Roanoke River Creel Survey is designed and administered by the NCWRC through Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration funding to estimate angler effort, catch, and harvest of Striped Bass in the Roanoke River Management Area.

 


Conservation technician, Dylan Keller, with a Striped Bass collected from the Roanoke River near the Gaston BAA.

March 31-April 6, 2018

Sample Date

Area Sampled

Water Temp (oF)

Boat Ramp Used

4/2/2018

Hwy 48 bridge to powerlines

50

Gaston BAA

4/3/2018

Hwy 48 bridge to powerlines

53

Gaston BAA

4/5/2018

Hwy 48 bridge to powerlines

53

Gaston BAA

4/6/2018

Hwy 48 bridge to powerlines

52

Gaston BAA

Species

Striped Bass

American Shad

Hickory Shad

Number Collected

 

300

 

Min. Size (in)

 

 

 

Max. Size (in)

 

 

 

Max. Weight (lb)

 

 

 

Sex Ratio (M:F)

 

 

 

Fisheries Biologists conducting sampling:

Katy Potoka, Chris Smith, and Jeremy McCargo

 

Biologists’ Observations:

We collected broodfish for the Roanoke River American Shad restoration project this week. We sent 300 American Shad to the Commission’s Watha State Fish Hatchery and the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Edenton National Fish Hatchery where they will spawn millions of eggs during the next two months. The resulting fry will be stocked back into the Roanoke River at Weldon and upstream of Roanoke Rapids Dam. American Shad were relatively abundant on the spawning grounds this week, and more are still migrating upriver. Hickory Shad numbers are decreasing in the upper river as their spawning season comes to an end. Striped Bass are still migrating upriver as well. Most reports indicate they are not yet on the spawning grounds near Weldon in any significant numbers; however, we will have a better idea of the status of the Striped Bass spawning run when we begin weekly Striped Bass electrofishing surveys at Weldon next week.

 

River level and other water quality observations:

The river level was approximately 9,000 cfs at the time of sampling and was higher than last week. Increased flows should provide more habitat for spawning fish and will cue Striped Bass and American Shad to move upstream. The water was cold and clear near Gaston.

 

Weather conditions on sampling date:

Warm and breezy.

 

Observations of people fishing on the river:

We observed several boats trying their luck at Gaston this week. One boat reported decent shad catches on Monday. Several bank anglers were also observed throughout the week.

March 31–April 6

Upper River (Roanoke Rapids Dam to Scotland Neck)

Anglers had some success fishing for Hickory Shad near Weldon Easter weekend, but shad fishing seems to be slowing down upriver throughout this week. A few small Striped Bass were reported from Weldon over the weekend as well.

 

Lower Region (Scotland Neck to Plymouth) 

Striped Bass fishing effort was high on Saturday before Easter in the lower river, but anglers told our creel clerks that the fishing was pretty slow. Effort was lighter during the week. We documented a few keeper-sized Striped Bass in Jamesville over the weekend and at Williamston on Tuesday. Catch and release of small fish was also reported.

 

Shad and Striped Bass Regulations for the Roanoke 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. No Striped Bass between 22 inches and 27 inches in total length may be possessed at any time, and only one fish greater than 27 inches may be included in the daily creel limit of two fish. Striped Bass may only be harvested March 1–April 30 unless the season is extended or closed early by proclamation.

 

Jeremy McCargo, Anadromous Research Coordinator of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), shared creel survey information collected from different stretches along the Roanoke River. The Roanoke River Creel Survey is designed and administered by the NCWRC through Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration funding to estimate angler effort, catch, and harvest of Striped Bass in the Roanoke River Management Area.


NCWRC fisheries biologist Chris Smith and USFWS hatchery technician Brandi Potter holding two American Shad that were sent to the Edenton National Fish Hatchery to support the Roanoke River American Shad restoration program.

March 24-30, 2018

Sample Date

Area Sampled

Water Temp (oF)

Boat Ramp Used

3/29/2018

Hwy 48 bridge to powerlines

50

Gaston BAA

Species

Striped Bass

American Shad

Hickory Shad

Number Collected

 

71

2

Min. Size (in)

 

15

15

Max. Size (in)

 

21

16

Max. Weight (lb)

 

4.4

 

Sex Ratio (M:F)

 

6:1

males

Fisheries Biologists conducting sampling:

Chris Smith and Jeremy McCargo

 

Biologists’ Observations:

American Shad are still migrating to the spawning grounds of the Roanoke River. Numbers will be increasing as water temperatures continue to rise. Hickory Shad are near their peak and will soon be heading back downstream. Striped Bass have yet to arrive on the spawning grounds near Weldon but should be continuing their spawning run in the weeks to come. We will begin sampling for stripers in April.

 

River level and other water quality observations:

The river level was 6,600 cfs at the time of sampling and was higher than last week. Increased flows should provide more habitat for spawning fish and will cue Striped Bass and American Shad to move upstream. The water was cold and clear near Gaston.

 

Weather conditions on sampling date:

Warm and breezy.

 

Observations of people fishing on the river:

One boat was fishing in the morning, and four anglers fishing from the bank near midday.

March 24–30

Upper River (Roanoke Rapids Dam to Scotland Neck)

Anglers continue to have success fishing for Hickory Shad near Weldon. Rising water this week may have moved the fish around a bit, but creel clerks indicate angling parties were catching big numbers of Hickory Shad at Weldon. Striped Bass have yet to make it upriver.

 

Lower Region (Scotland Neck to Plymouth) 

Creel clerks continue to report scattered success for Striped Bass anglers in the lower Roanoke River. Anglers have reported catching small stripers in Jamesville and Williamston, but keepers have been rare so far this season.

 

Shad and Striped Bass Regulations for the Roanoke 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. No Striped Bass between 22 inches and 27 inches in total length may be possessed at any time, and only one fish greater than 27 inches may be included in the daily creel limit of two fish. Striped Bass may only be harvested March 1–April 30 unless the season is extended or closed early by proclamation.

 

Jeremy McCargo, Anadromous Research Coordinator of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), shared creel survey information collected from different stretches along the Roanoke River. The Roanoke River Creel Survey is designed and administered by the NCWRC through Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration funding to estimate angler effort, catch, and harvest of Striped Bass in the Roanoke River Management Area.

 


Jeremy McCargo, Anadromous Research Coordinator for NCWRC, with an American Shad collected from the Roanoke River.

March 17-23, 2018

Sample Date

Area Sampled

Water Temp (oF)

Boat Ramp Used

3/22/2018

Hwy 48 bridge

50

Gaston BAA

Species

Striped Bass

American Shad

Hickory Shad

Number Collected

 

22

 

Min. Size (in)

 

16

 

Max. Size (in)

 

20

 

Max. Weight (lb)

 

2.6

 

Sex Ratio (M:F)

 

1.75:1

 

Fisheries Biologists conducting sampling:

Katy Potoka and Chris Smith

 

Biologists’ Observations:

Flows were low and plenty of rocks were exposed or just under the surface, the shad were congregated in deeper areas around boulders. Much of the river was inaccessible but American Shad and Hickory Shad are moving up the Roanoke.

 

River level and other water quality observations:

Flows on the upper Roanoke were low, approximately 2,400 cfs. Check the links on this page for current water levels.

 

Weather conditions on sampling date:

During sampling air temperatures were around 45 degrees F, clear skies and windy.

 

Observations of people fishing on the river:

No fishermen were observed

March 17–23

Upper River (Roanoke Rapids Dam to Scotland Neck)

Despite the low water, anglers have been having good luck with Hickory Shad in the Weldon area. Boat anglers should use extreme caution navigating the upper Roanoke River during low water.

 

Lower Region (Scotland Neck to Plymouth) 

Creel clerks have reported scattered success for Striped Bass anglers in the lower River. The recent cold weather trend has slowed the action, but we recorded decent catches of Striped Bass around Plymouth and Jamesville last week.

 

Shad and Striped Bass Regulations for the Roanoke 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. No Striped Bass between 22 inches and 27 inches in total length may be possessed at any time, and only one fish greater than 27 inches may be included in the daily creel limit of two fish. Striped Bass may only be harvested March 1–April 30 unless the season is extended or closed early by proclamation.

 

Jeremy McCargo, Anadromous Research Coordinator of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), shared creel survey information collected from different stretches along the Roanoke River. The Roanoke River Creel Survey is designed and administered by the NCWRC through Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration funding to estimate angler effort, catch, and harvest of Striped Bass in the Roanoke River Management Area.

 

Assistant Fisheries Biologist Chris Smith holds a Largemouth Bass while Conservation Technician Bernie Jeffries holds a female American Shad collected near the highway 48 bridge on the Roanoke River.

 

Related Information


Click here to view map.
Note: This map is to be used for general informational purposes only and not for navigation of the Roanoke River. Rocks, logs, and other hazards are likely to be encountered anywhere in this area.
 


Click here to view map.
Note: This map of the Roanoke River Boating Access Areas is to be used for general informational purposes only.