North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Roanoke River Fisheries Reports - 2018

May 12-18, 2018

Sample Date

Area Sampled

Water Temp (oF)

Boat Ramp Used

5/14/2018

Weldon BAA to powerlines

70

Weldon BAA

5/15/2018

Hwy 48 bridge to powerlines

72

Gaston BAA

Species

Striped Bass

American Shad

Hickory Shad

Number Collected

275

35

 

Min. Size (in)

10

14

 

Max. Size (in)

27

20

 

Max. Weight (lb)

9

2

 

Sex Ratio (M:F)

8:1

2:1

 

Fisheries Biologists conducting sampling:

Katy Potoka, Chris Smith. and Jeremy McCargo

 

Biologists’ Observations:

Striped Bass began spawning last week, as water temperatures remained in the 70s. Spawning activity is expected to continue this week. Anglers were catching good numbers of Striped Bass between big rock and the Weldon Boating Access Area. 

 

River level and other water quality observations:

Flows on the upper Roanoke were approximately 6,000 cfs. Check links on this page for current water levels.

 

Weather conditions on sampling date:

During sampling, air temperatures were approximately 90 degrees F, sunny and windy.

 

Observations of people fishing on the river:

Most fishing parties were around big rock and the rapids near the boat ramp; however, a few angling parties were successful downstream near the powerlines.

May 12-18

We are only operating our creel survey at the Weldon Boating Access Area during the closed-harvest season in May. Anglers in Weldon reported excellent catches of Striped Bass last weekend and during the early part of this week. Anglers also reported seeing numerous "rock fights" on Monday and Tuesday, indicating Striped Bass spawning activitiy. Despite the rain forecast on Thursday, the few anglers who ventured out caught good numbers of Striped Bass. Live bait is still working, but fly fishermen are also having success. Anglers are again reminded to minimize handling of striped bass during the catch and release season. Stress and injury to the fish can be reduced by using barbless hooks, keeping the fish in the water during release, and using dehooking tools when necessary.

 

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, Christopher Smith, with a Striped Bass collected near Weldon, NC.

 

May 5-11, 2018

Sample Date

Area Sampled

Water Temp (oF)

Boat Ramp Used

5/7/2018

Weldon, The Gap to Big Rock

66

Weldon BAA

5/9/2018

Hwy 48 bridge to powerlines

65

Gaston BAA

Species

Striped Bass

American Shad

Hickory Shad

Number Collected

436

25

 

Min. Size (in)

11

16

 

Max. Size (in)

32

21

 

Max. Weight (lb)

16

3.3

 

Sex Ratio (M:F)

20:1

3:1

 

Fisheries Biologists conducting sampling:

Katy Potoka, Chris Smith, and Jeremy McCargo

 

Biologists’ Observations:

 

Striped Bass abundance increased at Weldon this week. A few Striped Bass were still present around the Hwy 48 bridge near Gaston, but the highest concentrations of stripers were near Weldon. Water temperatures have increased to the preferred spawning range. We expect that spawning has begun and should be peaking soon. Water levels should fall a bit more this weekend because discharge from Roanoke Rapids Dam is scheduled to be around 6,000 cfs. Be sure to check links on this website for current water level conditions. American Shad numbers are starting to decrease on the spawning grounds near Gaston. A few female American Shad still contained eggs, but most were spent indicating their spawning run is nearing completion.

 

River level and other water quality observations:

Weldon – water was relatively high with discharge from Roanoke Rapids dam of 15,000 cfs.

Gaston – flows dropped to around 9,000 cfs on Wednesday morning.

Water temperatures were around 66oF.

 

Weather conditions on sampling date:

Warm and sunny

 

Observations of people fishing on the river:

Weldon – Anglers were fishing upstream and downstream of the boat ramp. All seemed to be catching good numbers of fish on Monday.

Gaston- a couple of boat anglers were out on the river, and several anglers were fishing from the bank around the boat ramp.

May 5-11

Upper River (Roanoke Rapids Dam to Scotland Neck)

The Striped Bass harvest season on the Roanoke River ended at midnight Sunday, May 6. During the last two days of the harvest season and the first week of catch-and-release season, striped bass fishing has been excellent at Weldon. Many boats are reporting catches of 100 or more fish in a day. Anglers using live bait have been catching the most fish, but artificial lures can be successful as well. We would like to remind anglers that single, barbless hooks are required on the upper Roanoke River through June 30. Barbless hooks, along with other practices such as using dehookers and keeping fish in the water while removing the hook, can reduce injury and stress-induced mortality of released stripers especially during warm weather like we are currently experiencing. Download a catch-and-release pamphlet here. (http://www.ncwildlife.org/Portals/0/Fishing/documents/Striper_Info%20_Card.pdf)

 

Lower Region (Scotland Neck to Plymouth) 

Fishing was very slow in the lower river during the last week of harvest season. It appears the high flows and warming water temperatures caused most fish to migrate upriver to the spawning grounds. Some catch-and-release opportunities exist in the lower river as stripers complete their spawning run and move back downriver to Albemarle Sound.

 

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. The harvest season CLOSED by proclamation at 11:59 PM on May 6, 2018.

 

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, Christopher Smith, holds a 32 inch, 16 lbs. female Striped Bass that was collected near the Hwy 48 bridge in Gaston.

April 28-May 4, 2018

Sample Date

Area Sampled

Water Temp (oF)

Boat Ramp Used

4/30/2018

Weldon

60

Weldon BAA

5/3/2018

Hwy 48 bridge

62

Gaston BAA

Species

Striped Bass

American Shad

Hickory Shad

Number Collected

362

52

 

Min. Size (in)

12

15

 

Max. Size (in)

32

20

 

Max. Weight (lb)

15

3

 

Sex Ratio (M:F)

10:1

4.2:1

 

Fisheries Biologists conducting sampling:

Katy Potoka, Chris Smith, and Jeremy McCargo

 

Biologists’ Observations:

American Shad are continuing to spawn near the Gaston Boating Access Area; most activity was observed along the shoreline. At Gaston, we also collected 33 Striped Bass along the shoreline. Striped Bass numbers have increased at Weldon. Water temperatures continue to warm and spawning is likely going to begin this week. We will be sampling again at Weldon on Monday the 7th and Gaston on Wednesday the 9th.

 

River level and other water quality observations:

Flows on the upper Roanoke were high all week, approximately 15,000-20,000cfs. Check the links on this page for current water levels.

 

Weather conditions on sampling date:

During sampling, air temperatures were around 75-85 degrees F. Skies were clear, and windy conditions persisted.

 

Observations of people fishing on the river:

Three fishing parties were observed near the Gaston BAA. At Weldon, numerous anglers were having luck upstream of the boat ramp. Some anglers were also fishing downstream of the boat ramp.

April 28-May 4

Upper River (Roanoke Rapids Dam to Scotland Neck)

Despite high water levels, anglers fishing at Weldon last weekend reported excellent catches of Striped Bass. Many keepers were landed, and creel clerks also recorded reports of small and slot-size fish as well. Fishing has slowed some during this week, but anglers are still catching striped bass.

 

Lower Region (Scotland Neck to Plymouth) 

Striped Bass are still present throughout the lower river. Catches at Jamesville, Williamston, and Hamilton have not been as good as Weldon, but anglers are still finding some small fish as well as a few keepers.

 

** Season Extension** Anglers are reminded the season for harvesting Striped Bass in the area of the Roanoke River from Roanoke Rapids Dam downstream to the mouth of the river at Albemarle Sound, including the Cashie, Middle, and Eastmost rivers will CLOSE at 11:59 PM on Sunday, May 6, 2018.

 

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 and Wildlife Enforcement Officer Chase Vaughan holding two female Striped Bass collected near the Gaston Boating Access Area.

April 21-27, 2018

Sample Date

Area Sampled

Water Temp (oF)

Boat Ramp Used

4/23/2018

Weldon

58

Weldon BAA

4/26/2018

Hwy 48 bridge

60

Gaston BAA

Species

Striped Bass

American Shad

Hickory Shad

Number Collected

178

83

 

Min. Size (in)

12

15

 

Max. Size (in)

28

21

 

Max. Weight (lb)

10

3

 

Sex Ratio (M:F)

15:1

3.6:1

 

Fisheries Biologists conducting sampling:

Katy Potoka, Chris Smith, and Jeremy McCargo

 

Biologists’ Observations:

With the recent flood pulse from Roanoke Rapids dam, Striped Bass have begun to move into the Weldon area, water temperatures are still low and spawning has not occurred yet. A few fish above the slot limit were collected on Monday but most were males. Sampling was slow with only a few pods of fish collected, primarily above the rapids. With flows increasing again this weekend fish will likely be spread-out. This flood pulse should bring the remaining pulse of Striped Bass up to the Weldon area in the coming week, while keeping water temperatures below optimal spawning temp. The biggest Striped Bass observed this past week was 28 inches and 10 pounds.

American Shad were observed spawning near the Gaston Boating Access Area, most fish were around the Hwy 48 bridge and along the upper shorelines. This week we collected 22 Striped Bass from the Gaston area weighing between 1 and 5 pounds.

We will be sampling at Weldon on Monday the 20th of April and Gaston on Thursday the 3rd of May.

 

** Season Extension** The NCWRC declares that the season for harvesting Striped Bass by hook-and-line shall be open in the area of the Roanoke River from Roanoke Rapids Dam downstream to the mouth of the river at Albemarle Sound, including the Cashie, Middle, and Eastmost Rivers, on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 from 12:00 AM through 11:59 PM on Sunday, May 6, 2018.

River level and other water quality observations:

Flows on the upper Roanoke were moderate, approximately 9,500 cfs. Check the links on this page for current water levels. Flows are expected to increase Saturday to 20,000 cfs.

 

Weather conditions on sampling date:

During sampling air temperatures were around 65-72 degrees F, cloudy and windy.

 

Observations of people fishing on the river:

Four fishing parties were observed near the Gaston BAA, one was in the tail race while the other groups were around the HWY 48 bridge and paper plant. On Monday at Weldon, anglers were spread out, most were downstream below big rock in the morning and then some moved into little river and below the rapids.

 

April 21st-27th:

 

Upper river: Striped Bass have arrived at Weldon with good catches of keeper length fish reported this week. Boat fishing effort was steady and high this week at the Weldon BAA. Anglers reported good catches of Striped Bass in the upper river this week, with many anglers catching their limit.

Lower River: Fishing effort in the lower river has declined, some anglers are catching scattered Striped Bass but are not reporting catching many keeper sized fish.

 

** Season Extension** The NCWRC declares that the season for harvesting Striped Bass by hook-and-line shall be open in the area of the Roanoke River from Roanoke Rapids Dam downstream to the mouth of the river at Albemarle Sound, including the Cashie, Middle, and Eastmost Rivers, on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 from 12:00 AM through 11:59 PM on Sunday, May 6, 2018.

 

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.

 


Female Striped Bass collected near the Gaston Boating Access Area on Thursday April 26th.  

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.