North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

Tar River Fisheries Report - May 19, 2017



River sampled:

Tar River


Fisheries Biologists conducting sampling:

Kirk Rundle and Greg Batts


Date of sample:



Area(s) of river sampled, and water temps:

From the WRC Bell’s Bridge boat ramp downstream approximately 6 miles to the Daniel Street Bridge.


Water temperature was 21 C, or approximately 70 F.


Boat ramp(s) used to access river:

Bell’s Bridge WRC ramp.


Species (spp) information:

  • Spp. captured:

Striped Bass


  • Numbers by spp:

27 Striped Bass


  • Size range by spp:

Striped Bass 15-31”


  • Max size for spp:

Female ~ 12 pounds


  • Sex ratio by spp:

20% Females


  • Were the fish tagged? Yes.  The Striped Bass were tagged with DMF individually numbered anchor tags.




River level and other water quality observations (turbidity, etc.):


At time of sampling, Tar River was moderately high and very turbid.


Weather conditions on sampling date


Warm and sunny.


Your observations of other people fishing on the river:


There were approximately ten bank anglers and one boat angler observed in the area we sampled.


Comments to anglers about your sampling results, and fishing-related conclusions that can be drawn from your data:

American Shad numbers are declining considerably.  We observed only a few American Shad and did not collect any.  Striped Bass should be declining in number over the next few weeks, as the peak of spawning activity appears to be complete.  Most fish sampled were returned to the river in good condition, however, a few Striped Bass were sent to the Edenton National Fish Hatchery as broodfish to produce fish for stocking back into the Tar River as part of an on-going enhancement project.  The river was at a relatively high level yet starting to descend in the areas we sampled.  Levels should be okay for navigation by the weekend, yet caution should be used for any debris remaining from flood conditions.  Several trees were observed in the river that will be difficult to navigate around as the river drops from moderate to low levels.


This will be the last sample and report for spring 2017.


Shad and Striped Bass Regulations for Tar River:

The daily bag limit is 10 Hickory Shad and American Shad, in combination, per angler.


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 Tar River, no Striped Bass between 22 inches and 27 inches in total length shall be retained in the daily creel limit.