Tar River Fisheries Report - April 19, 2013

Fisheries Biologists Kirk Rundle and Bill Collart sampled the Tar River on April 16 this week, launching their electrofishing boat at the Wildlife Commission boat ramp at Bell’s Bridge in Edgecombe County and sampling the Tar from the boat ramp downriver to the Riverfront Park boat ramp in Tarboro.

They captured 25 American shad and 70 striped bass, with the fish lengths ranging from 16-23 inches for the shad, and 14-27 inches for the stripers. Heaviest fish sampled that day were a three-pound female American shad and an 8-pound male striper. No hickory shad were reported. Sex ratios for American shad were 50:50. For striped bass, which were all tagged, 10 percent were females and 90 percent males.

“The striped bass are ramping up in the Tar and should be increasing in number and size over the next week or two,” Rundle said. “The American shad are still available in moderate numbers and should be around for a few more weeks, but the hickory shad are all but gone.”

Rundle and Collart observed one boat anchored in the Tar near Shiloh Mills. There were two anglers on board who stated that they had not caught anything yet, Rundle said.

The weather was warm and overcast when Rundle and Collart did their fish-sampling work on the Tar. Water temperature was 65° F. 

“We experienced moderate river level and flows,” Rundle said. “We had no problem swith launching or navigating; however, there will be some navigating issues due to low flows over this upcoming weekend if we don’t get the anticipated rain on Friday evening.”

The fish-sampling work on the Tar River is part of the Wildlife Commission’s spawning stock monitoring done weekly every spring by Rundle and Collart.

Additional Observations

In the lower part of the Tar/Pamlico river from Greenville to Washington, anglers reported a few catches of striped bass in the Tar River last week, according to Doug Mumford of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) who shared the most recent creel survey information collected from different stretches along the Tar/Pamlico river. The creel surveys are administered by the Division of Marine Fisheries through Coastal Recreational Fishing License funding, and the N.C.Wildlife Resources Commission assists with design and data interpretation in the upper portions of the Tar River.

However,the biggest fishing news in this area continues to be the speckled trout fishing. The warm weather has heated up the fishing and catches have been excellent, Mumford said.

“The hot spots include Chocowinity Bay, Broad Creek, Goose Creek and Durham Creek,”Mumford said. “Dozens of anglers fishing the Tar/Pamlico enjoyed the great weather and fishing last weekend.”

In the upper region of the Tar/Pamlico river from Rocky Mount to Greenville, Mumford said that shad fishing had slowed considerably. A few stripers were caught by anglers fishing the Tar near Falkland. 

“Overall,shad fishing catch and effort slowed significantly last week,” Mumford said.“The best ‘bite’ of white shad last week was at Battle Park in Rocky Mount. A popular North Carolina sport fishing film crew was onsite filming the recreational white shad fishery. They caught only seven fish all day. Very few shad were reported at any of the other sites. The hickory shad fishing seems to be over in the Tar.”



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Tar River Water Conditions

Fisheries Biologist Kirk Rundle measures a Tar River striper that was
sampled on Tuesday earlier this week.