Fisheries Biologists Kirk Rundle and Bill Collart sampled the Tar River on May 14 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 Bell’s Bridge boat ramp downriver to the Tarboro town ramp.
They captured 50 striped bass, with the fish lengths ranging from 14-30 inches. Heaviest fish sampled that day was a 10-pound female striper. Sex ratio was 70:30 males to females. All of the stripers were tagged.
Rundle and Collart did not observe any boats on the water, which Rundle attributed to the end of the striped bass harvest season and the decrease in spawning activity of both American shad and striped bass.
“The American shad are available in moderate numbers, yet are dwindling, and at much lower levels than observed last week,” Rundle said. “The striped bass are still available, yet their numbers are dropping in the upper river areas. The majority of striped bass we observed were ‘spent’ — worn out, thinner and ready to return downstream — as spawning activity is subsiding.”
The weather was cool and sunny when Rundle and Collart did their fish-sampling work on the Tar. The river was muddy, with moderate flows. Water temperature was 65°F.
“We had no problems with launching or navigating on May 14, but the river was dropping and there will be navigation issues in the Tar from Rocky Mount to Tarboro this weekend unless we get significant rain,” Rundle said. “Launching should still be possible, but making long runs will get very difficult. Boaters should use extreme caution.”
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. With both American shad and striped bass spawning coming to an end in the Tar River this spring, this will be the last fisheries report from the Tar in 2013.
Creel clerk surveys of anglers in the upper region of the Tar-Pamlico River from Rocky Mount to Greenville have been completed for the season, according to Doug Mumford of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) who has been sharing creel survey information from different stretches of the Tar-Pamlico River throughout the spring. 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.
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