Fisheries Biologists Justin Homan and Justin Dycus sampled the Neuse River this week on May 21 and 23, capturing a total of 81 American shad and 12 striped bass. They electrofished two sections of the Neuse — in Raleigh from the old US 64 bridge downstream to the confluence with Crabtree Creek, and in Goldsboro from the Wildlife Commission’s Cox’s Ferry boat ramp downstream to the Commission’s Steven’s Mill boat ramp.
Largest fish sampled this week included an 11.5-pound striped bass and a 4-pound American shad. Fish lengths by species were 15-21 inches for American shad and 20-30 inches for striped bass. The Neuse yielded more American shad in Raleigh than Goldsboro: 56 to 25. But more striped bass appeared in the fish samples in the Goldsboro area (nine) than in Raleigh (three).
“Our shad catch in Raleigh was about the same as last week, but we caught fewer shad in Goldsboro and a lot fewer stripers this week,” Homan said. “With the warmer water temperatures, it appears that spawning run has about ended on the Neuse for striped bass and American shad.”
Breakdown of fish sampled by sex was 27 female and 29 male American shad in Raleigh, along with one female and two male striped bass. In Goldsboro, the nine striped bass collected by Homan and Dycus were all males, while the 25 American shad consisted of six females and 19 males. The striped bass were tagged with yellow internal anchor tags and released back into the Neuse.
Homan and Dycus conduct their work on the Neuse as part of weekly spawning stock monitoring. They did not observe any anglers fishing the Neuse this week. With the water warming and the spawning run coming to an end in the Neuse, this will be the final Neuse River fisheries report for 2013.
Water temperatures were 69°F in Raleigh and 74°F in Goldsboro. Homan said the Neuse River was muddy at both sampling locations. Discharge from Falls Lake for the Raleigh site was around 1,700 cubic feet per second (cfs). Discharge at Goldsboro started out at around 1,000 cfs in the morning and rose to around 2,500 cfs by the end of the day.
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