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Coastal Rivers Fisheries Reports

Effective March 26, 2020, the NCWRC is temporarily suspending the Coastal Rivers Fisheries Reports. Thank you for your understanding.
 

In eastern North Carolina, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission conducts springtime electrofishing sampling for striped bass, American shad and hickory shad. This sampling is conducted in the four major coastal rivers — the Roanoke, Tar, Neuse and Cape Fear. We will share results of Commission fish-sampling work as well as Commission and Division of Marine Fisheries' creel surveys now through mid-May. Check back weekly.

Scroll down the page for all four rivers. 


Roanoke River - March 20, 2020 (NOTE: Electrofishing will start week of March 23, 2020)

Sample Date Area Sampled Water Temp (F) Boat Ramp
       
       


Sampling Information for the Roanoke River:

No report this week; fisheries biologists will begin electrofishing week of March 23, 2020.

 Anecdotal reports indicate Hickory Shad are being caught in good numbers. 

Species Striped Bass American Shad
Number Collected    
Min. Size (in)    
Max. Size (in)    
Max. Weight (lb)    
Sex Ratio (M:F)    

 

Creel Survey Information for the Roanoke River:

Upper River (Roanoke Rapids Dam to Scotland Neck)

WRC creel clerks, Terry Boyce and William Robert Jones, have documented excellent Hickory Shad catches at Weldon, and they are getting fair reports from Hickory Shad fishermen at the Edwards Ferry Ramp. 

Lower Region (Scotland Neck to Plymouth)

Striped Bass catches have been hit or miss in the lower Roanoke. The creel clerks saw decent striper catches at Jamesville and Williamston, while the Plymouth area has been slow. 
 

Striped Bass Regulations

Shad Regulations

 

Tar River - March 20, 2020 (NOTE: Electrofishing will start week of March 23, 2020)

Sample Date Area Sampled Water Temp (F) Boat Ramp
       
       

 

DMF Sampling Information for the Tar River:

No report this week; fisheries biologists will begin electrofishing week of March 23, 2020.

Anecdotal reports indicate Hickory Shad and American Shad are being caught in good numbers.  

Species Striped Bass American Shad
Number Collected    
Min. Size (in)    
Max. Size (in)    
Max. Weight (lb)    
Sex Ratio (M:F)    

 

DMF Creel Survey Information for the Tar/Pamlico River:

Upper Region (Rocky Mount to Greenville)

Anglers reported good catches of Hickory Shad and some American Shad primarily from Port Terminal in Greenville to Old Sparta.Some shad are being caught as far north as Battle Park, but the bite is slow in these areas.Anglers also landed White Perch, Black Crappie, and a few Striped Bass.

Central Region (Greenville to Washington, Blounts Creek)

Anglers are still reporting a strong speckled trout bite in Blounts Creek and Durham Creek along with catches of undersized red drum. Goose Creek was a popular spot for Largemouth Bass and a few anglers reported catches of striped bass in Chocowinity Bay and between the bridges in Washington. 

Fishing Activity: Anglers are still reporting a strong Speckled Trout bite in Blounts Creek and Durham Creek, along with catches of undersized Red Drum. Goose Creek was a popular spot for Largemouth Bass and a few anglers reported catches of Striped Bass in Chocowinity Bay and between the bridges in Washington.

Lower Region (Washington, Blounts Creek to Belhaven

Mirror lures and soft plastics with paddle tails are the bait of choice for anglers fishing throughout the Pungo and adjacent creeks. Anglers reported catches of keeper Speckled Trout, undersized Red Drum, Southern Flounder, and Striped Bass in Pungo, Broad, Pantego, Lower Dowry, and Satterthwaite creeks.
 

Striped Bass Regulations

Shad Regulations

 

Neuse River - March 20, 2020  (NOTE: Electrofishing will start week of March 23, 2020)

Sample Date Area Sampled Water Temp (F) Boat Ramp
       
       

 

Sampling Information for the Neuse River:

No report this week; fisheries biologists will begin electrofishing week of March 23, 2020.

 Anecdotal reports indicate Hickory Shad and American Shad are being caught in good numbers. 

Species Striped Bass American Shad
Number Collected    
Min. Size (in)    
Max. Size (in)    
Max. Weight (lb)    
Sex Ratio (M:F)    

 

DMF Creel Survey Information for the Neuse River:

Upper Region (Goldsboro to Raleigh) 

Multiple anglers took part in this weekend’s Shad Fishing Tournament out of Goldsboro, NC. Anglers reported catches of both American and Hickory Shad throughout the upper Neuse and adjacent creeks.  Hot spots included Mill Creek and Cox’s Ferry downstream to the mouth of Falling Creek. Catches of catfish were also reported.

Central Region  (Core Creek to Seven Springs, Goldsboro Area)   

The number of shad caught this week dropped slightly from the previous week. Anglers who took longer trips proved to have the best catches. Contentnea Creek was the most productive area and anglers also reported catches of Striped Bass, Black Crappie, and Largemouth Bass.

Lower Region (Spring Garden to New Bern)

Good weather throughout the week lead to decent catches of Hickory Shad around Cowpen Landing.  A few American Shad and Striped Bass catches were also reported.  Anglers fishing out of Lawson Creek were not disappointed and reported catches of Spotted Seatrout.
 

Striped Bass Regulations

Shad Regulations

 

Cape Fear River - March 20, 2020

Sample Date Area Sampled Water Temp (oF) Boat Ramp
3/17/2020 Lock & Dam 2 61 Lock & Dam 2
3/18/2020 Lock & Dam 1 61 Lock & Dam 1
3/18/2020 Lock & Dam 3 61 Lock & Dam 3

 

Sampling Information for the Cape Fear River:

American Shad were abundant at Lock & Dams 1 and 2. Streamflow 3,600 cfs at Lock and Dam 1, which is below normal. Approximately 30 anglers were taking advantage of the warm weather, flow conditions, and abundant American Shad at Lock & Dam 1; approximately a dozen anglers were also observed at both Lock & Dam 2 and Lock & Dam 3. 

Species Striped Bass American Shad Hickory Shad
Number Collected 7   27    1  
Min. Size (in) 8    15    13   
Max. Size (in) 20    19    13   
Max. Weight (lb) 3.1    3.3    0.6
Sex Ratio (M:F) 0:3    5.4:1    1.0   

 

DMF Survey Information for the Cape Fear River:

Anglers fishing at Lock and Dam 1 reported very successful catches of American Shad throughout the week and weekend. Several fish weighed in at 3 or more pounds qualifying as citation fish with the N.C. Angler Recognition Program.Anglers also reported catches of Black Crappie in the same areas as shad and several Channel and Blue catfish were caught at Lock and Dam 1. 
 

Striped Bass Regulations

Shad Regulations

 

 

Striped Bass Regulations

Roanoke River: 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.

From April 1–June 30 in Inland Waters of Roanoke River upstream of U.S. Highway 258 bridge, only a single barbless hook or lure with a single barbless hook (or hook with barb bent down) may be used.

Tar River: Striped Bass season is closed in all water of the Tar Pamlico and its tributaries downstream of Rocky Mount Mill dam. 

Neuse River: Striped bass season is closed in all waters and tributaries downstream of Falls Lake Dam.

Cape Fear River: Striped bass is closed  in all waters and tributaries downstream of Buckhorn Dam.

Shad Regulations

Roanoke River: The daily creel limit per angler is 10 Hickory Shad and American Shad in combination, only one of which can be an American (white) Shad, in all waters and tributaries downstream of Roanoke Rapids dam. From April 1–June 30 in Inland Waters of Roanoke River upstream of U.S. Highway 258 bridge, only a single barbless hook or lure with a single barbless hook (or hook with barb bent down) may be used.

Tar River: The daily creel limit is 10 Hickory Shad and American Shad (white), in combination, per angler, in the Tar Pamlico and its tributaries downstream of Rocky Mount Mill dam. 

Neuse River: The daily creel limit per angler is 10 Hickory Shad and American Shad in combination, only one of which can be an American (white) Shad, in all waters and tributaries downstream of Falls Lake Dam

Cape Fear River: The daily creel limit is per angler is 10 Hickory Shad and American Shad in combination, only five of which may be an American (white) shad on the Cape Fear River and its tributaries.

2020 Archived Reports

Roanoke River

March 20, 2020

Tar River

March 20, 2020

Neuse River

March 20, 2020

Cape Fear River

March 20, 2020