North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission


Scientific Name: Esox masquinongy
Classification:  Game Fish
Abundance: Inhabit the New, Nolichucky, and French Broad Rivers, as well as a few reservoirs in western NC.

Sport Fish Profile (pdf)


Additional Information

Muskellunge prefer coolwater rivers and lakes with abundant woody debris, vegetation and rocky habitat. As a top predator, they feed on a variety of fishes, particularly suckers, as well as salamanders, small mammals and other large food items. Muskellunge are not easy to catch, partly because their numbers can be very sparse.


North Carolina offers some great fishing opportunities. If you are a resident or visitor to the state, please review the links below to ensure that you understand the rules, regulations and other guidelines.

The following fishing regulations are effective August 1, 2018 to July 31, 2019.

Inland Fishing

Inland Fishing Regulations
Regulatory authority between the Wildlife Resources Commission and Division of Marine Fisheries. Inland game fish regulations include Manner of Taking, Seasons and Using Trotlines and Set-hooks.



Saltwater Fishing


There are no closed seasons on inland game fishes with the following exceptions