Scientific Name: Morone saxatilis

Classification:  Game Fish
Abundance: Coastal rivers during spring spawning runs, and stocked in reservoirs throughout NC.

Sport Fish Profile (pdf)    

Species Profile  (pdf)


Striped bass are marine fish native to the Atlantic slope from Canada to Florida and west to eastern Texas. As adults, they migrate each spring from the ocean into four major North Carolina coastal rivers (the Roanoke, Tar, Neuse and Cape Fear) to spawn. In addition to these native migratory populations, the Commission stocks striped bass into many reservoirs in the state, where food and habitat are adequate. Striped bass stocked into these reservoirs are not able to reproduce naturally; populations are maintained through stockings.

The striped bass is a silver-white fish with seven to eight horizontal black stripesalong its sides. Its back is often greenish-blue and its underside white. Its largesilver scales shine when held in the sunlight. The striped bass has two separatefins, known as dorsal fins, along its back. The front dorsal fin has a series of nine spines, whereas the second dorsal fin has one spine with a series of softfin rays. There are two spines on the gill cover and two narrow tooth patch-es on the tongue. Most adult striped bass are 1 to 3 feet long and weigh 2 to20 pounds. As the striped bass population continues to recover, however, largerfish reaching 30 and 40 pounds are becoming more common.



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 1st of each year.

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.

Game fish size and creel limits. Also, Bass and Morone (striped bass) Identification Charts.

Regulation for River Herring in Inland Fishing Waters of Coastal Rivers and Their Tributaries (PDF)



2017 -  Exploring Casual Factors of Striped Bass Spawning Stock Mortality in the Neuse River (PDF)

2015 -  Roanoke River Striped Bass Creel Survey – Final Report (PDF)

2015 -  Roanoke River Striped Bass – Spring Electrofishing – Final Report

2014 -  Cape Fear River (PDF)

2014 -  Neuse River (PDF)

2014 -  Tar River (PDF)

Summaries (One-page Fact Sheets)

2017 - Evaluation of Multiple Stocking Sites for Striped Bass Fingerlings on Badin Lake Using Genetic Tagging (PDF)

2017 - Roanoke River Striped Bass Spawning Stock Assessment 2017/2017 Update (PDF)

2016 -  Assessing Spawning Activity of Anadromous Species in the Cape Fear River (PDF)