Roanoke River Striper Facts and Fish

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Roanoke River Map

 

Striped Bass regulations for the Roanoke River

Striper reports for the Roanoke River (add your report)

Size: 55,725 acres
Location: The coastal plain of northeastern North Carolina, in Bertie, Halifax, Martin, Northampton, and Washington counties
The river supports an important fish community including striped bass, river herring, and hickory shad.

Around late March and the beginning of April the striped bass move into the lower Roanoke River around the highway 45 bridge. As the big girls make make their way up river to spawn, their numbers and size steadily increase. Stripers move into the Lower Roanoke in mid march. The Plymouth area near the Highway 45 bridge is best. The lower Cashie and Middle rivers are also crossed by the highway 45 bridge and stripers can be found in both of these areas also.

Spring marches on and they advance up river to places like Hamilton, Jamesville and Williamston. By mid april it striper season and the upper reaches are seeing their numbers dramatically increase. Places like Scotland Neck, halifax and Weldon and as far north as Gaston in North Hampton County. Happy fishing. Practice safe fishing and boating and remember to use circle hooks for lower catch and release mortality.

Boating acess areas

How to Visit
Visitors to the river can hike, fish go birding, boating and hunting, in the appropriate places, great fishing, and lots of birds. Canoeing and kayaking are the best ways to see this area and its wildlife.

There are public boat landings at the river crossings on US 258, downstream on US 17 at Williamston, and near the river mouth below Plymouth on NC 45. The Cashie River, Devil's Gut, Gardner Creek, and Conoho Creek offer great canoeing opportunities. SR 1417, Poplar Point Road, provides access to Conoho Creek. The main channel of the Roanoke River has a much stronger current than these streams.

To get to the stripers take I-95 to Roanoke Rapids just south of the Virginia Border. Follow the road down through Weldon to the river. The boat ramp is right there.

In the Roanoke River wading is not recommended for safety reasons. It is big water with deep holes.

When the river is not in flood stage, you can walk into Conine Island within the Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge. Heading north out of Williamston on US 13/17, there are two pullouts on the east side of the road where you can walk into Conine Island. At either of these pullouts, you can park and walk past a gate about 3/4 mile into the refuge. The roads are sometimes inaccessible because of seasonal flooding, so call the refuge office at (252) 794-3808 for the latest information about access.

For more information on the Roanoke River Canoe Trail, call Roanoke River Partners at (252) 794-2793. Learn more about the Roanoke River.

Basin Facts

The Roanoke River basin contains 9,580 square miles and over 400 miles of rivers, stretching from the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia in an east-southeast direction to the Albemarle Sound near Plymouth, North Carolina. It includes the Roanoke, Dan, Smith, Staunton, Banister, Hyco and Cashie Rivers and numerous other rivers and streams.

The Basin includes municipalities such as Danville, Martinsville, Bassett, Moneta, Rocky Mount, Brookneal, Altavista, Lawrenceville, Chatham, Altavista, Roanoke, Salem, Halifax, South Boston and Clarksville in Virginia; and Eden, Mayodan, Reidsville, Yanceyville, Roxboro, Henderson, Warrenton, Littleton, Roanoke Rapids, Weldon, Jackson, Rich Square, Scotland Neck, Hamilton, Jamesville, Williamston, Windsor and Plymouth in North Carolina.

The Roanoke River Basin includes the several dams, including: Kerr Dam, Hyco Dam, Mayo Dam, Gaston Dam, Roanoke Rapids Dam, Smith Mountain Lake Dam, Leesville Dam and Philpott Dam and several other impoundments of water. Kerr Dam Reservoir, constructed in the early 1950s for flood control and hydroelectric power generation, is the largest dam in the Roanoke basin system. It, along with upstream Philpott Dam, is operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Hyco Dam and Reservoir is a Carolina Power & Light project. Smith Mountain and Leesville Dams and Reservoirs are operated by American Electric Power Company. Lake Gaston and Roanoke Rapids Dams and Reservoirs are operated by Virginia Electric Power Company. The Corps of Engineers' operations at Kerr Dam and Reservoir and VEPCO's operations at Gaston/Roanoke Rapids Dams and Reservoirs are closely coordinated. The Corps also coordinates its operations at the Kerr and Philpott projects.

Roanoke River water is generally considered of good quality, though urban and agricultural runoff are increasing problems. Hyco and Belews Lake retain health advisories ror fish consumption for selenium, and Lake Gaston and Roanoke Rapids Lake face problems with aquatic weeds. PCB contamination has been found in the Staunton River and Dan River upstream of Kerr Lake, resulting in health advisories for fish consumption. Sediment is also a major concern in the basin.


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