On July 4 from midnight until 11:59 p.m., anyone—resident or non-resident—can fish in any public water, including coastal waters, in North Carolina without purchasing a fishing license or a trout stamp. However, other fishing regulations, such as size and creel limits and bait and tackle restrictions, as well as park use fees apply.
So that anglers of all ages and skill levels have an excellent chance of catching fish, the agency has stocked a variety of catchable-sized fish in waters across the state, from trout in the mountains to channel catfish in the Piedmont and coastal regions.
“The purpose of the free fishing day is to give everyone an opportunity to enjoy the fun of fishing, especially those who don’t currently have a fishing license,” said
The Commission has made finding a fishing spot easier by maintaining more than 100 Public Fishing Areas (PFAs) and Community Fishing Program (CFP) sites across the state. PFAs provide free fishing opportunities from the banks of North Carolina’s waters. The Commission clears the banks of underbrush and, in some cases, constructs universally accessible fishing piers, and installs fish attractors.
CFP sites are intensively managed bodies of water receiving monthly stockings of catchable-sized ...
American shad, once an important commercial and recreational fishery, declined sharply in the late 20th century; however, this trend may be reversing, thanks to the cooperative efforts of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Since 1998, the two agencies have worked together to restore depleted populations of American shad along the Atlantic Coast by stocking more than 8 million “marked” shad fry in the Roanoke River as part of the Roanoke River American Shad Restoration Program.
So far, Commission biologists have captured more than 50 3- to 4-inch, hatchery-origin juveniles in the lower Roanoke River, as well as three adult fish with hatchery marks upstream on the spawning grounds.
The appearance of these adult fish indicates that the propagation program is working and that some of the fish are surviving four to five years in the ocean and then returning to where they were stocked.
“The marked adult fish that we collected in 2005 and 2006 are the first hatchery-reared fish that have survived to spawning age that we’ve documented.” said
Currently, only four rivers in North Carolina still support adequate stocks of American shad: the Cape Fear, Neuse, Tar, and Chowan rivers. Because of this, these rivers provide the brood fish used for fry production ...