Just in time for shad and striped bass spawning runs, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has completed renovations to the Gaston Boating Access Area in Northampton County.
With that, the Commission has renovated 9 of its 10 sites along the Roanoke River, known for its premier striped bass fishing and equally enjoyable shad fishing, in the past decade. See an interactive, clickable map of the Roanoke and the renovated sites here, and on the boating page.
“Come March, anglers flock to the Roanoke River for great shad fishing, followed closely by arm-wrenching striper fishing,” said Erik Christofferson, chief of the Commission’s Division of Engineering Services. “Some of our access areas along the river have lines of up to 100 cars waiting to launch. With newer, better lots, more launch lanes and more accessible sites, our ramps along the Roanoke are better than ever.”
Most recently, the Gaston site received a new ramp with a floating dock and a paved parking lot. Single vehicle spaces are also available for bank anglers, and solar lights have been installed. In 2011, the Commission completely revamped the Weldon Boating Access Area. The new ramp has three lanes. The site’s lot was been paved and landscaped, and the river bank has been stabilized to decrease erosion.
Renovated sites also include Williamston, Hamilton, Water Street Landing and several others. Several of these sites have dedicated fishing piers. Boaters and anglers can use the sites year-round for fishing, recreation and wildlife watching. All are ADA accessible. The renovations were funded through the Sport Fish Restoration Program and motorboat registration receipts.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission opens the entire Roanoke River Management Area to striped bass harvest from March 1 through April 30. From early March until the end of May, the Commission will post online weekly fishing reports from the Roanoke River every Thursday afternoon. The fishing reports, along with other updated information on striped bass fishing and boating access areas, will be posted on the Commission’s blog.