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I VESTIGATIONS of ANADROMOUS FISHES 0 e NEUSE RIVER, NORTH CAROLINA -wrl iWiS, 6 I iail 1"Jill lk am ie It @QL628 "'FtTM.ENT':-':[email protected],NA' i E PA [;AROL A @"is' 19- INVESTIGATIONS OF ANADROMOUS FISHES of the NEUSE RIVER, NORTH CAROLINA by Jess,H*. Hawkins North Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Community Development Division of Marine Fisheries Morehead City, RC 28557 Special Scientific Report Number 34 November 1980 Data for this report were collected during projects AFCS-10 and AFCS-13, which were conducted under the Anadromous Fish Act (PL 89-304, as amended) and funded, in part, by the US Department of Commerce, National Marine Fisheries Service and US Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service. C" Cn LIBRARY NOAA/CCEH 1990 HOBSON AVE. [email protected] 2()40,q-2(32tq ABSTRACT Investigations were made into the life.histories of blueback herring, alewife, hickory shad, American shad, striped bass, and Atlantic sturgeon in the Neuse River, North Carolina. Sampling began on 1 June 1976 and extended to 20 September 1979, utilizing wing trawls, flat trawls, seines, planketon nets, and gill nets. Spawning areas were identified in the Neuse River for blueback herring, alewife, h,ickory shad, American shad, and striped bass. Growth of blueback herring was determined for the 1976-1979 year classes. Grown of American shad juveniles was determined on the 1977-1979 year classes. Juvenile relative abundance was determined for blueback'herring during 1977- 1979. Year class composition and spawning repetition was determined for adult blueback herring, alewife, hickory shad and American shad. Striped bass year class composition was also determined for the same year. Tagging studies were conducted on blueback herring, alewife, American shad, hickory shad, striped bass and Atlantic sturgeon providing information on adult migration in the Neuse River. I ILL MOD SID: 10262 IL [email protected] will ship. ILL Pending 20001113 Record 4 of 5 :ILL: 3705933 :Borrower: VRC :ReqDate: 20001109 :NeedBefore: 20001209 :Status: SHIPPED :RecDate: :RenewalReq: :OCLC: 12256024 :Source: OCLCILL :DueDate: 20001213 :NewDueDate: :Lender: *[email protected],[email protected],[email protected],OLA,OLA 11 [email protected] :CALLNO: 11 [email protected] :AUTHOR: Hawkins, Jess H. :TITLE: Investigations of anadromous fishes of the Neuse River, North Carolina :IMPRINT: Morehead City : North Carolina Dept. of Natural Resources and community Development, Division of Marine Fisheries, 1980. 1 jo- :SERIES: Special scientific report (North Carolina. Division of marine Fisheries) ; no. 34. 1 :VERIFIED: OCLC [email protected] :PATRON: Rountrey, Emily @ :SHIP TO: ILL BORROWING CABELL LIBRARY/VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH JNIVERSITY/901 PARK AVE - BOX 842033/RICHMOND VA 23284-2033 5 0 :BILL TO: SAME f 0 :SHIP VIA: BEST WAY :MAXCOST: $25 :COPYRT COMPLIANCE: [email protected] :REFERRAL NOTES: NCS ref.- TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . . INTRODUCTION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . STUDY AREA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 LITERATURE REVIEW . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 MATERIALS AND METHODS . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Spawning Area Samplln.g .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Nursery Area Sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . . . . 11 Adult Fish Harvest . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Tagging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 RESULTS AND DISCUSSION . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Spawning Areas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20 Juvenile Sampling . .. . .... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43 Adult Fish Swplinq . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Division Sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Commercial Fishery Sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73 Recreational Fishery Sampling . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81 Tagging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84 SUMMARY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97 LITERATURE CITED . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93 APPENDIX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102 INTRODUCTION Anadromous fishery resources have historically made important contributions to North Carolina's total commercial finfish harvest. During 1960-70, anadromous fish landings accounted for 49 percent of the total edible finfish landings in North Carolina (Table 1). However, for 1971-79, anadromous species comprised only 20 percent of the edible finfish landings. Two obvious reasons for the decline in anadromous fish landings are increases in commercial effort for and harvest of non-anadromous finfish, and a decline in landings of certain anadromous species during the same period. American shad and river herring landings have decreased considerably from the catches of 1965-69-a period which produced the greatest poundage of both species during the last 25 years. Anadromous fish also contribute significantly to the recreational fishery in North Carolina's estuartes and tributaries. Although no specific landings are available, the recreational harvest is estimated to be in the millions of pounds (Sholar 1977). A total of seven species &.,rge considered to be anadromous in North Carolina: American shad (Alosa sapidissima), hickory shad (Alosa mediocris), blueback herring (Alosa aestivalls), alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus), striped bass Oforone saxatilis), Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrhynchus), and shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum). Blueback herring and alewife are considered collectively as river herring. The shortnose sturgeon has not been identified in North Carolina in recent years and may be extinct within the state (Schwartz and Link 1976). All the major tributaries of North Carolina's coastal sounds support commercial and recreational fisheries for anadromous species. The major American shad streams are the Neuse, Tar-Pamlico, Cape Fear, Northeast Cape Fear, and Chowan Rivers (Figure 1). The Neuse and Tar-Pamlico Rivers produce the largest landings of hickory shad in North Carolina (Marshall 1977). River herring are the most abundant anadromous fishes, and are widely distributed along the coast in major and minor tributaries. Striped bass are found in North Carolina's coastal waters year-round, ascending all @ajor rivers to spawn. Sturgeon are caught commercially and recreationally in most of the major coastal tributaries. 2 Table 1. Relative importance of anadromous fish in North Carolina and in the Neuse River area as shown by commercial landings (National Marine Fisheries Service and Division of Marine Fisheries data). Anadromous Percent Total edible Anadromous Percent fish (lb), anadromous, Year finfish (lb) fish(lb) anadromous Neuse River Neuse River 1960 30,470,000 14-,30,000 47.0 173,200 1.2 @O 1961 30,029,000 1 4'---W,-O GO 45.7 262,700 1.9 1962 31,887,000 9'@6 3`7 9 60 0 50.3 225, 7 00 1.4 1963 32,344,000 16,864,000 52.1 190,700 1.1 1964 24,548,000 9,182,000 37.4 209,800 2.3 1965 33,639,000 14,658,000 43.6 325,900 2.2 1966 32,567,000 14,129,000 43.4 202,868 1.4 1967 40,880,000 21,248,000, 52.0 143,900 0.6 1968 33,377,000 18,4,[email protected],OGG 55.3 136,500 0.7 1969 36,657,000 22,2-91',,000 60.8 189,700 0.8 1970 29,832,000 14 990 7 4 9 GpLDi 50. 2 10,6,600 0.7 1971 31,379,000 14A 4-7.6 134,400 0.9 AI D qIGO- 1972 40,731,000 13,190,000 32.4 87,900 0.6 1973 41,203,000 10,121,000 24.6 87,640 0.9 1974 49,244,000 7,730,000 16.4 63,950 0.8 1975 53,681,000 7,570,000 14.1 37,100 0.5 1976 53,754,000 7,671,000 14.3 45,900 0.6 1977 619642,000 9,417,000 15.0 9,200 @,O.l 1978 75,166,000 7,759,000 10.3 37,346 0.5 1979 82,462,714 6,043,120 7.3 31,600 0.5 3 78 77 76 COASTAL NORTH GAROUNA 1140 Alhtmailt Sou"d 36 36 Oregon Inlet 0 41 aYRIver West Ocracoke say Inlet 0 Drum Of Inlet Core Sound ATLANTIC OCEAN SCALE 3.4 so 00 .0 a.&*-919QS 77 76 Neuse River Basin Figure 4 The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, in cooperation with the National Marine Fisheries Service and the U S Fish and Wildlife Service, is conducting studies in all the major coastal river systems of North Carolina to obtain data needed to manage anadromous fish resources. These programs are designed to provide key information enabling optimum utilization of anadromous species. Little specific information was available for this purpose prior to the initiation of the anedromous study programs. The objectives of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries are to identify anadromous fish spawning and nursery areas, determine migration periods and routes, investigate distri- bution and relative abundance, and determine year class composition of adult stocks. Investigations of this type have been conducted in the Albemarle Sound area, Tar-Pamlico River, and northern Pamlico Sound, New River, White Oak River, and Northeast Cape Fear River (Figure 1). Studies are presently being conducted on the Neuse and Cape Fear Rivers, and in the Albemarle Sound area. This report presents the results of a threE year study on anadromous species in the Neuse River. STUDY AREA The Neuse River Basin, encompassing an estimated area of 1,603,666 ha is th'e second largest drainage basin lying entirely within North Carolina. The Neuse River, formed by the confluence of the Eno and Flat Rivers northeast of Durham, has an estimated drainage area of 1,449,826 ha. The river flows in a generally southeasterly direction from its origin to Wilkinson Point below New Bern, where the estuary turns to flow eastward into Pamlico Sound (Figures 2 and 3). Bay River and Core Sound from Ocracoke Inlet to Drum Inlet were also included in the Neuse River Basin by Bayless and Smith (1962). The Neuse River and its tributaries drain all or a portion of eighteen counties. The upper third of the river lies within the Piadmont Region of North Carolina, with the fall line occurring halfway between Raleigh and Smithfield (Figure 2). The Piedmont tributaries are usually swift and turbid, flowing through relatively deep valleys and narrow flood plains. The waters of the Coastal Plain, which comprise the remaining two-thirds of the river basin, are dark and slow-moving. The average stream gradient within this region is only .6 foot (.18m) per mile (Bayless and Smith 1962). N Durha IN lee @Rej 0 wiison Stnithn co Sborb.- 0 5 mries -1 13 120 60 [email protected] -ile 110 3 90 so 40 orn Figure 2. Neuse River system, N VAN ;IPA( Rf SAYBORO NEW SERNU 00 w CD cn 10 BROAD CR Tr 4;' @10 Lp [email protected] cp R WILKERSON r POINT cc HAVELOCK= t CA- 0 L> C> 5 Mll(!S Figure 3. Major tributaries of the Neuse River, North Carolina ell CYP RENTON 4 -rf R NEW 8ER MILES Figure 3. continued Milburnie Dam Impassable dam L_j Passable lowhead dam 0 5 miles (55- CP SMITHFIELD CR BLACK elf GOLDSBORO Quakernec Dam cc W Figure 3. continued 9 The Neuse River Basin enjoys a moderate climate averaging 61OF (160C) year- round. Much of the land is under silvicultural and agricultural use. There are seven urban areas within the basin: Durham, Raleigh, Wilson, Goldsboro, Kinston, New Bern, and Smithfield. The basin also offers a wide variety of excellent hunting and fishing activities (NC Stata Board of Health 1959). The principal tributaries of the Neuse River from its mouth to New Bern are: Broad Creek, Turnagin Bay, South River, Smith and Greene Creek, Adams Creek, Dawson Creek, Clubfoot Creek, Hancock Creek, Beards Creek, Slocum Creek, Goose Creek, Upper Broad Creek, and Trent River, the largest tributary.of the Neuse.(Figure 3). All of these tributaries lie within 34 mi (55 km) of the mouth of the river. The principal tributaries between New Bern and Goldsboro are Batchelor Creek (the best sport fishing stream in the Neuse-Bayless and Smith 1962),Swift Creek, Cove Creek, and Contentnea Creek. These creeks are all within 64 mi (103 km) of the Neuse River mouth. Contentnea Creek, at river mile 64 (103 km) is the last major tributary until Little River is reached above Goldsboro at river mile 134 (216 km). Above Little River, the only major tributaries are the Flat and Eno Rivers which join to form the Neuse. There are two low-head dams (approximately 12 ft (3.7m) high) on the Neuse River between Raleigh and the river mouth: Milburnie Dam near Raleigh and Quaker Neck Dam at Goldsboro. Milburnie Dam is an inoperative mill dam, while Quaker Neck Dam impounds cooling water for the Carolina Power and Light Steam Plant near Goldsboro. Five additional small dams are found in the Goldsboro-Smithfield area; two on Little River, one in the Army Corps of Engineers' constructed waterway joining two sections of the Neuse below Quaker Neck Dam, 6n Beaverdam Creek, and the other on Black Creek (Figure 3). LITERATURE REVIEW Street and Hall (1973) compiled a bibliography concerning anadromous fish in North Carolina that provided reference to all previous research conducted on these species in the Neuse River through 1972. Bayless and Smith (1962) described the streams in the Neuse River Basin, reporting several occurrences of anadromous fish in the tributaries of the Neuse. Documentation of anadromous fish nursery areas in the lower Neuse River appeared in a report by Spitsbergen and Wolff (1974). 10 Baker (1968) estimated the recreational harvest of striped bass, American shad, river herring, and hickory shad from coastal North Carolina, finding that the Meuse River is the major stream for the recreational harvest of American shad and hickory shad. He also collected striped bass, Americal shad, and river' herring eggs in the Meuse River. Tobaben (1971) briefly described tagging operations for striped bass in the lower Meuse River. Walburg (1957) did an intensive study on total catch, fishing effort, fishing rate, size of spawning run, and spawning escapement of American shad for the Meuse River in 1953." Several aspects of the life history of hickory shadAn the lower Meuse River were reported by Pate (1972). LaPointe (1958) studied the age and growth rates of American shad in the Meuse River. Nichols (1966) found that rivers on the Atlantic Coast, including the Meuse, contained discrete populations of juvenile American shad. Migration of American shad in the Neuse and several other Atlantic coast rivers was reported by Sykes and Talbot (1959). Walburg and Nichols (1967) wrote an extensive re0ort of the Atlantic coast American shad fishery, describing each state's recreational and commercial fishery for particular river systems. Keup and Bayless (1964) recorded the relationship of several anadromous species to varying salinities in the Meuse River. An investigation of reduced oxygen tolerance and petroleum toxicity of American shad juveniles from the Meuse River was conducted by Tagatz (1961). MATERIALS AND METHODS Spawning Area Sampling Potential spawning areas were sampled during early March to late May in the Meuse River. Gill nets were utilized in the mainstream and tributaries to capture adults, and to determine the limits of upstream migration in the Meuse. Capture of running ripe adult females was regarded as one criterion for classifying river sections as spawning areas. Ten, twenty, and forty meter units of 63.5 mm (2.50 in), 69.9 mm (2.75 in), 82.6 mm (3.25 in), 101.6 mm) 4 in), 123.7m (4.88 in), and 139.7 mm (5-50 in)stretched mesh monofilament gill net were set for 24 hr periods. Fork length (Fl, mm) measurements were recorded on all captured adult anadromous fish. Each anadromous fish was examined to determine sex and spawning condition, and scale samples were taken for age determination and evidence of previous spawning. Eggs and larvae were sampled with a 0.5 m plankton net of #00 Nitex mesh, with a wide mouth (0.95 1) jar attached to the cod end. Plankton net sampling was conducted from early March until late May. Sample'times were 15 minutes when taken from either a bridge or stationary boat. Plankton nets were also towed for five minutes at a very low speed when there was insufficient current for a stationary set. One unit of sampling effort consisted of either one minute of stationary sampling or one minute of towed sampling. Water chemistry data, including dissolved oxygen, pH., and temperature,were recorded with each sample. Samples were preserved in 5% formalin and returned to the laboratory where eggs and larvae were sorted, identified, counted, and measured. When the numbers of eggs or larvae of particular anadromous species were large, a random subsample of thirty was measured, and the rest counted. All eggs and larvae were measured with a binocular microscope fitted with either an. ocular micrometer or micrometer disc. Nursery Area Sampling During the spring of 1976 suitable nursery area sampling sites were selected in the Neuse River through preliminary sampling. A total of 104 sites was investigated, with 48 selected for regular sampling. Both seine (8) and trawl(40)stations were sampled monthly from June-December, 1976-77. The total station number was decreased to 37 during 1978-79, with 9 seine and 28 trawl stations being sampled monthly (figure 4). The seine stations were pulled with a 60 ft (18.3 m) bag seine fitted with a 1/4 in (6.3mm) bar mesh bag. One seine haul was considered one unit-of-effort. All trawl stations during 1976-77 were sampled with a 26 ft (7.9'm) head rope wing trawl containing webbing which ranged from 4 in (101.6 mm) stretched mesh in the wings to 1/4 in (6.3 mm) in the tail bag (Street et al. 1975). The 'wing trawl was fitted with surface doors to avoid underwater obstructions. Du ring* 1978-79 only inland trawl stations (21) were sampled with the wing trawl. These stations were located on the Trent River and on the Neuse River above New Bern. In 1978-79 estuarine trawl stations in the Neuse River were separated into primary and secondary stations according to the nursery area classification by Purvis (1976) and Spitsbergen and Wolff (1974). The primary trawl stations (5) were pulled with a 13 ft (3.96 m) head rope flat trawl composed of 1/4 in VAN DE Mf Rf [email protected] BAYBORO NEW BERN CC) co OAD R HAVELOCK U 0 Q miles Figure 4 Monthly (May-December) juvenile sampling stations in the Neuse River, NC, 1976-7 13 ed INSTON CYPR 11Z RENTON 0 OVE RU U111A H L 19 6-77 Seine 1976-77 Wing trawl 1976-79 Wing trawl 1978-79 Seine NEW BER 0 5 10 MILES Figure 4 continued 14 (6.3 mm) bar mesh knotted wings and body, with a 1/8 in (3.2 mm) bar mesh knitted tail bag. Secondary stations (2) were sampled with similar gear, except that the bar mesh was 3/4 in (19.2 mm) in the wings and tail bag, and the head rope was 21 ft (6.4 m) long. Both trawls were fitted with bottom towing doors. Wing trawl stations were pulled for five minutes at 1800 revolutions per minute (rpm) by a 17 foot (5.2 m) boat equipped with an 85 horsepower outboard engine. Primary nursery area stations were sampled for one minute at 1900 rpm and secondary stations, five minutes at 2200 rpm with the same boat. A one minute tow was considered one unit-of-effort. All species were identified and counted in each sample, with a maximum of 30 fish per species measured at each station. Water temperature and salinity were measured with a salinity-conductivity meter. Adult Fish Harvest Adult anadromous fish landings were sampled at seven locations along the lower Neuse River to determine species composition, sex ratios, and age-class structure of anadromous fishes (Figure 5). Each sample site was visited weekly beginning in mid-February. Sampling ended when catches dropped to a level.which did not warrant sampling. The principal gear utilized in the lower Neuse River was staked gill nets, set primarily for striped bass and American shad. The principal species sampled in these areas was American shad; however, a few striped bass, hickory shad, and river herring were encountered. Samples taken at these locations were considered to be representative of the catches in each area. Very few unculled samples were available to determine species composition and sex ratios. A haul seine, located upstream on the Neuse River near Pitchkettle Creek was also visited regularly during the fishing season in 1976-77. In 1978 the seine was moved near the SR 1470 bridge. The haul seine provided small unculled catches of American shad and river herring. Fork lengths of adults were measured to the nearest millimeter. Scales of clupeids were taken from the left side, below the insertion of the dorsal fin, and just above the mid-line as suggested by Rothschild (1963) and Marcy (1969). Striped bass 6cales were taken just behind the tip of the pectoral fin. As suggested by Cating (1953), twenty scales were taken from each fish to agoid loss 15 78 77 -16 . ............ . . . .... COASTAL NORTH CAROLINA S o u n d Oregon Inlet A .Hobucken B. Lower Broad Creek C .Pound net site (P D. Oriental E. New Bern F. Pitchkettle G. SR 1470 bridge liro F aY RIver West e-, D C Bay OCraCoke. 3 Inlet C) Drum Inlet Core Sound ATLANTIC OCEAN Sampling site SCALE -54 16 0 80 34 78 77 76 cl- Figure 5. Location of Neuse River commercial fish sampling sites. 16 of data due to high incidence of regenerated scales. Scales were read on a microfiche reader at 24X magnification. At least three of the most legible scales were read from each fish. The scale edge was counted as a year mark, as it was assumed that each fish had completed a full year's growth at the time of capture. Tagging Two separate tagging programs were conducted during 1976-79 on the Neuse Ri'ver: (1) from January through April, 1977-79, all captured anadromous fish in suitable condition were tagged in the lower and middle'Neuse River and tributaries, and.(2) during October through December, 1976-79, striped bass. were tagged in the midd16 Neuse River. Fall striped bass tagging was accomplished by the drop net method described by Tobaben (1971) and Marshall (1976). Drops were made in the Neuse River just above New Bern with a net 365.7 m (400 yd) long, composed of 101.6 mm (4 in) stretched monofilament nylon webbing. The drop net was fished two ways: (1) the net was deployed in a U-shaped pattern encircling a point of land, and (2) the net was dropped along an area where pilings or other bottom obstructions existed. In both cases a disturbance was created in the drop net area to drive fish into the net. This method was most effective at night when there was little wind. Staked gill nets were set during January-March, 1977-79 to capture anadromous fish for tagging during their spring spawning migration. These nets were composed of the same mesh sizes as those previously described under "spawning area sampling." Nets were fished daily and checked early each day to ensure maximum survival. A pound net was set during late winter and early spring 1979 near Greene Creek (Figure 5) for tagging purposes. The pound net consisted of a 273.4 m (300 yd) lead composed of 152.4 mm (6 in) stretched mesh which connected to apound made of 101.6 mm (4 in) stretched mesh. The net was checked daily from February to late March. A rented haul seine was also utilized as a tagging device during mid-M arch through April, 1977-79. The seine was located near Pitchkettle Creek in 1977 and near the SR 1470 bridge in 1978-79 (Figure 6). The haul seine was checked weekly when river conditions were favorable. N SR 1620 -,rc,oat sampling site \IAN ().f Mf RE @y Bridge sampling si SR 1617 SR 1129 NC55 NE55 BAYBOFIO NE BERNE C') 00 ;0 M C) co SR1100 ;o c") BR AD CR SR 11:1 CR SRIIOj A US70 'HAVELOCKH CJ Q.- C:) C) C3 NC 101 0 --------- SR 1700 miles Figure 6. Sampling sites for spawning area survey in the Neuse River NC, 1977-79. IMM MEN IME MEN MEN M M M M M M M M M M Sf 1915 18 NC III sr1731 Z s-r1730 si 1002 sr]225- f1222 sr1311 SOW US13 US 70 sr1340 NC123 US70 IS US 70 S13 US 258 LIS1 sr1153 Sri KINSTON NG11 s r 1004 sr 1142 h4 sr1809 s(1130 NC55 NG11 NC 102 C118 NC41 R 9. In CYPR sr 1129 c" S1 -Q,0e 1470 RENTON NC41 Sr 01 Sr1245 COVE IR Ho C* NC55 srIO02 NC118 Zb [email protected] SrII2I -b WILE HIL R ?S! r1478 101P X1440 411 US17 sr.121. NC 5 Sf 14 sr 1401 r 1004 Boat sampling site pling site srI34O NEW BER x Bridge sam 0 5 10 MILES Figure 6 - continued. US64 N 0 5 miles 6=:-,4 - Impassable lowhead dam s(1007 t_j - Passable lowhead dam X - Bridge sampling site 2 509 --4 r S11708- NC42 tic 42 sr1908 US70A US70 SMITHFIELD 96 8LAr'K CR sr1234 NC 581 US70 sr 1009 NC 581 11/7 Sti @?00 GOL SBORO L" C-11, -10 6S 0 vtvlb Figure 6 continued 20 All fish were tagged with Floy FD-68B anchor tags placed below the insertion of the dorsal fin. Each fish was measured (Fl, mm) and scales taken for age determi- nation. The tagging program was publicized by placing posters throughout the study area. Rewards of $1.00, $5.00, $10.00 and $25.00 were offered for returned tags. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Spawning Areas Designation of spawning areas in the Neuse River and tributaries were based on occurrence of only one or more of the following criteria: (1) observation of spawning activity, (2) capture of running-ripe females, and/or (3) capture of eggs or recently-hatched larvae. Lippson and Moran (1974) and Mansueti and [email protected] (1967) provided criteria for identification of eggs and larvae. Eggs and larvae of blue- back herring and alewife are reported together as river herring because of the difficulty in accurately separating early developmental stages of these two species. However, gill net sampling showed that about 85% of the river herring captured in the Neuse River and its tributaries were blueback herring. Sampling during the initial segment of this project showed a general mixing of blueback herring.and alewife in the lower Neuse River. Spawning area sampling sites are shown in Figure 6. Results of egg net sampling in the Neuse River and tributaries are summarized in Table 2. Table 3 shows where running-ripe female river herring, American shad, and hickory shad were taken, as well as locations where spawning activity was observed during 1977-79. A total of 8,683 minutes of sampling resulted in the capture of 1,518 eggs and 457 larvae of anadromous fish during March - May 1977-79. Eggs and larvae of all the anadromous species except sturgeons were taken. Eggs and larvae of many other species were taken in addition to anadromous, fishes: pickerels, suckers, minnows, yellow perch, centrachids, and others. River herring River herring spawned in the Neuse River and tributaries from 15 March to 30 May during the three year study. Water temperatures during spawning ranged from 110 - 260C, PH from 6.4 - 8.9, and dissolved oxygen levels from 4 - 12 parts per million (ppm). Most river herring spawning occurred in the smaller tributaries and flooded low-lying areas adjacent to the main section of the river. Table 2. - Location.and results of egg net samples in the Neuse River and its tributaries, 1977-1979. Total sample Eggs Larvae Area Samgle Site Time(min) Species N Eggs/min N Larvae/min Slocum Creek SR 1746 155 Herring so 0.32 5 0.03 NC 101 15 Herring 3 0.2 Tucker Creek US 20 15 No catch Hancock Creek NC 101 25 Herring 2 0.08 Cahoogue Creek 5 No catch Clubfoot Creek SR 1700 30 No catch South River 15 No catch Duck Creek 20 No catch Northwest Creek 15 No catch Upper Broad Creek SR 1620 15 No catch SR 1617 15 No catch NC 55 45 No catch Boat Sampling site 60 Herring 55 0.92 Goose Creek SR 1129 15 No catch NC 55 30 No catch SR 1100 15 No catch Boat Sampling site 75 No catch Beards Creek 40 Herring 5 0.13 Dawson Creek 40 Herring 96 2.40 NC fork 5 Herring 1 0.20 Greene Creek 15 No catch Kershaw Creek 60 Herring 14 0.23 Smith Creek 20 Herring 17 0.85 M = = M M M = = = M M = M = M = M M M Table 2. (continued) Total sample Eggs Larvae Area Sample Site Time(min) Species N [email protected]/min N Larvag/Min Broad Creek 30 No catch Brown Creek 40 No catch Bay River South prong 20 No catch North prong 20 No catch Trent Creek 10 Herring 2 0.20 Vandemere Creek 15 No catch Trent River (Mainstem) US 17 45 No catch SR 1121 15 Herring 1 0.07 SR 1001 90 Herring 4 0.04 American shad 1 0.01 Hickory shad 1 0.01 SR 1300 75 Herring 2 0.03 NC 58 105 No catch SR 1129 45 Herring 1 0.02 SR 1130 45 No catch SR 1153 -75 Herring 5 0.07 1 .013 Brice Creek SR 1101 80 No catch SR 1111 60 Herring 32 0.53 Boat Sampling site 60 Herring 4 0.07 Reedy Branch SR 1340 15 No catch Island Creek SR 1004 115 No catch Island Creek Mouth 5 No catch Mill Creek SR 1004 75 Herring 18 0.24 Mouth 5 No catch Table 2. (continued) Total sample Eggs Larvae Area Sample Site Time(m n Species N Eggs/min N Larvae/min Little Hell Creek NC 58 30 No catch Mill Run NC 58 90 Herring 18 0.20 14 0.2 Jumping Creek SR 1002 15 Herring 1 0.07 Crooked Run NC 41 45 No catch Musselshell Creek SR 1001 15 No catch Beaver Creek SR 1316 30 No catch Cypress Creek NC 41 30 No catch Tuckahoe Swamp SR 1142 60 No catch US 258 30 No catch Neuse River (Mainstem) SR 1400 80 Herring 0 4 .05 SR 1470 65 Herring 6 .09 5 .08 NC 55 135 Herring 160 1.19 Striped bass 22 .16 American shad 1 .01 Hickory shad 1 .01 US 70 Business [email protected] Herring 24 .15 2 .01 Kinston Ame rican shad 1 .01 1 .01 US 70 [email protected] 90 Herring 2 .02 1 .01 Kinston Striped bass 6 .07 American shad 1 .01 NC 11 105 Herring 2 .02 1 .01 M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M Table 2. - (continued) Total sample Eggs Larvae Area Sample Site Jime(min) Species N Eggs/min N Larvae/min Neuse River NC 11 105 Striped bass 1 .01 (Mainstem) American shad 2 .02 4 .04 SR 1152 195 Herring 2 .01 Striped bass 13 .07 1 .01 American shad 3 .02 SR 1002 150 Herring 2 01 Striped bass 57 .38 American shad 2 .01 2 .01 Hickory shad 2 .01 SR 1731 130 Herring 1 .01 Striped bass 89 .68 American shad 6 .05 Hickory shad 4 .03 NC 111 105 Herring 141 1.34 Striped bass 4 .04 American shad 1 .01 SR 19115 135 Herring 5 .04 Striped bass 10 .07 American shad 2 .01 2 .01 US 117 45 No catch SR 1926 -30 American shad 1 .03,@ 1 .03 SR 1008 120 Herring 1 .01' 1 .01 American shad 1 .01 1 .01 SR 1224 205 Striped bass 1 .01 American shad 2 .01 2 .01 SR 1201 60 No catch NC 96 70 American shad 1 .01 US 70 @115 American shad 2 .02 Smithfield Hickory shad 2 .02 Table 2. - (continued) Total sample Eggs Larvae Area Sample Site Time(min) Species N Eggs/min N Larvae/min Neuse River US 70A 45 American shad 1 .02 (Mainstem) Smithfield SR 1908 60 No catch NC 42 45 No catch SR 1708 90 Herring .01 SR 2509 60 Hickory shad 3 .05 SR 2555 60 No catch SR 1007 30 No catch US 64 45 No catch Swift Creek Above SR 1440 bridge 20 No catch SR 1482 75 Herring 1 .01 SR 1440 120 Herring 40 .33 1 .01 American shad 1 .01 SR 1478 50 No catch NC 118 105 No catch NC 102 15 No catch Little Swift Creek US 17 60 No catch SR 1627 45 Herring 1 .02 SR 1624 15 No catch Batchelor Creek Mouth 20 Herring 2 .10 SR 1401 60 Herring 4 .07 27 .45 NC 55 60 Herring 3 .05 1 .02 = M M = = = M = = = M M M M = M M = M Table 2. - (continued) Total sample Eggs Larvae Area sample Site Time(min) Species N Eqqs/min N Larvae/min Batchelor Creek US 70 90 Herring 1 .01 2 .02 SR 7224 15 No catch Pinetree Creek Mouth 55 Herring 5 .09 4 .07 Taylor Creek Mouth 35 Herring 16 .46 Hickory shad 3 .09 Turkey Quarter Creek Mouth 94 Herring 8 .09 2 .02 NW fork 25 Herring 18 .72 Hickory shad 1 .04 SW fork 24 Herring 2 .08 9 .38 Hickory shad 1 .04 Pitchkettle Creek Mouth 74 Herring 160 2.16 21 .28 Hickory shad 1 .01 Back 15 Herring 7 .47 Cove Creek Mouth 15 No catch NC 55 120 No catch SR 1245 30 No catch Kitten Creek Mouth 10 Herring 118 11.8 .Village Creek Mouth 5 Herring 58 11.6 Halfmoon Creek Mouth 5 Herring 148 29.6 Hickory shad 3 .6 N) Cn Table 2. - (continued) Total sample Eggs Larvae Area Sample Site Time(min) Species N Eggs/min N Larvae/min Grindle Creek Mouth 15 No catch Back 12 No catch Contentnea Creek NC 118 120 No catch NC 11 15 No catch SR 1004 60 Herring 3 .05 NC 123 60 No catch US 13 105 Herring .01 SR 1222 30 American shad 1 .03 SR 1225 60 American shad 1 .02 Hickory shad 1 .02-- Little Contentnea Creek NC 102 120 No catch SR 1125 45 No catch US 13 45 No catch SR 1139 30 No catch Jericho Run Creek SR 1809 75 No catch NC 11 30 No catch Southwest Creek SR 1804 45 No catch Falling Creek SR 1340 75 No catch US 70 15 No catch Bear Creek SR 1311 15 No catch Walnut Creek SR 1730 15 No catch M M M M M = M = M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M M Table 2. (continued) Total sample Eggs Larvae Area Sample Site Time(min) Species N Eggs/min N Larvae/min Little River NC 581 75 Herring 1 .01 American shad 1 .01 5 .07 US 70 15 No catch SR, 1234 110 American shad 1 .01 NC 42 15 Hickory shad 3 .2 Beaverdam Creek Mouth 15 No catch Mill Creek Mouth 15 46 catch SR 1200 235 Hickory :,had 1 .01 Herring 2 .01 SR 1009 105 American shad 3 .03 SR 1185 30 No catch Black Creek 1-95 15 No catch Middle Creek NC 210 60 Herring 4 .07 Swift Creek NC 210 40 No catch Total 8,683 1,518 457 rQ CO 29 Table 3. Observations of running ripe females and spawning activity by anadromous fish in the Neuse River, 1977-1979. Location Date Species Dawsons Creek 3/18/77 Alewife 3/30/77 Alewife 3/31/77 Alewife 4/01/77 Alewife Hancock Creek 4/07/77 Blueback herring Slocum Creek 3/18/77 Blueback herring 4/15/77 Blueback herring Beards Creek 3/30/77 Blueback herring 3/31/77 Blueback herring 4/01/77 Blueback herring Brices Creek 3/18/77 Blueback herring 3/31/77 Blueback herring 4/01/77 Blueback herring 4/07/77 Blueback herring 4/08/77 Blueback herring 4/10/77 Blueback herring 4/20/77 Blueback herring 4/21/77 BluebacK herring Batchelor Creek 4/11/78 Blueback herring Taylor Creek 4/05/78 Blueback herring Pitchkettle Creek 4/04/77 Hickory shad 4/07/78 Blueback herring 4/11/78 Blueback herring 3/30/79 Hickory shad Swift Creek 4/05/78 Blueback herring 4/25/78 Blueback herring Little Swift Creek 4/07/78 Blueback herring Village Creek 4/01/78 Blueback Herring Contentnea Creek 4/06/78 Alewife 4/11/78 Blueback herring Neuse River 3/30/78 American shad Quaker Neck Dam 30 Utilization of such areas agrees with similar data for Albemarle Sound (Street et al. 1975) and the Tar-Pamlico River (Marshall 1976). Collections of river herring eggs and larvae indicated distribution and spawning areas extending beyond those recorded.by Baker (1968) (Figure 7). River herring larvae were collected as far upstream as the SR 1708 bridge (Figure 6), approximately 70 river miles above the upstream range reported by Baker (1968). Cropland alterations on 6locum and Adams Creeks and South River have reduced habitat areas for river herring in the lower Neuse River (Baker 1968). In the middle and upper Nleuse, channelization projects have eliminated spawning areas above the NC 118 bridge on Swift Creek, and on the entire Bear Creek area (Baker 1968). The Bear Creek channelization destroyed approximately five miles of previous river herring habitat. The channelization projects altered dark slow-flowing tributaries into shallow, swift flowing, sandy bottom streams unfavorable for anadromous fish habitation. Some of the more important spawning areas delineated were Slocum, Smith, Dawson, and Upper Broad Creeks in the lower Meuse River, Swift, Pitchkettle, Taylor, ana Turkey Quarter Creeks in the middle Meuse, and Mill Creek in the b pper Meuse. River herring eggs were collected consistently from the SR 1740 ridge above New Bern to the SR 1915 bridge just below Goldsboro (from river mile 42 to river mile 128). Heavy rains in the spring produced considerable flooding that expanded river herring spawning areas into flooded low-lying swamps adjacent to the river during 1977 and 1978. River herring eggs were found in many of the other Meuse River's tributaries: Beards, Hancock, Kershaw, and Trent Creeks in the lower Meuse; Jumping, Brice,' Mill, and Mill Run Creeks in the Trent River; Little Swift, Batchelor, Pinetree, Village, Kitten, Halfmoon and Contentnea Creeks in the middle Meuse, and Little River and Piddle Creek in the upper Neuse River. Running-ripe female alewife and blueback herring were first taken on 18 March in the lower Meuse River and were captured throughout the spawning period in several Meuse River tributaries (Table 3). Water temperatures ranged from 130 - 260C. In 1977 and 1978 increases in river herring egg catch could be correlated with water temperature increases (Figure 8). Two spawning peaks could be seen in 1977, accompanied by parallel increases in water temperature. A similar peak could also be seen in the river herring egg capture in 1978. River herring larvae catch also corresponded somewhat with water temperature increases. Larval numbers were too low to consider during 1977 and 1979, and egg numbers too low in 1979. vAN[)[Ml pf C5 [email protected] NEW BAYBORO cX) BERNIJ: V m CD cx; CD 10 BROAD C' 4 CR Vf, WILKERSON POINT EP cr a cj cd HAVELOCK cr LD co 0 miles Figure 7 River herring spawning areas in the Neuse River = = = mm mm M-M m m m m 32 KINSTON 41 PR kz RENTON e ICOVE L11 I L. ELL R Spawning areas NEW BER 0 10 m ILES Figure 7 continued. 33 Spawning areas CP SMITHFIELD BLACK CR 5 Miles GOLDSBO C'q ZE. LAJ LW Figure 7 continued m .75 1977 Water temperature 3 4 1977 River herring egg CPUE -24 '0- 60 22 >1 -4 (0 20 .45 0)M -18 It W41 .30 .16 M$4 d) t> ca 14 15 -12 - 10 11 12 13 14 10 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Week No. 75 - 1978 Water temperature 60 1978 River herring egg CPUE 24 0 22 ........ 1978 Striped bass egg CPUE 4CO '20 15 18 W4J -16 .30 14 3T .15 12 10 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 .75 - Week No. 5 1978 Water temperature 24 0- 1978 River herring larvae CPUE .60 - JO 22 20 .45 - 2rE -18 W - 16' 30 - &4 a) > -14 4 .15 -12 10 10 11 1'2 13 14 115 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Week No. Figure 8 - Catch per unit effort for river ierring eggs and larvae and striped bass eggs in relation to water temperature and week in the'Neuse River, 1977-1978. 35 River herring larvae were captured in Mill Run of the Trent River, Trent River, Slocum Creek, Halfmoon Creek, Kitten Creek, Taylor Creek, Pitchkettle Creek, and Little River. Larvae were also collected in the main stem of the Neuse from the SR 1400 bridge (river mile 44) to the SR 1008 bridge (river mile 140) in Goldsboro, and at the SR 1700 bridge (river mile 200)in the upper Neuse. The exact location of alewife spawning areas could not be accurately determined due to the difficulty in separating blueback herring eggs and larvae from those of alewife. As mentioned earlier, gill net sampling indicated that alewife were found primarily in the lower Neuse River; however, one running-ripe female was captured in Contentnea Creek and seven male alewife were caught in Beaverdam Creek. These catches indicate that alewife do utilize the upper Neuse River area. American shad American shad spawned from 31 March - 25 May in the Neuse River during 1977-79 Water temperatures for the spawning period ranged from 110 - 260C, dissolved oxygen levels, 4-12 ppm, and pH concentrations, 6.4 - 8.0. The major spawning areas for American shad were located in the main stem of the Neuse River from just above New Bern to Smithfield, an area characterized by relatively swift currents (Figure 9). This characteristic supports the observation of Sholar (1976) that American shad eggs require sufficient current to remain suspended in the water column. Chittenden (1976) also found that the major shad spawning grounds of the Delaware River were located in the main river stem. However, a few American shad eggs were found in the Neuse River's larger tributaries: Trent River, Contentnea Creek, Swift Creek, Little River, and Mill Creek. Most of these tributaries are typified by dark and deep water with relatively slow currents that increase substantially during periods of heavy rainfall. Baker (1968) reported that American shad ascended the Neuse much farther than found in this study. He stated that the range of shad extended to the Milburnie Dam at Raleigh, while in this project American shad were found only as far upstream as Smithfield, a difference of approximately 30 mi (48.5 km ). Also,no American shad were found in Swift and Middle Creeks, two major upper Neuse River habitats reported by Baker (1968) to support shad. The primary tributaries utilized by American shad in the upper Neuse were Little River and Mill Creek. Walburg and Nichols (1967) stated that American shad spawning grounds in the Neuse River extended from New Bern to the low-head dam at Goldsboro; however, shad eggs were found as far upstream as Smithfield. 36 KINSTON @2 z RENTON CovF :Q, Ptl WILl H R t L D NEW BER Spawning areas - 0 5 10 @MILES Figure 9 '.i-qerican shad spawning areas in the Neuse River. 37 Spawning areas ton 4-fj SMITHFIELD BLACK CR 5 mnes SBO Figure 9 continued 38 American shad egg catches were relatively scarce in the Neuse River; the highest catch was six from the SR 1731 bridge near Seven Springs. The low egg catch made estimation of a spawning peak impossible. American shad larvae were found from Kinston (river mile 85) to the SR 1224 bridge above Goldsboro (river mile 145). Larval catches were also rare; the largest number being five which came from Little River (NC 581 bridge). One running-ripe American shad was cap- tured in the Neuse River on 4 April 1978 near the low-head dam at Goldsboro, at a water temperature of 190C. Hickory shad Egg sampling in the Neuse River during 1977-79 yielded only 23 eggs and four iden tifiable hickory shad larvae. Based on these collections, hickory shad spawning areas have been tentatively located (Figure 10). Eggs were found in the middle Neuse River from the NC 55 bridge (river mile 80) to the SR 1731 bridge (river mile 97), in the upper Neuse River from Smithfield (river mile 80) to the SR 2509 bridge (river mile 210), and in several tributaries. The tributaries where hickory shad eggs or larvae were captured were Turkey Quarter, Pitchkettle, Taylor, Halfmoon, Contentnea, and Mill Creeks, along with Little and Trent Rivers. Pate (1972) also found that hickory shad utilized Pitchkettle and Taylor Creeks as spawning grounds. Hickory shad, much like herring, seemed to prefer the slow-flowing, deep, and dary- water tributaries as spawning areas. Baker (1968) also noted that hickory shad often inhabit the smaller tributaries of the Neuse River. Hickory shad spawning occurred from 27 March to 4 May, at temperatures of 130- 18.50C for the three year study period. Temperatures and spawning duration were very similar to those reported by Pate (1972). Eggs were caught at a pH range of 6.4 - 6.6, and at dissolved oxygen levels of 5 - 10 ppm. Catches were insufficient to determine spawning peaks. Hickory shad larvae were captured only in Halfmoon and Turkey Quarter Creeks. Running ripe females were observed in late March and early April in Pitchkettle Creek during 1977-78, at water temperatures of 180C and 190C (Table 3). Striped bass Striped bass eggs were captured only during the second segment of the project, when investigations concentrated on the area between New Bern and Goldsboro. Eggs were collected from the NC 55 bridge at Kinston (river mile 80) to the SR 1224 - bridge above Goldsboro (river mile 145) (Figure 11).- Striped bass spawned in the 39 N KINSTON Zb CYPR TRENTON COVE lp _Zb 10 1 HELL Spawning areas NEW BER 0 5 10 MILES rigure 10 HicVory shad spawning areas in'the NeUS6 River. L 40 N Spawning areas SMINFIELD BLACK CR 0 5 mi,es GOLDSBORO C,? 4C C-) CD Figure 10- continued 41 ASTON CYPR TRENTON COVE Rtj CR MILE HELL R ?R YILL @.R NEW BER Spawning areas 5 10 MILES Figure 11- Strfped bass sp awning areas in the Nleuse River. 42 Spawning areas (P X SMITHFIELD BLACK CR 0 5 miles SBORO Figure 11 continued 43 middle Neuse River from 27 March to 30 May at water temperatures of 13.50 - 240C, PH concentrations of 6.4 - 6.9, and dissolved oxygen levels of 5 - 10 ppm. The spawning duration and temperatures were somewhat different from those recorded by Baker (1968) in the Neuse. He collected striped bass eggs from 3 April to 13 May at 190 - 210C. Baker (1968) also stated that striped bass migration into inland waters is stopped by the Quaker Neck dam at Goldsboro. During this study, one striped bass egg was discovered above Goldsboro, indicating that while striped bass habitat does extend above the low-head dam, distribution is probably greatly hindered by the dam. The principal strtip:[email protected],[email protected],[email protected] area in the Neuse River lies between the NC 55 bridge (river mile' 60YP-and the SR 1915 bridge (river mile 120). This is the only area in the Neuse River where striped bass eggs were consistently caught. Evidently, that section of the river is turbulent enough to prevent the striped bass eggs from settling to the bottom where they could be silted over. Bigelow and Schroeder (1953) stated that such a current is a principal requirement for successful spawning of striped-bass. Although striped bass egg catches were relatively low, two spawning peaks could be detected that possibly correlated, with increases in water temperature (Figure 8). High numbeirsFoff striped bass eggs (.14 eggs/min) were collected during week 15 (9-15 April)' when-water temperatures rose to an average of 21.50C. Relatively large [email protected] (.17 eggs/min) continued to be caught until water tempera- tures dropped to an average of 130C during week 16. Low water temperatures were correlated with a lack of egg catches until week 21 (21-27 May), when the water temperature rose to 200C, and the egg catch peaked at .49 eggs/min. No eggs were taken after week 21. One striped bass larvae was caught near the SR 1151 bridge in 1978. Estimates of striped bass spawning in 1978 relative to 1977 and 1979 seem to indicate a successful spawning year. The combination of strong currents produced by heavy spring rains and optimum water temperature during weeks 15, 16, and 21 probably contributed significantly to the successful striped bass spawn in 1978. Juvenile Sampling During January - December, 1976-79. a total of 11,711 juvenile anadromous fishes were captured in the Neuse River. The most abundant juvenile anadromous fish caught was blueback herring (10,011), far surpassing American shad (71 6), 44 alewife (58), hickory shad (916), and striped bass (10). Anadromous juveniles were caught with wing trawls, flat trawls, seines, and other experimental gears. The beach seine and surface wing trawl were more effective in capturing anadromous fish than the flat trawl. The overal CPUE in the Neuse River for the wing trawl during June-October, 1976-79 was 2.45,while that for the seine was 9.0. The CPUE values were compared to an overall CPUE of only .77 for the flat trawl (Table 4). The difference is probably due to the apparent tendency of alosids, especially blu eback herring, to inhabit shallow or surface and mid-water areas. Street, et al. (1975) and Johnson, et al. (1977) inferred that blueback herring preferred shallow water areas for nursery grounds. Burbidge (1974) also found that juvenile blueback herring were concentrated in surface waters in the James River, Virginia. Significantly more American shad were also caught with the wing trawl and seine than with the flat trawl, with 16.2% of the total shad being caught in the wing trawl and 83.6% with the seine. Less than 1% of the juveniles were captured with the flat trawl. It should be noted that most of the samples taken with the flat trawl were made downstream from the principal anadromous fish nursery area (Figure 4). Blueback herring Nursery Area - Sufficient numbers of blueback herring were captured to permit general delineation of nursery areas and provide a picture of growth, movement, and relative abundance. Catches of juvenile blueback herring were highest in the Neuse and Trent River upstream from New Bern. In the Neuse River, relatively large numbers (30% of the four year total) were found consistently in the Swift Creek area. Three percent of the total blueback herring catch came from Turkey Quarter Creek. The principal area consistently utilized by juvenile blueback herring was from Flower's Gap to Cove Creek, an area covering approximately 15 miles (Figure 12). The downstream limit of the blueback herring nursery area in the Neuse River is at the transition of the river from a slow-moving, swamp-bordered stream to a marsh-bordered estuary subject to salt water intrusion. This alignment is similar to that found by Marshall (1976) in the Tar-Pamlico River system. Relatively deep, slow-flowing, black waters that drain hardwood swamps, characterize the apparent nursery areas for blueback herring in the Neuse River. Movement - Juvenile blueback herring were generally distributed throughout the Neuse River after spawning, inhabiting tributaries or moving into the main s-tem of the river. Juveniles were collected from upper Broad Creek region near New Bern Table 4. - Catch and catch-per-effort of juvenile anadromous fishes, by gear, from the Neuse River, NC, June-October, 1976-1979 Wing Trawl 174" Flat Trawl Seine YEAR 1976 1977. 1978 1979 1976-79 1976 1977 1978 1979 1976-79 1976 1977 1978 1979 1976-79 EFFORT 624 1225 525 340 2714 0 0 21 50 21 14 33 56 39 142 Blueback herring Catch 169 2935 3282 149 6535 0 0 52 0 52 0 3 675 64 742 CPUE .27' 2.4 6.25 -.44 2.41 0.0 0.0 2.5 0.0 .73 0.0 .09 12.05 1.6 5.2 Percent 100 99.0 82.0 70.0 89.2 0 0 .01 0.0 .7 0 .1 17.0 30 10.1 Alewife Catch 0 1 1 0 2 0 0 2 0 2 0 0 6 0 6 CPUE 0.0 .01 .01 0.0 >.I 0.0 0.0 .09 0.0 .03 0.0 0.0 L11 0.0 .04 Percent 0 100 .11 0 20.0 0 0 .22 0 20 0 0 .66 0 60 American shad Catch 19 23 66 8 116 0 0 1 0 1 0 479 105 14 528 CPUE .03 .02 .13 .02 .043 0.0 0.0 .05 OA .01 0.0 15.0 1.9 .36 3.7 Percent 100 .05 .38 .36 16.2 0 0 .006 0 .1 0 .95 .61 .64 83.6 Hickory shad Catch 0 4 1 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 3 CPUE 0.0 .01 .01 0.0 >.l 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 .05 0.0 >.l Percent 0 100 .25 0 62.5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .75 0 37.5 Striped bass Catch 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 4 CPUE 0.0 0.0 0.0 .01 >.I 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 .07 0.0 >.l Percent 0 0 0 .33 33 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .67 0 .67 TOTAL Catch 6660 55 1283 CPUE 2.45 .77 9.0 Percent .83 1 16 VANDfMtRf c- BAYBORO NEW BERN13 C" m C) 3. BRO D CR 00 Tel CR c ck: 0 C. cr HAVELOCK z Q: U ci tj miles 0 rapture site Figure 12. - Capture sites of juvenile blueback herring in-the Neuse River, NC, 1977-1979. 47 KINSTON [email protected] TRENTON ovl elp HELL F1.0WER'S GAP Capture site NEW BER 0 5 10 MILES Figure 12 cont inued. 48 t The SR 1152 bridge near Bear Creek from May through November. Blueback herring were captured in all areas of the Neuse; being found in tributaries, close to shorelines, and in the main stem of the river. This dispersal is similar to what Street, et al, (1975) found in Albemarle Sound for the months of May - June. Street, et al. (1975) and Loesch (1968) stated that downstream migration of blueback herring to wintering areas took place with the onset of cold weather. However, movement of juvenile blueback herring into estuarine waters could not be detected in the Neuse River through 1977-79. Numerous factors could have influenced this apparent lack of migration; the Fall seasons of 1977-79 were unusually warm, with water temperatures ranging from 150C - 190C even in November. Also possible juvenile movement in and out of the Neuse River tributaries complicates any determi- nation of blueback migration. There was no indication of juvenile bluebacks moving out of the tributaries, as high densities of herring were found in Swift Creek from June - November, 1976-79, the only tributary located in the major nursery area which was sampled for juveniles. Catch-per-unit-effort values did decrease in the fall during 1977 and 1979, but showed a great increase in 1978 (Figure 13). A general niovement of juvenile blueback herring into the lower section of the Neuse River during late fall'and winter was documented by Spitsbergen and Wolff (1974). More than 99% of the juvenile bluebacks they caught were taken from December to March. This trend of movement into estuarine waters was also noted by Marshall (1976) in northern Pamlico Sound, and by Street, et al. (1975) in Croatan Sound. Spitsbergen and Wolff (1974) reported that juvenile blueback herring utilize the, shallow muddy tributaries in the brackish water sections of the Neuse as secondary nursery areas. Total migration of bluebacks into Pamlico Sound evidently occurs as the spring spawning migration of adults begins. Information on movement and behavior of blueback herring in nursery areas is very limited. Street, et al. (1975) suggested that migration from the nursery areas was size-related. However, Godwin and Adams (1969) believed that a size-migration relationahip did not apply to blueback herring in the Altamaha River, Georgia. Burbage (1974) stated that juvenile blueback herring movement in the James River, Virginia could be affected by migration into and out of tributaries, differing survival rates in the upstream and downstream sections of the river, food availa- bility, and river current rates. Growth - Separate growth curves for the 1976, 1977, 1978, and 1979 year class6s of juvenile blueback herring have been plotted, in addition to a growth curve combining all year classes (Figure 14). Growth during 1977 and 1978 was similar, 49 20.0 Seine* 16.0 12.0 - 8.0 4.0 1977---- 1 97P 1979 ........... May Uune Jul.y Aug Sep Oct Nov 20.0 - 11-16rith 16.0 . Uing Trawl 12.0 - A P.0 - 4.0 May June July Aug Sep Oct Nov Mo nth Figure 13 Monthly catch per effort of juvenile blueback herring, Neuse River, Vay-November, 1977-1979. Stations above New Rern were used for seine data 1976 1977 60 1978 60 1976-79 1979 - - - - - - - - - n=l 37 n=113 50 50 n=l 1)33 n=2257 E 40 [email protected] 40 30 30 n=974 I I May June July Mont hAug Sept Oct May June July Month Au g Sept Oct Figure 14 Nean fork length of blueback herring by month for the Neuse [liver, lq76-1979. Ln C) 51 as was growth during 1976 and 1979. The higher apparent growth rates in 1976 and 1979 may have been due to the relatively small sample size, which probably was reflective of poorer year classes. The 1977 and 1978 Neuse River growth rates resemble those of blueback herring in Albemarle Sound, Northeast Cape Fear River, Cape Fear River and Tar-Pamlico River (1974-76) (Table 5). The general flatness of the growth curve during July-October may be related to juvenile move- ment, suggesting emigration of the larger fish, as Street, et al. (1975),and Johnson, et al. (1977) found for Albemarle Sound. Juvenile monitoring in the Tar-Pamlico system consistently produced smaller blueback herring than those in the Neuse for 1977-79 - the average difference in length for the corresponding month between the two rivers was approximately 6 mm (Table 5). This factor could be related to numerous factors, such as food availa- bility, feeding selectivity, differing growth efficiencies for the two systems, and length of stay in the nursery areas. Relative abundance - Juvenile sampling with various trawls and seines was conducted according to standard procedures in order to compare results from different samples taken with the same gear. Such data should show relative changes in juvenile abundance among year classes. Table 6 exhibits relative abundance of the 1977-79 year classes of blueback herring for the Neuse River. Greater abundance was evi- dent in 1977 and 1978 relative to 1979. The 1979 year class was apparently quite poor in the Neuse River. Alewife The small number (58) of juvenile alewife collected during the study pre- vented delineation of nursery areas in Neuse River. Of the total, 48 were caught during a supplemental sample near Beards Creek in July, 1977 (Figure 15). Alewife were also captured in and around the mouth of the Trent River and From Duck Creek. The juveniles ranged from a minimum of 35 mm in June to a maximum length of 82 mm in July. Most of the juveniles were caught during seine sampling at night. Low numbers of juvenile alewife in the Neuse River were also encountered by Spitsbergen and Wolff (1974). Spitsbergen and Wolff (1974) reported juvenile alewife in many of the same areas as blueback herring during November through Mareh in the lower Neuse Rive Most of the alewife were caught during March and ranged in size from 55 to 95 mm. 52 Table 5. - Comparison of mean length (m) of juvenile blueback herring by month from Neuse River and other North Carolina locations. Location and Reference June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Northeast Cape Fear River 1 1975 39 44 45 47 1976 35 34 44 45 48 Cape Fear River2 1977 31 47 51 58 65 1978 27 35 39 49 Albemarle Sound 1972 31 41 44 47 49 1973 26 33 37 40 41 1974 41 44 40 49 1975 37 39 42 40 1976 28 35 48 49 1977 28 35 35 41 42 1978 25 38 42 51 52 Tar-Pamlico River4 1974 31 37 47 46 58 1975 27 34 42 43 48 1976 41 45 50 1977 26 30 36 36 38 1978 29 34 39 38 39 1979 32 43 Neuse River 1976 47 50 54 55 1977 34 38 42 44 1978 32 38 40 41 48 1979 45 52 50 59 !Sholar 1977 2Fischer 1979 3Data for 1972-73 from Street et al. (1975), for 1974-76 from Johnson et al. (1977), and for 1977-78 from Johnson et al and Loesch et al (1978). 4Data for 1974-76 from Marshall (1976) 53 Table 6. Relative abundance of juvenile blueback herring captured by wing trawls in the Neuse River, NC, june-October, 1977-1979. Neuse River 1977 1978 1979 N CPUE N CPUE N CPUE June 871 8.29 1050 10.00 0* 0.0 July 431 4.10 596 5.67 110 1.05 August 207 1.97 259 2.46 3 .03 September '1,000 9.52 544 5.18 10 .10 October 332 3.16 833 7.93 0 0.0 Total 2,841 5.44 3282 5.21 123 .36 *No effort was expended (Only similar 1977-1979 wing trawl stations are used. Trent River data are combined with Neuse River data) 54 C" 0 ct 40NO R IN ER IRENT ar C, 5 OL miles Capture site 0 Figure T5 Capture sites of juvenile alewife in the Neuse River, NC, 1977-79. 55 No definite observations an juvenile [email protected] growth and movement could be made due to the low numbers of juveniles encount-ered. The data collected on river herring during this project and by Spitsbev-gen and Wolff (1974) indicate that blueback herring are by far the major river herring utilizing the Neuse River. The low juvenile population of alewife compared to the relatively high numbers of Z bluebacks raises questions on habitat preference and may reflect the fact that the Neuse River is near the southern end of the geographic range for alewife (Bigelow and Schroeder 1953). American shad Nursery Area - Although relatively few juvenile American shad were collected (716), tentative nursery areas could be delineated in the Neuse River. As found with blueback herring, most American shad were captured in the Trent River and the Neuse River upstream from New Bern. A large majority of the juvenile shad were caught at the SR 1400 bridge near Pinetree Creek, where 475 were caught in June, 1977 during a single supplemental sample. Many juveniles were also caught at the SR 1224 bridge above Quaker Neck dam near Goldsboro, indicating that a significant amount of spawning may have o-.ccurred upstream from the dam. The general area utilized by juvenile Americantsfiad is from Duck Creek (river mile 35) to the SR 1224 bridge above [email protected](river mile 145), as shown in Figure 16. Juvenile American shad were found in the Neuse River from June through November with most fish being taken in June and July at a size range of 31-53 mm. Spitsbergen and Wolff (1974) reported the capture of seven juvenil*e American shad in the lower Neuse River during March, when the fish were evidently utilizing the lower estuarine waters as wintering areas. Movement - After spawning, juvenile American shad were found throughout the middle and upper Neuse River. The shad appeared more abundant over sand or gravel bottom, similar to that reported by Walburg and Nichols (1967). However, this apparen tepth habitat preference might be dLe to gear and sampling site limitations. Water d and obstructions limited trawl sampling to areas below the SR 1470 bridge. Up- stream areas were sampled with beach seines, which were effective only on sandy bottoms or in areas with beaches suitable for landing the net. These limitations could have accounted for the apparent habitat preference of American shad for sandy bottoms. C. NEW BAYBORO BERN13 Co CD CR CP 'HAVELOCK ce co 0 miles Capture site Figure 16. Capture sites of juvenile American shad in the Neuse River, NC, 1977-1979. 57 KINSTON CYPR kz RENTON q-, ovf Ply LIT ILE H L', R 'AL NEW BER Capture site 0 10 __j MILES Figure 16- continued. 58 LP 41/001r 0 SMITHFIELD BLACK CR 0 5 miles [email protected] Impassable dam U Pdssable lowhead dam GOLDSBORO 0 Capture site V C)? L) Figure 16 continued. 59 Lapointe (1958) stated that young-of-the-year American shad remained In the fresh or brackish waters of the Neuse until October or November, when they migrated to the ocean. Godwin and Adams (1969) found that juvenile American shad left the Altamaha River, Ga when they reached 90 - 100 mm, usually during October-December. Neuse River juvenile shad catches also decreased noticeably during October (Figure 17). The highest catches of juvenile American shad were recorded in June and July. Samnling produced no evidence of size-related movement of shad as found by Godwin and Adams (1969) in Georgia. The mean length of Neuse River American shad increased steadfly from J,une-November, 1977-79, showing no sign of leveling off (Figure 18). Street, et a.]. ('19,75), ane Godwin and Adams (1969) suggested t-hat a flattened growth curve might indicate emigration of larger fish from the river system. Spitsbergen and Wolff (1974) fou,nd young American shad in the Neuse River as late as March, at a sizq range of 95 - 125 mm. Godwin and Adams (1969) [email protected] Davis and Cheek (1967) reported that juvenile American shad movement was temperature related, with more shad emigrating out of the rivers as water [email protected] dropped. Due to the unusually warm weather during Fall, 1977-79, Neuse River,-water.temperatures were still relatively high in early November (15 - 190C)., The7h-igft temperatures may have delayed migration of juvenile shad out of the, Neuse until early w-inter.- Growth - The mean fork length of each year class of juvenile American shad in the Neuse River during May-November, 1977-79 is shown in Figure 18, along with a growth curve combining all year classes. Sample sizes were quite small except for the 1978 year-class. Godwin and Adams (1969)reported a high growth rate for shad from the Altamaha River, GA. American shad from the Neuse River also exhibited rapid, steady growth. Juvenile American shad in the Neus-e River during May-November ranged from 31 95 mm; sizes very similar to those also found by Walburg (1956) in the Neuse River. Hickory shad During May-November, 1976-79, 916 juvenile hickory shad were collected in the Neuse River. Of this total, 905 juveniles were captured through supplemental sampling in May, 1977. These juveniles were captured in the area of Pitchkettle and Turkey Quarter Creeks (Figure 19), and averaged 27 mm in length. Marshall (1977) 60 1977 1978 .......... 1979 70 Seine* 60 501 0.7 6.0 - 0.6 k Wing trawl 5.0 - 0.5 4.0 LU 0.4 3.0 0.3 2.0 0.2 1.0 0.1 May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Month Month Figure17 - Monthly catch per effort of juvenile American shad, Neuse River, May-October, 1977-1979. *Stations above New Bern were Used for seine data. 90 - q0 1977 n=l 7P. 1977-79 1 97P 197 9 80 - 80 n=77 n=279 70 - 79 60 n=24 60 50 50 - 40 - 4o - Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct 11-10V Month Month Figure 18. Mean fork length of juvenile American shad by monih for the Neuse River, 1977-1979. Cn IQ 06 RIVER C, Capture site F!gQre 19. Captwee g1tas of juvenile hiCkGry S'h'ad in the Neuse River, NC, 1977 - 1979. 63 and Pate (1972) reported that juvenile hickory shad spend only a short time in upstream Pursery areas before migrating to brackish tributaries of the lower Neuse and Pamlico Sound. Sampling in May and early June produced the entire catch of juvenile hickory shad, with sizes ranging from 20 to 46 mm in May and 37 - 70 mm in June. Three juveniles were caught below New Bern at 45 - 70 mm, perhaps supporting the observation of Marshall (1977), that h.ickory shad migration in the Neuse River begins in June. Spitsbergen and Wolff (1974) also reported juvenile hickory shad in the Neuse, ranging from 85 to 90 mm, during July and August, 1973. Striped bass Only ten juvenile striped bass were collected from the Neuse River during the sample period; all during 1978 and 1979. Most were caught with beach seines below New Bern during July and August (Figure 20). The young striped bass (6) captured in 1978 are thought to be natural stock, while those captured in 1979 (4) were probably due to a stocking program by the NC Wildlife Resources Commission in July on the Neuse River. Although very few young striped bass were taken in 1978, those fish could have been indicative of a relatively successful spawning season when considered wit h the frequent catch of striped bass eggs during the spring of 1978 and the later catch of yearling striped bass in late fall, 1979. Also, no previous records of any juvenile striped bass catches from the Neuse River could be found during literature reviews. Nursery areas of striped bass have been recognized in the Northeast Cape Fesr River (Sholar 1977) and Albemarle Sound region (Street and Johnson 1977). Preliminary nursery areas were also identified in the Tar-Pamlico River during* 1978 (Hawkins 1979). The low catch of juvenile striped bass prevented definite conclusions on movement, growth, and relative abundance. Growth did appear to be quite rapid, with 35 - 65 mm fish being caught in July, and 75 - 85 mm fish b being caught in August. Juvenile striped bass appeared to show no preference for fresh or brackish water areas. Interestingly, most (70%) of the young striped bass from the Neuse were caught with a beach seine, usually over sand bottoms and near grass beds. Although striped bass juvenile numbers were low, the catch in 1978 appears to be significant. No young striped bass had been reported previously in the Neuse River, thus the capture of juveniles in 1978 provides a preliminary picture of 64 striped bass nursery areas in the Neuse River. The juvenile catches from the Neuse River and also those found by Hawkins (1979) in the Tar-Pamlico River appear indicative of a successful striped bass spawning season in 1978, relative to previous years and 1979. Atlantic sturgeon Nine small Atlantic sturgeon were captured during January through March, 1977-79 during spring adult sampling and four were caught in October, 1978 from the Neuse River during SLIpplemental gill net sampling (Figure 20). The sturgeon ranged in length from 370 - 700 mm. Information is very limited regarding the sturgeon population in the Neuse River, and commercial and recreational catches are quite small. Adult Fish Sampling Division Sampling Adult anadromous fish were sampled by various methods in the Neuse River during 1976 - 79: Division of Marifie Fisheries gill nets set in the main stream and tributaries, a haul seine,, a pound net, examination of commercial landings in fish houses, and examination of recreational catches. Gill net sampling consisted of fishing over 1,042 yd (1,000 fil) of gill net near the New Bern railroad trestle over the Neuse River during 1977-78. These nets were fished from mid-January through mid Mlarch each year and consisted of varying mesh sizes mentione d previously. Nets were also placed in creeks and tributaries to obtain scale camples from March 'lay, 1977 - 79. Nets were set in all the major tributaries except Clubfoot and Adams Creoks and South River in Craven and Carteret Counties, Southwest and Bear .Creeks in Lenoir County, Walnut Creek in Wayne County, and Black Creek in Johnston County. "lLbfoot and Adams Creeks and South River were not sampled due to extensive cropland alterations in the headwaters, while the other creeks. were too shallow to sample with gill nets. Distribution of anadromous adults was found to generally correspond with spawning areas, and is discussed in some detail within the spawning area section (See RESULTS AND DISCUSSION - Spawning Areas). Blueback herring Blueback herring was by far the most abundant anadromous species inhabiting the tributaries of -the Neuse River, being found in all major creeks and rivers VAN Rf BAYBORO NEw BERN CD co 710 @P CR r Cr HAVELOCK 0 5 miles Figure 20 - Capture sites of juvenile striped bass and young Atlantic sturgeon in the Neuse 66 between the mouth and Goldsboro, except Bay River and Broad, Goose, Northwest, and Falling Creeks, and those tributaries not sampled. The only tributary above Goldsboro where adult blueback herring were captured was Mill Creek. The most important spawning area for blueback herring in the lower Neuse was Brice Creek, a tributary of Trent River. Pitchkettle, Taylor, Turkey Quarter, and Swift Creeks were observed as being major adult habitats in the middle Neuse. In the upper Neuse River, Mill Creek is the most important spawning area. Blueback herring were also caught in the mainstem of the Neuse as early as February 21, at a water temperature of 50C. Hildebrand (1963) reported that a water temperature of 120C Must be reached before blueback herring will enter a river. During the entire study period (1977-79) 1,400 blueback herring scale samples were examined to determine age (Table 7). Annual age class composition of blue- back herring daring 1977-79 is shown in Appendix Tables 1-6. Blueback herring in the Neuse River ranged in age from three to eight years. Males were predominately four and five, and females, four, five, and six (Table 8). The proportion of repeat spawners found was high, as Marshall (1976) found in Pamlico River and Sound,and Street at a]. (1975) found in Albemarle Sound. Repeat spawning was almost equal for both sexes, with 52% of the males and 53% of the females showing evidence of previous spawning. Males exhibited as many as three spawning marks and females, four. The mean fork lengths for each age group are very similar to those found in other North Carolina investigations, especially those examined in the Tar-Pamlico River (Table 9). Alewife Only 170 alewife scale samples were suitable for age determination during 1977-79. These fish came from a combination of gill net sampling and commercial and recreational catches. Most of the alewife were caught in gill nets below New Bern, the major catch areas being Dawson and Slocum Creeks. In the middle" Neuse, alewife were captured in Pitchkettle and Taylor Creeks and in the,upper Neuse, in Beaverdam Creek. Alewife was the dominant river herring species in the lower Neuse, apparently preferring the higher salinities of the area. Sholar (1977) and Bigelow and Welsh (1925) noted similar preferences in the Cape Fear system and the New England area, respectively. The early river herring spawning runs were compsed primarily of alewife, similar to what Hildebrand and Schroeder (1927) found in Chesapeake Bay and Johnson, et al (1977 noted in Albemarle Sound. 67 Table 7 Age and spawning frequency of blueback herring in the "euse Riverv NC, 1977-79 Spawning ra r k s 0 1 2 3 4 Total r NJ M F M F M F M F I F je 30 30 R 8 -)94 1 9P 50 5 344 203 55 81 219 156 43 4 317 241 5 27 77 74 8 5 90 106 VI 10 12 27 12 37 vIII 1 4 7 0 12 "T 7 793 607 10"al 379 287 274 188 120 R9 20 36 0 @Iercent 4P 47 35 31 15 15 2 6 0 1 Table 8 Size and age composition of blueback herring in the Neuse River, NC, 1977-79 @otal Percent of Mean fork Age number samples length(mm) Length range(mm) F M F M F M F III [email protected] 4 1 237 245 225-25P 230-262 IV -M4 20.1 43 33 247 253 230-266 230-271 V @17 241 40 40 251 263 230-295 240-289 106 11 18 262 272 242-278 257-289 V TI L 12 37 2 6 265 278 251-271 260-300 V ITI 0 12 0 2 287 278-300 T3 607 Table 9 Age and mean length of blueback herring examined during the present study compared to other North Carolina Investigations. [email protected]_ 3 4 5 6 7 8 Sex M F M F M F M F M F M F Location Fork length_ (mm) Neuse River 237 245 247 253 251 263 ?62 272 265 278 287 Tar-Pamlico River 232 - 244 254 256 264 261 270 264 285 - 290 Tar-Pamlico Riverl 239 242 240 249 251 257 263 275 - 280 - 291 Northeast Cape Fear River2 231 239 242 247 253 262 264 275 - 275 - - Cape Fear River3 - 255 266 259 270 287 279 - 290 Albemarle Sound4 229 244 237 248 247 257 251 264 259 270 270 280 1Marshall, 1976 2Sholar, 1977 3Fischer, 1979 4Street, Pate, Holland, and Powell, 1975 CO 69 Most of the alewife samples were four, five, and six years old (Table 10). Males were [email protected] (80%) four and five years old and females (66%), five and six (Table 11). Joseph and Davis (1965) found similar alewife ages in lower Chesapeake Bay. Three-year old fish comprised almost 4% of the alewife sampled, somewhat lower than found by Johnson, et al. (1977) and Street, et al. (1975) in Albemarle Sound. Samples were dominated by older females, as indicated by a high percentage (61%) of female repeat spawners. Thirty-one percent of the male alewife sampled exhibited evidence of previous spawning. Johnson, et al. (1977) reported that only seven percent of the alewife sampled (sexes combined) in Albemarle Sound had spawned previously. American shad Most of the scales taken from American shad for age analysis were sampled at commercial fish houses on the Neuse (MATERIALS AND METHODS Section - Adult Fish Harvest). Therefore, age and size composition of American shad are discussed in the commercial fishery section. Hickory shad Scales from 692 hickory shad were found suitable for age determination during 1977-79. Yearly age composition is shown in TaBles 7-12 of the Appendix. The majority of the hickory shad sampled were captured in the Division's gill nets, with very few being observed in commercial catches. Hickory shad were captured predomindtely during February and early March, being the first anadromous species to migrate up Neuse River each spring. Most of the fish were caught at a temperature range of 5-150C. Most of the males were . Hickory shad ranged from age 11 to age VIII (Table 12). three and four year old olds, while most females were three, four, and five (Table 13) Pate (1972) found a higher incidence of two year old males in the Neuse River; howevel the mean fork lengths for each year-class generally agree, indicating that our sampling gear was probably selective for larger males. Pate (1972) also reported that the female hickory shad population was composed mainly of three, four, and five year olds. Average fork lengths by age-class are compared to other North Carolina investigations in Table 14. 70 Table 10 Age and spawning frequency of alewife in the Nouse River, NC, 1977-79 Spawning marks 0 1 2 3 4 Total ',- e x 11 F M F M F M F M F H F [email protected] 7 7 0 1 12 1 42 12 16 1 P 15 q 2 31 23 1 14 7 13 1 P 2P 2 7 1 4 3 11 2 1 0 3 To,al 64 30 17 19 11 20 1 7 0 1 93 77 Percent 69 119 18 25 12 26 1 9 0 1 Table 11 Size and age composition of alewife in the Neuse River, NC, 1977-79 Total Percent of Mean fork Ige number samples length(mm) Length range(mm) F @j F @i F M F 111 7 0 P, 0 245 - 237-252 - IV 42 12 45 16 24P 255 23P-264 245-270 V 11) [email protected] 39 30 256 264 245-270 241-275 -.'I P 2P 9 36 26P 273 260-275 262-290 Vi! 3 11 3 14 27P 282 275-294 257-298 Vill 0 3 0 4 289 - 287-291 T3 77 71 Table 12 Age and spawning frequency for hickory shad in the Neuse River, NC, 1977-79 Spawning rid r k s 9 1 2 3 4 5 Total 1 f F 14 F 'I F M F M F M F M F .11 ge 14 4 14 41 95 96 1 61 91 32 5 IV 22 78 83 99 23 5 128 1P21 V 1 3 2 15 36 55 4 3 43 76 V 8 6 12 6 1 12 21 1 4 11 1 5 12 Vl I 1 1 3 1 31 To t a 1 100 176 117 119 59 68 10 16 10 12 2 3 E98-394 Percent 34 45 39 30 20 17 3 4 3 3 1 1 Table 13 Size and age composition of hickory shad in the Neuse River, NC, 1977-79. lotal Percent of Mean fork je number samples length(mm) Length range(mm) Ki F M F M F M F 11 14 4 5 1 295 302 272-323 296-307 T IT 1 1 95 96 32 24 31P [email protected] 260-152 2,RO-380 I'll 12P 122 43 46 342 360 31r'-37P 325-400 'j. 43 76 14 19 353 373 '125-40S 321-407 VI 12 21 4 5 374 393 320-400 363-420 VII 5 12 2 3 3P4 413 372-392 388-440 Vill 1 3 <1 1 -197 410 - 400-421 2 9-P 194 Table 14 - Age and mean length of hickory shad examined during the present study compared to other North Carolina investigations. Age 2 3 - 4 5 6 7 8 Sex M F M F M F M F M F M F M F Location Neuse River 295 302 318 337 342 360 353 373 374 393 384 413 397 410 1 Neuse River 294 311 332 354 346 376 356 395 357 409 369 420 - Pamlico Sound2 and River 286 290 297 324 341 354 355 376 395 413 - 427 Albemarle Sound 289 341 325 341 350 355 371 387 360 384 365 390 Pate, 1972 2 Marshall , 1976 3Street, Pate, Holland, and Powell, 1975 rQ 73 Repeat spawning was very high for hickory shad in the Neuse River, as documented by Pate (1972). Sixty-six percent of the males and 55% of the females had one or more spawning marks on their scales. The percentage of repeat spawners in other areas of North Carolina is also high, with Pamlico River and Albemarle Sound showing 50% and 49% respectively (Marshall 1976; Street, et al 1975). Striped bass Only 173 striped bass scale samples were examined for age composition from the Neuse River during the study. Ages ranged from one to ten years (Table 15). Most of the striped bass encountered (84%) were from one to five years old, with a length range of 305-658 mm. Adult sampling indicated that the striped bass popu- lation in the Neuse River was very low during 1977-79, as very few fish were encountered during intense spring and fall net fishing and commercial fish house sampling. Commercial Fishery Sampling The commercial fishery of the Neuse River has historically contributed only slightly to the total North Carolina landings of anadromous fish (Table 1). The area of the Neuse River that can be fished commercially extends from the mouth of the river to the mouth of Pitchkettle Creek, a total of 55 mi (89km). The principal commercial gear utilized for anadromous fish from New Bern downstream is the staked gill net, set primarily for American shad and striped bass. Walburg (1953) reported that the predominant gears used in the commercial anadromous fishery were staked and drift gill nets, haul seines, and pound nets. Pound nets were historically utilized as the principal gear for harvesting American shad in the lower Neuse; however, in recent years pound nets have been set primarily for non- anadromous species. Haul seines were reported by Walburg (1953) between New Bern and Pitchkettle Creek in the middle section of the Neuse River. However, only one haul seine was operated on the Neuse during 1977-79, with only moderate success. American shad Walburg and Nichols (1967) stated that the Neuse River was the most important shad stream between the St. John River, FL and the James River, VA in 1896. Since 74 Table 15 - Age frequency, mean length, and length range of striped bass from the Neuse River, NC, 1976-79. Mean fork Length Fall 1976-78 Spring 1977-79 length (mm)_ range (mm) Age Total no. Age ToW no. Fall Spri ng Fall Spring 27 11 @8 370 362 326-403 305-427 H* 27 111 24 424 420 390-475 330-458 111* 13 IV 24 466 466 400-500 400-587 IV* 10 V 12 542 535 505-568 498-625 V* 7 VI 6 587 569 530-658 522-645 VI* 2 VII 8 631 630 627-635 550-748 VII* 1 VIII 0 630 - - - VIII* 0 Ix 3 - 767 745-895 Ix* 0 x 1 785 - 87 86 *aged during growth period 75 1960 American shad landings in the Neuse River have accounted for an average of 16% of the total North Carolina shad catch (Table 16). This proportion may be misleading, for fish from outside areas are sometimes sold to Neuse River fish dealers; however, shad from the Neuse are also sold to dealers in other areas. Therefore, these landings are the best estimate of commercial catch available. The primary gears for harvesting American shad in the Neuse River are staked and drift gill nets. Staked gill nets are usually set in 91.4 m (100 yd) sections, composed of 124 mm (4 7/8 in) or 140 mm (5 112 in) stretched mesh. The staked nets are primarily utilized between New Bern and the mouth of the river. Shad fishing in this.area usually begins in late January and continues i.nto March. Drift gill nets are--maxnly used from the Flowers Gap area just above New Bern to Pitchkettle Creek. The nets range from 23 to 91.4 m (25 to 100 yd) long with 125 mm (4 7/8 in) or 140 mm (5 112 in) stretched mesh. Most of the American shad caught with drift nets are used for personal consumption; the excess is usually sold commercially. Sampling of the commbrc4ial harvest for American shad was initiated in early I February at three loca-t1toos tn the study area. However, no shad were usually encountered until mid-Febru,ary. Fish houses at Oriental and on Broad Creek provided most of the samples. he,,N,euse River (Figure 5). Scales f rom I ,,Gq,[email protected] J' @,[email protected] were found suitable for age determination during 1977-79. Annual age-size composition for 1977-79 can be seen in Tables 13-18 in the Appendix. Ages ranged from three to seven for males, and four to eight for females (Table 17). Age groups four and five made up 85% of the males sampled, very close to the 88% found by Johnson, et al, (1977) in Albemarle Sound. Females were predominately (92%) five and six year old (Table 18), again appearing similar to the 88% reported by Johnson, et al, (1977). Only 7.4% of the American shad observed had spawned previously, agreeing with Walburg's (1953) assumption that very few shad spawn repet4tively below Cape Hatteras. Walburg (1953) foun that three percent of the Neuse River shad he examined were repeat spawners. Chitterden (1975) found that only three percent of the shad he examined from the Delaware River had spawned previously. Ninety-one percent of the males and 93% of the females from the Neuse River were virgin fish during the present study. Mean lengths of Neuse River American shad are compared with those of other ing investigations in Table 19. The bulk of the female American shad harvested'dur 76 Table 16 - Relative importance of American shad and hickory shad in the Neuse River, NC, as shown by commercial landings (from unpublished data: NC Division Marine Fisheries and NMFS). American shad American shad % American shad Hickory shad Hic kory shad % Hickory shad Year NC (lb) Neuse River Neuse River NC (lb) Neuse River Neuse River (lb) (1b) 1960 507,000 104,300 21 180,703 41,600 23 1961 673,000 140,800 21 276,437 69,100 25 1962 765,000 126,600 17 171,650. 59,100 34 1963 693,000 71,400 10 292,000 91,200 31 1964 640,000 159,800 25 232,000 30,900 13 1965 1,069,000 254,900 24 202,000 53,700 27 1966 701,000 113,449 16 196,596 87,806 45 1967 777,000 110,700 14 130,574 32,600 25 1968 840,000 86,300 10 141,305 49,700 35 1969 719,000 173,100 24 100,716 16,600 16 1970 953,000 91,000 10 61,424 15,500 25 1971 680,000 110,600 16 62,800 21,600 34 1972 468,000 81,800 17 69,190 5,400 8 1973 321,000 69,500'. 22 65,973 11,700 18 1974 368,000 619100 17 41,725 lj800 4 1975 241,000 27,700 11 29,202 2,100 7 1976 167,000 34,100 20 18,716 3,200 17 1977 121,022 6,100 5 22,109 3,100 14 1978 402,017 31,746 8 20,507 5,600 27 1979 278,070 31,600 11 31,716 3,100 10 77 Table 17 Age and spawning frequency of P.merican shad in the Neuse River., NC, 1977 - 1979. Spawning marks 0 1 2 3 Total Sex M F M F H F M F .11 F Age I 11 16 16 0 IV 121 46 5 1 126 47 V 137 429 13 18 1 151 447 V 1 23 235 2 22 5 6 30 263 VI 1 5 5 1 9 3 10 V I I I 1 0 1 Total 297 716 20 46 7 6 2 0 326 76P Percent 91 93 6 6 2 1 1 0 Table 18 Size and age composition of 1merican shad in the Neuse River, NC, 1977 1979. Total Percent of Mean fork Age number samples length(mm) Length range(mm) M F ti F F M F 111 16 0 5 0 370 - 347-397 - 111 126 47 39 6 401 428 34P-452 368-463 V 1,51 447 46 5P 41P 460 369-455 403-505 VI 30 263 9 34 435 4.?2 408-472 430-582 fli 3 10 1 1 455 502 43P-4104 460-526 VIII 0 1 0 1 - 547 - 326 79-P Table 19 - Age and mean length of American shad examined during the present study compared to other North Carolina investigations. Age 3 4 5 6 7 8 Sex M F M F M F M F M F M F Location Neuse River 370 401 428 418 460 435 48? 455 502 547 Pamlico Sound and River - 404 429 425 464 452 486 - 523 - Neuse Riverl 368 376 422 429 - 472 - 513 - - Neuse River2 393 - 420 448 445 450 - 503 - - - - Pamlico Sound 334 - 415 445 437 481 456 494 470 489 485 532 and River3 Albemarle Sound4 359 - 400 437 432 473 450 498 461 540 476 509 kapointe, 1958, calculated fork length in inches to mm 2 Hassler, W. W. and Pate, P.P., Jr. (unpublished data, Zoology Department, NC State University at Raleigh) 3 Marshal 1, 1976 4Street, Pate, Holland, and Powell, 1975 CO 79 1977-79 with gill nets ranged from 430-490 mm (Figure 21); a range very similar to that found by Sholar (1977) in the Northeast Cape Fear River. Length data from the commercial catch showed a gradual increase in the percentage of 460 mm females from 7977-79, indicating a greater dependence on five year-old females. Males were harvested at a significantly smaller size range, predominanaly 390-430 mm. The male shad commercial harvest during 1977 exhibited a lesser dependence on a particular size range than those harvested in 1978 and 1979. Hickory shad The contribution of Neuse River landings to North Carolina's commercial catch of hickory shad has varied from four to forty-five percent during 1960-1979 (Table 16). During 1968-79 commercial landings from the Neuse River comprised an average of 19% of the catch. Reported Neuse River hickory shad landings steadily decreased from a peak of 91,200 lb in 1963 to only 3,900 lb in 1977. Landings rose slightly again in 1978 to 5,600 lb, but then dropped again in 1979 to 3.100 lb (unpublished data NC Div. Mar. Fish. and NMFS). The commercial value of hickory shad is limited, mainly due to a lack of a market for the species. The commercial catch consists mainly of large females taken as a by-catch of the American shad fishery, and small males caught with river herring nets. The recreational catch of hickory shad is thought to far exceed the commercial catch, with most of the fish being caught by drift gill nets or hook an d line. River herring The commercial harvest of river herring is insignificant in the Neuse River. Only 1,100 lb of river herring have been reported in the Neuse River since 1975 (unpublished data, NC Div. Mar. Fish. and NMFS). Most of the alewife and bluebac herring captured in inland waters are for personal consumption. Striped bass The striped bass commercial fishery is also very small in the Neuse River. Gill nets are the most common commercial gear used to capture striped bass, being set in late winter and early spring. However, most of the striped bass caught are taken by recreational fishermen for personal consumption. No striped bass have been reported in the commercial catch since 1976. 80 30 Females 20 w U 10 0 LAN 400 420 440 460 480 500 520 540 Fork Length (mm) 30 1977 Males 1978 19,79 20 U 04 10 0 340 360 380 400 420 440 460 480 Fork Length (mm) Figure 21 - Fork length frequency of commercially harvested American shad, Neuse River, NC, 1977 - 1979. 81 Sturgeon Very few Atlantic sturgeon are landed commercially in the Neuse River; those caught are usually the b,,.,-catch of other fisheries. Recreational Fishery Sampling The inland recreational fishery for anadromous fish officially extends from the mouth of Pitchkettle Creek to Raleigh (Figure 3). Pitchkettle Creek represents the dividing line between the jurisdictional areas of the Division of Marine Fisheries and the Wildlife Resources Commission. However, extensive recreational fishing occurs between New Bern and Pitchkettle Creek. Mott of the fishing pressure for anadromous fish in this area is via drift gill nets and hook and line. Other geart used in the inland fishery include set gill nets, bow nets, haul seines, and fish wheels. According to Baker (1968), the Neuse River provided the largest and most productive recrea tional fishery for American shad and hickory shad in North Carolina. He found that the Neuse River sustained more fishing pressure via special devices (bow nets, gill nets, seines) than any other coastal river, with over 2,100 fishermen making almost 20,000 fishing trips to take anadromous fish in 1967. Baker reported that 60,552 hickory shad, 75,098 American shad, and 351,577 pounds of river herring were captured during the 1967 spawning season. The recreational catch of American and hickory shad was more than the catch from all other coastal streams combined. Over 1,000 striped bass were also taken from the Neuse River during that period. Lower Neuse River Recreational fishing for anadromous fishes in the Neuse River below New Bern is limited mainly to dip-netting activity for river herring and hook-and-line fishing for striped bass. Dip-netting was reported at only two locations in the lower Neuse River, with the SR 1746 bridge over Slocum Creek in Havelock (Figure 6) appearing to be the most popular location. The NC highway 55 bridge over upper Broad Creek had been reported as an excellent dip-netting site in the past, but in recent years has been unproductive. 82 Sport fishing for striped bass occurs in the New Bern area during the fall and early spring. Artificial baits are usually trolled or cast along the r6ilroad and highway bridges near New Bern. Sections of river herring are also used as cut bait to catch strtped bass. Stripers taken in this area usually range from two to ten pounds. Trent River The recreational fishery in the Trent River involves using gill, dip, and bow nets, and hook-and-ling for river herring, American shad, and striped bass. However, fishing areas are limited by the lack of access points above Pollocksville, therefore, bridges serve as the major fishing areas. River herring are the main species caught with gill and dip nets in the Trent River. Set gill nets were observed in Brice Creek and in the Trent River near the NC highway 58 bridge (Figure 6). No staked nets were observed; all were tied to trees and shoreline brush. Dip-netting for river herring occurs at the SR 1153 bridge at Pleasant Hill. This is probably the uppermost limit of fishing activity in the area. Several bridges on Brice Creek offered excellent locations, but activity at these sites was neither reported nor observed. Nook-and-line fishing for American shad is popular in the Trent River, with three fishing locations reported; the SR 1129, the SR 1130, and the NC highway 58 bridges. Bow nets are also utilized in these areas to capture American shad. Set gill nets for shad were only ubserved below the NC highway 58 bridge (Figure 6). Fishermen using cut bait for striped bass were encountered in the Trent River below Pollocksville during the spring. Striped bass were also taken in the lower Trent with artificial baits at other times of the year. Upper Neuse River Recreational fishing was observed in numerous areas throughout the,region from New Bern to several miles above Goldsboro. Perhaps the most popular type of sport fishing during the spring spawning run is hook-and-line fishing for hickory shad. Marshall (1977) stated that the Neuse River was probably the most popular sport fishing area for hickory shad in North Carolina. Baker (1968) found that 83 60% of North Carolina hickory shad caught with hook and line were taken in the Neuse River by sport fishermen during 1 April 1967 to 31 March 1968. Pitchkettle Creek is the most popular sport fishing area for hickory shad in the Neuse River. Pate (1972) conducted a creel census at Pitchkettle Creek and found that 3,230 hickory shad were caught in the creek during 1970. Hickory shad are usually caught by sport fishermen casting or trolling with artificial lures (spoons and darts) in the still tributaries and flooded swamps away from the main river channel. Turkey Quarter and Contentnea Creeks are also popular hickory shad sport fishing areas. Hook-and-line fishing for striped bass is also popular on the Neuse River between New Bern and Goldsboro. Fishermen in the New Bern area usually troll for striped bass with artificial lures during the spring and fall. One of the more popular fishing areas for trolling is the Flower's Gap area, between New Bern and Batchelor Creek (Figure 12). Further upstream, fishermen use modified bottom rigs baited with cut fish, preferably river herring, to catch striped bass during the ' spawning run. Sport fishermen usually -fish near obstructions in the deeper sections of the river. However, striped bass are also caught in the larger creeks of the Neuse River, especially Swift Creek. One of the more popular sport fishing areas is the striped bass spawning grounds from Kinston to Goldsboro (Figure 11). Another important recreational activity in the Neuse River is drift gi-11 netting for American sha-id, hickory shad, and river herring. Drift netting activity usually begins in late February or early March when the anadromous species begin their spawning runs. Various mesh sizes are utilized for each species; 63.5 mm (2 1/2 in) and 72.9 mm (2 3/4 in) stretched mesh for river herring, 82.5 mm (3 1/4 in) and 101.6 mm (4 in) stretched mesh for hickory shad, and 123.7 mm (4 7/8 in) and 139.7 mm (5 1/2 in) stretched mesh for American shad. Popular areas for drift netting include the area close to the mouth of Swift Creek, the mouth of Pinetree Creek (Spring Garden), and the Pitchkettle Creek area (Figure 3). Drift netting is a socially significant activity on the Neuse River, with large crowds of people from the community and surrounding areas gathering to catch fish and eat. Often the fish caught in excess of those desired for personal consumption are sold to the public. Other devices such as bow nets and dip nets are not as popular now as in the past. Bow nets were only reported on the Neuse River near Goldsboro and dip netting was limited to some of the smaller tributaries of the Neuse River. One haul seine was operated from the first week in April through May near Pitchkettle 84 Creek during 1977 and near the SR 1470 bridge in 1978-79 (Figure 5). Very few anadromous fishes were caught with the haul seine during 1978-79, although rela- tively good catches were encountered in 1977. Two fish wheels were operated on Contentnea Creek (Figure 22). One fish wheel operated at the NC 123 was sampled several times; however, only a small number of river herring were caught. Reports from local fishermen indicated that the catch at the fish wheel below the NC 123 bridge was also very small. The principal species sought with these wheels were river herring and hickory shad. Tagging Tagging of anadromous fish in the Neuse River began in early October, 1976, [email protected] efforts directed toward capturing striped bass using the drop-net method. The tagging program has continued on the Neuse River with annual drop-net tagging in the fall, and gill net or pound net tagging in the late winter and early spring. Fall tagging utilizing -the drop-net has not been very successful since 1976. ')nly nine striped bass total were tagged during the fall seasons of 1977 and 1978, compared to 68 tagged during -th-e Fall, 1976. Net drops were most successful when :nade along the railroad andi highway bridges at New Bern. Taggi----, c-et gill qets begarl, 4- early January and continued through late March during [email protected] and 108. Nets were set iniLidtly nedr Wie rd1jr-040 liti"Yo at New Bern and fished daily. During 1978 additional nets were placed in the Neuse River tributaries as the anadromous fish migrated upstream. Six sizes of monofila- ment webbing were used to capture each anadromous species (See MATERIALS AND METHODS- Spawning Area Sampling). Only -fish in good condition were tagged and released. The nets were removed when catches became low and mortalities increased. A pound net was set to tag anadromous fish during the spring of 1979 near Greene Creek in the lower Neuse River (Figure 3). Very few fish were caught by the pound net. A haul seine was also used to tag fish near Pitchkettle Creek during 1977 and near the SR 1470 bridge during 1978-79 (Figure 5). The seine was fished one day per week during mid-March - April. Catches were excellent during 1977, but dropped significantly after the seine was moved to the SR 1470 bridge. The haul seine was 85 Side view .4Current Flow End view I\X Figure 22. Floating fish wheel 86 not rented during 1979 due to -the poor results of the previous year, but was checked weekly during March-April to monitor catches. A total of 37 striped bass, 39 American shad, 393 hickory shad, 311 blueback herring, eight alewife, and 13 Atlantic sturgeon was tagged during the spring seasons of 1977-79. Striped bass From the 114 striped bass tagged during Fall, 1976-Spring, 1979, 18 tags (15.8%) were returned. The number of returns was insufficient to show any definite pattern of movement. However, ninety percent of the returns were recaptured within 15 mi (25 km) of the tagging sites, with some fish at large for as long as 160 days. Apparently most of the tagged striped bass remained in the vicinity of New Bern (Figure 23). The tendency of striped bass of the Pamlico Sound system to remain in their native streams has been documented by Marshall (1976). Three returns were reported outside a ten mile radius from the tagging sites. One striped bass, recaptured near Slocum Creek (about 13 mi (21 km) from the tagging site) was at large only two days. Another striper.was recaptured in the spring of 1979 near Goldsboro, having traveled approximately 100 mi (167 km) in 198 days. The fish was four years old and may have been on a spawning run. The last tag was returned from near the midpoint of the Pamlico River, representing the only evidence of striped bass exchange between the Neuse and Tar-Pamlico Rivers. That five-year old striper was also recaptured in Spring 1977, after being out for 32 days. The age distri- bution of the total tagged striped bass from 1977-79 was from four to ten years in age. American shad The number-of American shad tagged and the number recaptured were also insufficient to show any pattern of movement. Of the 39 fish tagged, (15.4%) were returned (Figure 24). All the fish recaptured exhibited upstream movement after tagging, averaging 28 mi (46 km) traveled between tagging and recapture. Two shad tagged near Green Creek were later recaptured in the Pitchkettle Creek area, traveling approximately 45 miles (75 km). One sh ad traveled approximately 50 mi (83.5 km) from the Cove Creek area to Goldsboro in 12 days. All the shad were recaptured by various devices, including hook and line and drift gill net. The 87 N [email protected] I . .... PAMLICO SOUND eo Te 0 5 I I I j I I miles A Tagging sites Recapture sites Figure 23 - Tagging sites and return locations of striped bass, 1976-1979. 88 'b KINSTON CYPR RENTON COVE CR PI/ R [email protected] 416 1019 Recapture sites A Tagging sites NEW BER 0 5 10 MILES Figure 23 continued. VAN[)[ Mj Rj BAYBORO NEW BERN BROAD CR 0 A N Cr HAVELOCKIN Cz 5 miles Figure 24 Tagging and recapture sites of American shad and hickory shad in the Neuse River, 90 IWON kz RENTON COVE L'I HE Lt R 1019 Recapture site American shad Recapture site Hickory shad NE BER Tagging site A 0 5 10 MILES Figure 24 continued 91 age range of the American shad tagged was three years to six years. Hickory shad Only 14 (3.6%) of the 393 hickory shad released during 1977-79 were recaptured. These returns possibly exhibit an interesting pattern in the relationship of the number of days at large and the direction and distance traveled. The seven fish that were recaptured downstream from the tagging site were all taken within nine days of tagging and traveled as far as 38 mi (56 km) downstream (Figure 24). Returns from areas upstream from the tagging sites were captured from 13-31 days after tagging and exhibited movement as far as 21 mi (34 km) upstream. This relationship may indicate that hickory shad reacted to tagging by moving rapidly downstream and later resuming their upstream migration to spawning areas. Most of the hickory shad were recaptured with drift gill nets near Pitchkettle and Pinetree Creeks and ranged from four to five years in age. River herring Poorest returns we-r& received from tagged blueback herring; of the 311 tagged, only seven (2.2%) were retUrned. Five of the fish were recaught within a week after tagging, while the others were recaught after 15 and 26 days, respectively. Most of the blueback herring recaptured exhibited downstream movement, traveling as far as 10 mi (16 km) (Figure 25). The blueback herring tagged ranged from four to six years old. No returns were received from eight alewife tagged. Atlantic sturgeon A total of 13 Atlantic sturgeon were tagged during 1977-79, of which two were recaptured (Figure 26). One young sturgeon was at large four days and traveled three miles upstream. The other was tagged in Spring, 1979, near Oriental and recaptured 49 days later close to the Outer Banks. This sturgeon hadtraveled at least 72 mi nged (116 km) when calculated with a straight.line trajectory. The tagged sturgeon ra in size from 370-700 mm, Fl. 92 lkpal CYPR RENTON V OVE R -b R LOILE HILL R Tagging site NEW PER 0 Recapture site 0 10 MILES Figure 25 - Tagging and recapture sites of blueback herring in the 1,1euse River, 1977-1979. 93 COASTAL NORTH CAROLINA Albemarle S u n 'a 3 r2 JIP Z 0 - U Pe, A Tagging site SCALE 54 0 Recapture site 9.0 A.0 00 WLIS 34 78 77 Figure 26 Tagging and recapture sites of @tlantic stijrgeon in the @Ieuse River, 1977-1979. 94 SUMMARY I. River herring spawned in the Neuse River and tributaries from 15 March to 30 May at water temperatures of 110 - 260C. Spawning areas were designated in the main stem from the Flowers Gap area to the SR 1700 bridge above Goldsboro. Tributaries also designated as spawning areas include Smith, Kershaw, Dawson, Hancock, Slocum, Beards, Upper Broad, Batchelor, Little Swift, Swift, Pinetree, Turkey Quarter, Taylor, Kitten, Village, Halfmoon, Contentnea, Mill, and Middle Creeks, Little River, Trent River, and its tri butari es (Mi 1 1 Rqp , and Jumpi ng Creeks). Although no eggs or larvae were found in Cove.; im-le,1ittle Contentnea, Jericho Run, and Beaverdam Creeks, adults were captured in these tributaries, suggesting they are possible spawning areas. 2. River herring egg catches in 1977 and 1978 and larvae catches in 1978 appeared to be related to increases in water temperatures. 3. Channelization on Swift, Little Swift, and Bear Creeks and cropland alter- ations along Slocum.andAdams Creeks and South River have significantly reduced river he'r.rinq",ZfIstribu0.on and spawning areas in the Neuse River basin. 4. American shad spawned in the Reuse River from 31 March to 25 May at water temperatures of llo'- 260C. The major'spawning areas were located in the main stem of the river from just above New Bern to Smithfield. Eggs and larvae were also found in Trent River, Contentnea Creek, Swift Creek, Little River, and Mill Creek. 5. Hickory shad eggs and larvae were found in the main stem of the Neuse River from the NC 55 bri.dge at Kinston to the SR 1731 bridge at Seven Springs. Tributaries where spawning was noted include Turkey Quarter, Pitchkettle, Taylor, Halfmoon, Contentnea, and Mill Creeks, in addition to Little and Trent Rivers. Spawning occurred from 27 March to 4 May at a temperature range of 130 - 18.50c. 6. Striped bass eggs were collected in the main stem of Neuse River from the NC 55 bridge at Kinston to-the SR 1224 bridge above Goldsboro. The principal spawning area lies jetween the NC 55 bridge and the SR 1915 bridge a distance of 65 mi (10.5 km). Spawning occurred from 27 March to 30 May at temperatures 95 of 13.50 - 240C. Two spawning peaks were detected and correlated with water temperatures, one at an average weekly temperature of 21.50 (9-15 April) and the other 200C (21-27 May). 7. Although anadromous fish utilize the Neuse River above the Quaker Neck dam at Goldsboro and the Little River above the low-head dam, migration appears to be greatly hindered by the structures. Migration is mainly limited to times of high water when anadromous fish can swim over the dams. 8. Nursery areas delineated for blueback herring in the Neuse River were from the Flower's Gap area to Cove Creek and from Mill Run to Island Creek on the Trent River. 9. Growth was determined for the 1976-79 year classes of -juvenile blueback herring in the Neuse River, with the 1976 and 1979, and the 1977 and 1978 year classes exhibiting similar growth. 10. Catch-per-unit-effort data indicate that the magnitude of the 1977 and 1978 year classes of juvenile blueback herring were similar, and that both were much larger than the 1979 year class. 11. Only 58 juvenile alewife were collected during 1977-79, preventing delineation of nursery areas in the Neuse River. 12. Tentative nursery areas for juvenile American shad in the Neuse River were from Duck Creek to the SR 1224 bridge above Goldsboro. 13. Juvenile American shad appeared to initiate movement out of the freshwater nursery areas of the Neuse River during October, when catch-per-unit-effort values decreased noticeably. Juvenile movement was probably affected by the unusually warm fall seasons of 1977-79. 14. The mean monthly fork length of juvenile American shad in the Neuse River was calculated for 1977-79. 15. A total of 916 juvenile hickory shad was collected during the study period; however, 905 were captured in supplemental sampling during one week in 1'977. Juveniles were collected from Slocum Creek to Pitchkettle Creek. Juvenile hickory shad migration to estuarine waters apparently begins in June. 16. Only ten juvenile striped bass were collected from the Neuse River during 1977-79; four caught in 1979 were thought to be the result of a fry stocking program. The other six juveniles caught in 1978 represent the only known record of a natural juvenile stock in the Neuse River. 96 17. Nine young Atlantic sturgeon were collected during the study period, ranging from 370 - 700 mm in fork length. 18. Blueback herring was by far the most abundant anadromous species inhabiting the Neuse River, preferring the dark, swamp-bordered waters of the middle Neuse. Alewife preferred.the higher salinity areas of the lower Neuse River. 19. Adult blueback herring ranged in age from three to eight years, with 83% of the males being four and five years old and 91% of the females being four, five, and six years old. Approximately 53% of all adult blueback herring were repeat spawners. 20. Alewife in the Neuse River ranged in age from three to eight years. Seventy- five percent of the males were four and five years old, while 66% of the females were five and six years old. Males were dominated by virgin fish, (83%), while 39% of the females were virgin. 21. Hickory shad ranged from two to eight years old, with the males*dominated (75%) by three and four year old fish and the females (89%) by three, four, and five year olds. Sixty percent of the total Neuse River hickory shad sampled were repeat s,pawners. 22. Striped bass ranged f--rom o-ne to ten years old, with fish one to five years old -amp e. comprising 84% of th., "T 23. American shad in the NeU''se River during 1977-79 ranged in age from three to eight years. Males were predominantly four and five years old (85%) and females were five and six years old (92%). Only 7.4% of the total sample exhibited evidence of repeat spawning. 24. The major commercial fishery for anadromous fish in the Neuse River is the set gill net fishery for American shad during February-April. The fishery is selective for 430-490 mm females and 390-430 mm males. 25. The most popular sport fishing activities for anadromous fieh in the Neuse River are the hook and line fishery for hickory shad, and drift netting for American shad, hickory shad, and river herring. 26. A total of 18 striped bass were returned from 114 tagged in the Neuse River during 1976-79. Returns indicate that Neuse River striped bass have a tendency to remain in their native stream, being found most frequently in the New Bern area. 27. A total of 39 American shad, 393 hickory shad, 311 blueback herring, eight alewife, and 13 Atlantic sturgeon were tagged in the Neuse River, 1977-79. Insufficient numbers were generally returned to draw any conclusions on migration or utilization. Tagged hickory shad exhibited an apparent tendency 97 to travel downstream for several days after tagging and then proceed upstream to their spawning areas. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Very special appreciation is extended to Gregory W. Judy, Marine Fisheries- Technician, whose artistic talents, valuable field assistance, and experienced advice made this project and its report possible. Sincere thanks are also extended to Robert Jones, Marine Fisheries*Technician, and Robert Brown, temporary technician who greatly aided in field and laboratory work. Thanks also go to Marine Fisheries Tech,nicians, Clifton Harvell and J. Darrell Mumford, for assistance in field sampling and data preparation. Special gratitude is reserved for Michael D. Marshall, who initiated the project, wrote the initial progress report and gave valuable advice on procedures and sampling techniques. Fisheries Management Chief, Michael W. Street, provided insight on most aspects of the project. Sincere appreciation is also extended to Ann Tyndall and Margaret Stafford for typing the manuscript. Finally, I would like to thank the fishermen and seafood dealers of the Neuse River for their assistance and cooperation. 98 LITERATURE CITED Baker, W. 1968. A reconnaissance of anadromous fish runs into the inland fishing waters of North Carolina. Completion report for Project AFS-3. NC Wildl. Res. Co*. 33p. Bayless, J. D. and B. Smith. 1962. Survey and classification of the Neuse River and tributaries, North Carolina. Final report for Project F-14-R, Job I-A. NC Wildl. Res. Comm, 33p. + Append. Bigelow, H. B. and C. Schroeder. 1953. Fishes of the Gulf of Maine. US Fish and Wildl. Serv. Fish. Bull.53, 577p. -and W. Welsh. 1925. Fishes of the Gulf of Maine. Bull. Bur.Fish. 40(l): 110-113. Burbidge, C. 1974. Distribution, growth, selective feeding, and energy transformations of young-of-the-year blueback herring, Alosa aestivalis (Mitchell), in the James River, Virginia. Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc. 103(2): 297-311. Cating, P. 1953. Determining [email protected] Atlantic shad from their scales. US Fish and.Wildl. Serv. Fish. Bull. 54(9,5): 187-199. Chittenden, E. 1975. Dynamics of American shad, Alosa sapidissma, runs in the Delaware River. Fish. Bull. (73) 3:487-494. 1976. Present and historical spawning grounds and nurseries of American shad, Alosa sapidissma, in the Delaware River. Fish. Bull. (74) 2:343-352. Davis, R. and P. Cheek. 1967. Distribution, food habits, and growth of young clupeids, Cape Fear River system, North Carolina. Proc. 20th Ann. Conf. Southeast. Assoc. Game. and Fish Comm., p.250-260. Fischer, C. 1979. Anadromous fisheries research program - Cape Fear River system. Progress report for Project 15, Segment I. NC Dept. Nat. Res. and'Comm. Dev. Div. Mar. Fish. 70p. Godwin, W. F. and J. G. Adams. 1969. Young clupeids of the Altamaha River, Georgia. GA Game and Fish Comm., Mar. Fish. Div., Contrib. Ser. No. 15, 30p. 99 Hawkins, J. H. 1979. Anadromous Fisheries research program - Neuse River. Progress report for Project 13, Segment 2. NC Dept. Nat. Res. and Comm. Dev., Div. Mar. Fish. 120p. Hildebrand, S.F. 1963. Family Clupeidae, Genus Alosa pomolobus, P. 293-342 In: H.B. Bigelow et al., Fishes of the western North Atlantic. Sears Found. for Mar. Res., Yale Univ. New Haven, CN. and W. C. Schroeder. 1927. Fishes of Chesapeake Bay. Bull. US Bur. Fish. 43 (Doc. 1024), 366p. Johnson, H.B., B. F. Holland, and S. G. Keefe 1977. Anadromous fish.eries research program, northern coastal area. Completion report for"Project AFCS-11. NC Dept. Nat. and Econ. Res. Div. Mar. Fish. 138p. , et.al, and Loesch, et. al. 1978. Biology and management of mid- Atlantic anadromous fishes under extended jurisdiction. Annual report for AFCS-9-2. NC Dept. Nat. Res. Comm. Dev., Div. Mar. Fish. and VIMS. 175p. Joseph, E. B. and J. Davis. 1965. A preliminary assessment of the river herring stocks of lower Chesapeake Bay. VA Inst. of Mar. Sci. Spec. Sci. Rep. No. 51, 23p. Keup, L. and J. Bayless. 1964. Fish distribution at varying salinities in the Neuse River basin, North Carolina. Chesapeake Sci. 5(3): 119-123. Lapointe, D. F. 1958. Age and growth of the American shad from three Atlantic coast rivers. Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc. 87: 139-150. Lippson, A. J. and R. L. Moran. 1974. Manual for identification of early development stages of fishes of the Potomac River estuary. Power plant siting program of the MD Dept. of Nat. Res. 282p. Loesch, J. 1968. A contribution to the life history Of Alosa aestivalis. MS Thesis. Univ. CN, Store, 31p. Mansueti, A. J. and H. Hardy, Jr. 1967. Development of fishes of the Chesapeake Bay Region, an atlas of egg, larval, and juvenile stages, Part I. Nat. Res. Inst. Univ. Md, 202p. Marcy, B. C., Jr. 1969. Age determinations from scales Of Alosa pseudoharengus (Wilson) and Alosa aestivalis (Mitchill) in Connecticut waters. Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc.., 98(4): 622-630. 100 Marshall, M. D. 1976. Anadromous fisheries research program-Tar River, Pamlico River, and Northern Pamlico Sound. Completion report for Project AFCS-10. NC Dept. Nat. and Econ. Res., Div. Mar. Fish., 90p. 1977. Status of hickory shad in North Carolina, p.33-45. (In) Proceedings of a workshop on American shad, Dec. 14-16, 1976, Amherst, MA. US Fish and Wildl. Serv. and Nat. Mar. Fish. Serv. Nichols, P. R. 1966. Comparative study of juvenile American shad populations by fin ray and scute counts. US,.Fish and Wildl. Serv. Spec. Sci. Rep. - Fish. No. 525, lop. NC State Board of Health, Div. Wat. Poll. Cont. 1959. The Neuse River Basin-pollution survey report No. 7, 343p. Pate, P. P., Jr. 1972. Life history aspects of the hickory shad, Alosa mediocris (Mitchill), in the Neuse River, North Carolina. MS Thesis, State University, Raleigh, 67p. Purvis, C. 1976. Nursery area survey of northern Pamlico Sound and tributaries. Completion report for Pvoj.ect 2-230-R. NC Dept. Nat. and Econ. Res., Div. of Mar. Fish. 60p. Rothschild, B. J.. 1963. A critique of t4e scale method for determining the ages of the alewife, Alosa pseudoharengus (Wilson). Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc.,'92(4): 409-413. Schwartz, F. H. and G. W. Link, Jr. 1976. Status of Atlantic, Acipenser oxyrhynchus, and shortnose, A. brevirostrum, sturgeons in North Carolina (Pisces, Acipenseridae). ASC Bull. 23(2) April 1976, p. 94. Sholar, T. 1976. Status of American shad in North Carolina, p.17-31. (In) Proceedings of a workshop on American shad, Dec. 14-16, 1976, Amherst, MA. US Fish and Wildl. Serv. and Nat. Mar. Fish. Serv. 1977. Anadromous fisheries research program-Cape Fear River system. Compl etion report for Project AFCS-12. NC Dept. Nat. Res. and Community Develop., Div. Mar. Fish., 81p. Spitsbergen, D. L. and M. Wolff. 1974. Survey of nursery areas in Western Pamlico Sound, North Carolina. Completion report for Project 2-175-R. NC Dept. Nat. and Econ. Res., Div. Com. and Sports Fish., 80p. 107 Street, M. W. and A. B. Hall. 1973. Annotated bibliography of anadromous fishes of North Carolina through 1972. NC Dept. Nat. and Econ. Res., Div. Com. and Sports Fish. Spec. Sci. Rep., No. 23, 85p. P. P. Pate, Jr., B. F. Holland, Jr., and A. B. Powell. 1975. Anadromous fisheries research program, northern coastal region, North Carolina. Final report for Project AFCS-8, NC Dept. Nat. and Econ. Res., Div. Mar. Fish., 210p. and H. B. Johnson. 1977. Striped Bass -in North Carolina. Unpub. report, NC Dept. Nat. Res. and Community Develop., Div. Mar. Fish. 12p. Sykes, J. E. and G. Talbot. 1959. Progress in Atlantic shad investigations-migration. (In) Proc. Gulf and Carib. Fish. Inst. 11: 82-90. Tagatz, M. E. 1961. Reduced oxygen tolerance and toxicity of petroleum products to juvenile American shad, Chesapeake Sci. 2(102): 65-71. Tobaben, D. J. 1971. Biology of the striped bass populations in the Tar and Neuse Rivers. Summary report for Project-,,F-19, Study XIII. NC Wildl. Res. Comm., 6p. Walburg, C. H. 1956. Observations on the food and growth of juvenile American shad, Alosa sapidissma. Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc. 86: 302-306. 1957. Neuse River shad investigations, 1953. US Fish and Wildl. Serv., Spec. Sci. Rep.-Fish. No. 206, 13p. and P. R. Nichols. 1967. Biology and management of the American shad and status of the fisheries, Atlantic coast of the United States, 1960. US Fish and Wildl. Serv., Spec. Sci. Rep. Fish. No. 550, 105p. 1 102 1 I I .I I I I I A P P E N D I X I I I I I I I I I I I 103 Table I - Age and spawning frequency of blueback herring sampled in the Neuse and Trent Rivers, 1977. Spawning 0 1 2 3 .4 Total marks Age M F M F M F M F M F M F 111 24 6 24 6 IV 196 192 43 3 239 105 V 25 46 146 102 31 1 202 149 VI. 1 12 39 32 6 4 46 48 VII 2 8 17 8 19 VIII 1 2 5 8 Total 245 154 190 117 70 36 14 23 5 519 3.35 Percent 47 46 37 35 13 11 3 7 1 Table 2 - Size and age composition of blueback herring taken during spawning area surveys in the lower Neuse and Trent Rivers, 1977. Age Total Percent Mean fork Length range (mm) number of samples length (mm) M F M F M F M F 111 24 6 5 2 236 246 225-250 237-262 IV 239 105 46 31 245 253 231-262 237-271 V 202 149 39 45 252 260 238-270 240-279 VI 46 48 9 14 260 269 242-276 257-28.8 VII 8 19 1 6 262 275 251-270 260-290 VIII '8 2 278-293 519 335 104 Table 3 Age and spawning frequency of blueback herring in the Neuse River, 1978 Spawning marks Age 111 6 1 6 1 IV 58 54 6 2 64 56 V 22 16 61 43 12 3 95 62 Vi 3 7 32 34 1 1 36 42 Vil 1 6 2 8 3 14 Vill 1 2 0 3 Total 86 71 70 52 45 43 3 10 2 204 178 Percent 42 40 34 30 22 24 2 5 0 1 Table 4 Size and age compositio--n.,,of bl.u,eback herring in the Neuse River, 1978. Total Percent of Mean fork Length range W Age number samples length (mm) M F M F M F - M F 111 6 1 3 1 241 250 232-258 - IV 64 56 31 31 252 258 237-266 245-270 V 95 62 47 35 257 267 240-270 250-283 V1 36 42 18 24 264 274 255-278 261-287 VII 3 14 1 8 269. 281 266-271 265-297 Vill 0 3 0 2 - 289 - 283492 204 178 105 Table 5 - Age and spawning frequency of blueback herring in the Neuse River, 1979. Spawning marks 0 1 2 3 Total Sex M F M F M F M F M F Age 111 0 1 IV 40 42 1 41 42 V 8 19 12 11 20 30 VI 1 8 6 8 1 8 16 VII 2 2 2 2 4 VIII 1 0 1 Total 48 62 14 19 6 10 3 3 71 94 Percent 68 66 20 20 8 11 4 3 Table 6 Size and age composition of blueback herring in the Neuse River, 1979. Total Percent of Mean fork Age Number Samples length (mm) Length range (mm) M F M F M F M F 111 0 1 0 1 - 230 - - IV 41 42 58 45 246 248 230-265 230-270 V 20 30 28 32 255 263 230-295 245-290- VI 8 16 11 17 264 272 254-270 260-289 VII 2 4 3 4 270 282 - 270-300 VIII 0 1 0 1 - 300 - 71 94 Table 7 - Age and spawning frequency for hickory shad sampled in the Neuse River, 1977 106 Spawning 0 1 2 3 4 5 Total marks Age M F M F M F M F M F M F M F 11 12 1 12 1 111 37 63 15 4 52 67 IV 5 27 16 46 18 1 39 74 V 1 3 7 9 29 3 1 13 40 V T 4 2 6 6 1 8 11 Vi1 1 4 9 1 5 10 Viii 1 3 1 3 Total 55 94 31 57 27 34 5 8 10 10 2 3 130 206 Percent 42 46 24 28 21 16 4 4 8 5 1 1 Table 8 Size and age composition of hickory shad sampled in the Neuse River, 1977. Total Percent Mean fork Length range (mm) Age number of samples length (m) M F M F M F M F 11 12 1 9 1 294 307 272-323 111 52 67 .40 33 336 343 282-356 297-380 IV 39 74 30 36 344 357 318-368 325-392 V 13 40 10 19 356 367 335-375 321-395 Vi 8 11 6 6 381 386 372-391 363-418 Vii 5 10 4 5 384 415 372-392 388-440 Vill 1 3 1 1 397 411 400-421 130 206 107 Table 9 - Age and spawning frequency for hickory shad in the Neuse River, 1978. Spawning Total Marks 0 1 2 3 4 Sex M F M F M F M F M F M F Age 111 8 14 4 1 12 15 IV 16 49 66 50 5 4 87 103 V 1 6 27, 24 1 2 29 32 VI 4 4 6 4 10 VII 2 0 2 Total 24 63 71 57 32 32 5 8 0 2 132 162 Percent 18 39 54 35 24 20 4 5 0 1 Table 10 Size and age composition of hickory shad in the Neuse River, 1978 Total Percent of Mean fork Length range (mm) number samples length (mm) Sex M F M F M F M Age 111 12 15 9 9 325 338 295-352 300-357 IV 87 103 66 64 343. 362 322-378 334-400 V 29 32 22 20 352 369 325-405 343-407 VI 4 10 3 6 361 403 320-400 373-420 VIII 0 2 0 1 0 403 - 390-415 132 162 108 Table 11 - Age and spawning frequency of hickory shad in the Neuse River, 1979. Spawning 0 1 2 Total marks Sex M F M F M F M F Age 11 2 3 2 3 111 18 14 13 31 13 IV 1 2 1 3 2 5 V 1 2 2 1 4 Total 21 19 15 5 0 2 36 26 Percent 58 73 42 19 0 8 Table 12 - Size and age c=position of hickory shad in the Neuse River, 1979 Age Total Percent of Mean fork Length range (mm) number samples length (mm) M F M F M F M F 11 2 3 6 12 300 300 - 296-305 111 31 13 86 52 286 308 260-315 280-326 IV 2 5 6 20 345 373 340-350 345-400 V 1 4 3 16 341 384 - .377-395 36 25 109 Table 13 Age and spawning frequency of American shad sampled in the Neuse River, 1977. Spawning 0 1 2 3 Total Marks Age M F M F M F M F M F 111 13 13 IV 42 24 4 46 24 V is 176 8 16 1 24 191 41 3 126 1 19 5 6 9 151 '111 2 4 1 2 3 6 Total 73 328 13 39 7 6 2 95 373 Percent 77 88 14 10 7 2 2 Table 14 Size and age composition of American shad sampled during a commercial harvest study in the Neuse River, 1977. Total Percent Mean fork Length range (mm) Age Number of samples length (mm) M F M F M F M F 111 13 14 375 357-397 IV 46 24 48 6 400 428 348-452 400-463 V 24 192 25 52 426 459 384-455 403-582 VI 9 151 10 40 441 483 420-472 430-582 VII 3 6 3 2 455 494 438-484 460-511 95 373 110 able 15 - Age and spawning frequency of American shad in the Neuse River, 1978. Spawning 0 1 2 Total marks Sex M F M F M F M F Age 111 3 3 IV 43 4 1 44 4 70 130 5 1 75 131 VI 8 56 2 8 58 VII 2 2 Total 124 192 6 3 130 195 Percent 95 98 5 2 Table 16 Size and age composition of American shad in the Neuse River, 1978. Total Percent Mean fork Length range (mm) number of samples length (mm) Sex M F M F M F M F Me 111 3 - 2 0 352 - 347-361 - IV 44 4 34 2 397 444 364-431 437-460 V 75 131 58 67 414 463 367-440 430-494 V1 8 58 6 30 423 481 408-446 448-5 12 VII - 2 0 1 - 521 - 510-532 Total 130 195 Table 17 - Age and spawning frequency of American shad in the Neuse River, 1979. Spawning 0 Total marks Sex M F M F M F Age IV 36 18 1 36 19 V 52 123 1 52 124 VI 12 53 1 1 13 54 Vil 1 1 0 2 VIII 1 0 Total 100 196 1 4 101 200 Percent 99 98 1 2 Table 18 - Size and age composition of American shad in the Neuse River, 1979. Total Percent of Mean fork Age number Samples length mm) Length range (mm) M F M F M F M F IV 36 19 36 10 403 425 364-445 368-460 V 52 124 51 62 421 462 385-450 415-498 V1 13 54 13 27 439 482 422-470 460-513 VII 0 2 0 1 - 507 - 488-526 VIII 0 1 0 <1 547 - 101 200 3 6668 00003 7228