Nongame Fish Size & Creel Limits

Hunting Regulations Icon North Carolina Hunting & Fishing


Size Limit

Daily Creel Limit


All inland fishing waters except those listed below None None
Cedarock Park Pond (Alamance Co.), Ellendale Community Center Pond (Alexander Co.), Azalea Park Pond (Buncombe Co.), Charles Owen Park Pond (Buncombe Co.), Lake Julian (Buncombe Co.), Lake Louise (Buncombe Co.), Lake Tomahawk (Buncombe Co.), Frank Liske Park Pond (Cabarrus Co.), TN Spencer Park Pond (Cabarrus Co.), Lake Rim* (Cumberland Co.), Etheridge Pond* (Edgecombe Co.), Indian Lake (Edgecombe Co.), Newbold Pond* (Edgecombe Co.), CG Hill Memorial Park Pond (Forsyth Co.), Kernersville Lake (Forsyth Co.), Village Point Lake (Forsyth Co.), Winston Park Pond* (Forsyth Co.), Dallas Park Pond (Gaston Co.), George Poston Park Pond (Gaston Co.), Lake Devin (Granville Co.), Bur-Mill Park Ponds (Guilford Co.), Country Park Pond (Guilford Co.), Guilford County Farm Park (Guilford Co.), Hagan Stone Park Ponds (Guilford Co.), Keeley Park Ponds (Guilford Co.), Oka T Hester Pond (Guilford Co.), Cashiers Recreation Pond (Jackson Co.), San-Lee Park Ponds (Lee Co.), Neuseway Nature Center Pond (Lenoir Co.), Elon Holmes Park Pond (Mecklenburg Co.), Freedom Park Pond* (Mecklenburg Co.), Hornet’s Nest Park Pond (Mecklenburg Co.), McAlpine Lake (Mecklenburg Co.), Robbins Park Ponds (Mecklenburg Co.), Squirrel Lake (Mecklenburg Co.), Lake Luke Marion (Moore Co.), Anderson Community Park Pond (Orange Co.), Lake Michael (Orange Co.), River Park North Ponds (Pitt Co.), Laughter Pond (Polk Co.), Ellerbe Community Lake (Richmond Co.), Hamlet City Lake (Richmond Co.), Hinson Lake (Richmond Co.), Dan Nicholas Park Pond (Rowan Co.), Salisbury Community Park Lake (Rowan Co.), Albemarle City Lake (Stanly Co.), Big Elkin Creek (Surry Co.), Tumbling Rock Reservoir (Surry Co.), Dogwood Park Pond (Union Co.), Fox Pond (Vance Co.), Bass Lake (Wake Co.), Bond Park Pond (Wake Co.), Harris Lake County Park Pond (Wake Co.), Pine Lake in Apex Community Park (Wake Co.), Lake Raleigh* (Wake Co.), Shelley Lake (Wake Co.), Simpkins Pond in Lake Wheeler Park (Wake Co.), Yadkin County Park Pond (Yadkin Co.) None 6 in combination for Channel, White, and Blue Catfish (forked-tail catfish)
Ponds located on game lands
Pee Dee River downstream of Blewett Falls Dam to the South Carolina state line and all tributaries None 5 in combination
Badin Lake, Lake Gaston (North Carolina portion), John H. Kerr Reservoir (North Carolina portion), Mountain Island Reservoir, Lake Norman, Roanoke Rapids Reservoir, Lake Tillery, Lake Wylie No minimum size limit, and only one Blue Catfish may be greater than 32 inches No daily creel limit for Blue Catfish less than 32 inches, and only one Blue Catfish may be greater than 32 inches

American Eel

All inland fishing waters 9-inch minimum (regardless of origin) 25 (regardless of origin)

Blue Crabs

All inland fishing waters or in designated waterfowl impoundments located on game lands when taken by hook and line minimum carapace width of 5 inches (point to point) 50 crabs per person or 100 per vessel


All inland fishing waters except those listed below None None
Inland fishing waters of coastal rivers and their tributaries up to the first impoundment of the main course on the river (listed below):

  • Roanoke River – Roanoke Rapids Dam
  • Tar River – Rocky Mount Mill Dam
  • Neuse River – Falls Lake Dam
  • Cape Fear River – Buckhorn Dam
  • Waccamaw River – Lake Waccamaw Dam
  • Pee-Dee River – Blewett Falls Dam
No minimum size limit, but no river herring greater than 6 inches may be taken or possessed (regardless of origin) No daily creel limit for river herring less than 6 inches, and no river herring greater than 6 inches may be taken or possessed (regardless of origin)
Lumber River including Drowning Creek
all other inland fishing waters east of I-95
Little Tennessee River Basin in and upstream of Lake Santeetlah and Cedar Cliff Lake including all tributaries and impoundments No live alewife or blueback herring may be possessed, transported or released.

Grass Carp

All inland fishing waters except those listed below None None
Lake James No grass carp may be possessed except one fish per day may be taken and possessed with archery equipment (see General Hunting Regulations).
Lookout Shoals Lake
Mountain Island Reservoir
Lake Wylie
Lake Gaston No grass carp may be possessed or taken by any method including archery equipment except for by permit issued by the Wildlife Resources Commission for scientific study
Roanoke Rapids Reservoir
Lake Norman
John H. Kerr Reservoir


All impounded inland fishing waters except those listed below None 200 in combination, except there is no daily possession limit for the Asian clam
Lake Waccamaw No freshwater mussels including the Asian clam may be taken or possessed.
University Lake (Orange Co.)

Gray Trout

All inland fishing waters Same as those recreational limits established by Division of Marine Fisheries in adjacent joint and coastal fishing waters. For current limits, see portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-fishing-size-and-bag-limits or call 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632.


All inland fishing waters No sturgeon may be possessed.