Effective Aug. 1 - July 31 unless otherwise specified.

Warmwater Game Fish

Mountain Trout

Nongame Fish

Saltwater (marine) Fish - the N.C. Division of Marine Fishes is the regulatory body for saltwater (marine) fish.

Note: Size and creel limits for spotted sea trout, flounder, red drum, and gray trout taken in inland waters are the same as the recreational limits for those species in adjacent joint and coastal waters. (DMF website)


Special Regulations:

Striped Bass Season in Central Southern Management Area

Effective at 12:01 a.m., on March 29, 2019, the striped bass season is closed in all waters of the Central Southern Management AreaRead more.


River Herring

The harvest or possess blueback herring and alewife, collectively known as “river herring,” greater than 6 inches in length while boating on or fishing in inland fishing waters of coastal rivers and their tributaries is probhibited. The regulation applies to all river herring, regardless of origin, in inland fishing waters of the Roanoke, Tar, Neuse, Cape Fear, Waccamaw and Pee Dee rivers and their tributaries up to the first impoundment of the main course of the river, the Lumber River, including Drowning Creek, and all other inland fishing waters east of I-95. View an interactive map to see designations for specific coastal waters. For possession and harvest of herring in coastal/joint waters, visit the Division of Marine Fisheries website


This page contains general information. Specific laws and regulations can be found in the North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting and Trapping Regulations Digest. Or call the Inland Fisheries Division, 919-707-0220.

View the current regulations digest online.

Download the current regulations digest. (31 MB PDF)

Request a current regulations digest by mail