Agricultural Learning Opportunities for Triangle Kids

Agricultural Learning Opportunities for Triangle KidsFor a child, there aren’t many experiences that can compare to exploring life on a farm, whether it’s fishing, gardening, taking a walk with a friendly alpaca, or learning the feeding habits of a piglet or a pony. And if you’re a parent, on the lookout, as summertime approaches, for fun and educational things to do for the littlest members of your family, there’s nothing better than the prospect of a camp or an excursion to a place where kids are able to hike, fish, explore and develop an appreciation for animal life and the great outdoors in a safe and friendly environment.

Animal Lover Experiences at 1870 Farm

The 17-acre 1870 Farm, a property located in some of the prettiest countryside outside of Chapel Hill, is an educational farm dedicated to allowing visitors – big kids and little – to explore and learn how farms work. Campers and visitors alike are able to interact with and learn about goats, sheep, pigs, horses, and chickens as well as some less traditional farm animals: alpacas and llamas. Once a few basic instructions are reviewed upon arrival, group visitors receive a bucket and animal feed, followed by full access to the petting area and fishing pond. Campers take part in hands-on activities involving the care and socialization of farm animals and learn what each animal’s purpose is.

Summer Camp, Toddler Classes and Lupine Preschool

Agricultural Learning Opportunities for Triangle Kids in Chapel HillKids fortunate enough to spend a week or more at 1870 Farm Summer Camp or My Little Farmer Toddler Classes will have fun in an environment entirely focused on animals, kid-appropriate farm activities, and Mother Agricultural Learning Opportunities for KidsNature. Campers may collect eggs and build a campfire one day, learn to identify wild plants or animal tracks the next. Half-day or full-day experiences ae available to children ages 5 through 16, and toddlers between 3 and 5 years old. The 1870 Farm Kids’ Vet Club / Junior Vet Academy gives older children an opportunity to explore their love of animals and experience what it might be like to be a veterinarian through a series of workshops and summer camps.

Operating during the traditional September/June school year, the Lupine School for preschoolers focuses on introducing very young children to the natural world around them. Art and music activities are centered on the ebb and flow of the seasons, and outdoor exploration allows kids to develop their own appreciation of nature and community. 

Field Trips & Parties

School, family, or special interest groups are able to book 90-minute self-guided sessions at the Farm, with planned activities based on each group’s particular interests. Feed buckets and access to petting pens and the fishing pond are provided, and picnic tables provide plenty of places to sit and enjoy a snack or picnic lunch. Up to three groups may book at a time, as long as Covid restrictions remain in place.

Private parties, events and photography sessions are also available to pre-book. 

 

More Piedmont-Area Educational Farms

Raleigh City Farm

https://raleighcityfarm.org/come-visit

Visitors here at this one-acre downtown Raleigh lot help maintain the farm by participating in the cultivation, weeding, harvesting and distribution of produce to local nonprofit organizations. Visitors learn about regenerative agriculture through workshops and educational events including farm tours and yoga classes.

800 N. Blount Street, Raleigh, NC 27604 / info@raleighcityfarm.org

Spence’s Farm for Kids

https://www.sunrisecommunityfarmcenter.com/

Children with a particular interest in horses will thrive on this community farm where differences are celebrated and every child is encouraged to develop communication, teamwork, and cooperation skills. With the aid of mentors, kids learn to face their fears, accept challenges, and work hand-in-hand with animals and nature as they develop a sense of their own value and place in the universe. Pony rides, birthday parties, field trips and camp opportunities are also available.

6407 Millhouse Rd., Chapel Hill, NC 27516 / (919) 968-8581

NC State University’s Agroecology Education Farm

https://agroecologyeducationfarm.wordpress.ncsu.edu/education/

A wide range of resources on topics from building a school garden to farm stewardship (creating sustainable food systems) and permaculture to pollinators are available through this community-based, educational farm. Visitors are invited to participate in volunteer days, club or group visits, farm tours and opportunities to maintain small research lots.

4400 Mid Pines Rd., Raleigh, NC 27603 / Contact Alison Reeves at amreeve2@ncsu.edu

Changing Tomorrow Farm

http://www.changingtomorrowfarm.com/

This very hands-on farm and recreation center dedicated to environmental education, healthful living and child-centered farm experiences offers track-out camp, after-school care, and birthday parties. All activities are centered on nature, nutrition and the environment.

6312 Cass Holt Road, Holly Springs, NC 27540 / 919-762-7002

Winterpast Farm

http://winterpast.org/

Baby goat “snuggling season” is in full swing at this Wake Forest petting zoo and animal rescue center, where Farmer Mary introduces kids to farm animals, their habitats, and their behaviors. The farm also offers a mobile petting zoo, on-site birthday parties, live Nativities at various local venues, and week-long “pet hosting” opportunities. Price per visitor is $10; visits are allowed by appointment only.

12936 Ghoston Road, Wake Forest, NC 27587 / 919-244-1800 / Text Farmer Mary to confirm 

For tips on North Carolina Land Sales, NC Land and Farms for Sale in Central North Carolina, NC Farms and Land for Sale, or Financing for NC Land, please contact the professionals at Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina.


Strawberry Fresh: Pick-Your-Own in and Around the Raleigh Area

Raleigh Strawberries for SaleIf ever there was a fruit that symbolized springtime and new growth in North Carolina, it would have to be the strawberry. And with dozens of local growers and weeks of harvesting still left to go, there are plenty of opportunities to get out and enjoy picking and eating your own bucket or basket of these delicious berries.

Health Benefits

Strawberries are one of Mother Nature’s wonder-foods. Besides being low in calories, sugars, carbs, sodium and fat and high in healthy fiber, the vitamins and minerals alone in a single serving are enough to increase blood flow to the brain and heart (manganese), regulate blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke (potassium), and help the body produce healthy red blood cells (vitamin B9, or folate). Strawberries are also one of the top natural foods in terms of their antioxidant capabilities; antioxidants called polyphenols help keep blood pressure and blood sugar in check, and even, according to some studies, help protect the body from developing cancer and tumors. Finally, few people realize that the quantity of Vitamin C in a serving of strawberries – a vitamin that serves, among other things, to boost your immune system – is actually more than the vitamin C in an orange!

North Carolina’s Strawberry Industry

North Carolina’s location and climate as a southern coastal state make it ideal for growing strawberries; NC is the fourth largest producer of strawberries in the nation. Cultivated on over 1,100 acres and in every one of the state’s counties, the vast majority of berries are grown on small or family farms, and most of those offer both u-pick and purchase-by-the-container options available at roadside stands and/or farmers’ markets. Due to Covid, many if not all farms are requesting that social distancing, masking and hand washing guidelines be adhered to, but if you call ahead and check before your visit, you should be ready to go once you get there.

Plasticulture

Local Strawberries for SaleA vast majority of North Carolina’s farmers use a very specific method of growing strawberries developed in the mid-1980s called plasticulture. Using this system, farmers cultivate small strawberry plants in the fall on raised beds under a layer of black plastic, which serves to warm the soil over the winter months and keep them protected from freezing as they go dormant. A tube, or drip line, is placed in the soil beneath the plastic, through which the plants are watered and fertilized. In the springtime, 15-25,000 pounds of North Carolina strawberries per acre ripen and are available to be picked, more or less, between April and June. Farmers re-plant each fall, starting the process all over again.

Here are a few local strawberry farms to get you started if you’re planning your own u-pick adventure.

Page Farms

http://www.pagefarmsraleigh.com/

6100 Mt. Herman Rd

Raleigh, NC 27617

(919) 451-5534

Open Monday-Saturday 8am-6pm; strawberries, blackberries and pumpkins (in season); also, field trips, fall hayrides and corn maze.

 

Pope Farms / Pope’s Strawberries

https://www.popefarms1954.com/

1008 Bethlehem Road

Knightdale, NC 27545

(919) 796-6784

Sunday & Monday closed, Tuesday-Thursday 3pm-6pm, Friday 2pm-7pm, Saturday 10am-7pm; strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, potatoes, tomatoes, squash and more; also available – honey, eggs.

 

Hunts Strawberry Farm

https://www.facebook.com/Hunts-Strawberry-Farm-108353539204595

4505 Watkins Rd

Raleigh, NC 27616

(919) 669-6048

Open Monday-Sunday 8am-8pm; pre-picked and pick-your-own strawberries; also available – honey, sour cream poundcake.

 

DJ’s Berry Patch

http://www.djsberrypatch.com/

1223 Salem Church Road
Apex, NC 27523

(919) 600-4020
Open Monday-Saturday 8am-7pm, Sunday 11am – 7pm; wholesale and retail berries; Sweet Charlie and Camarosa varieties; also available – tomatoes, corn, melons and more.

 

Porter Farms & Nursery Farm Market
http://www.porterfarmsandnursery.com/

Willow Springs Location

3525 NC Highway 42
Willow Springs, NC 27592
(919) 567-0504

Raleigh Location

7615 Ten-Ten Road
Raleigh 27603

(919) 442-7920
*Porter Farms Raleigh Strawberry Stand – McCullers Crossroads Community, at the corner of Ten-Ten and Lake Wheeler Road

Open Monday-Saturday 8am-7pm, Sunday 12pm-6pm; also available – wide variety of seasonal produce.

For more u-pick farm options, check out  www.ncstrawberry.com/farm-locator.

For tips on North Carolina Land Sales, NC Land and Farms for Sale in Central North Carolina, NC Farms and Land for Sale, or Financing for NC Land, please contact the professionals at Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina.


Raleigh Real Estate Specialists You Can Rely on: The Land Guys

Raleigh Real Estate Specialists You Can Rely on: The Land Guys

If you’re considering selling your Raleigh land, or if you’ve aspired to purchase your own rural property to farm, raise horses, or simply build your own dream home, talk to NC natives Gardner Reynolds and Frank Gombatz of Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina: “The Land Guys.”

Experienced and professional with millions of dollars each year in central Carolina real estate transactions under their belts, Fonville Morisey’s preeminent Raleigh land and lot brokers are uniquely qualified to assist you in the process of listing your Raleigh land for sale. Gardner and Frank live in and love the Triangle, and with over 50 years of combined real estate experience, they know the real estate market here inside and out.

Raleigh Lots

Wake Forest Land for Sale 10 acresRecent Legacy Farms land listings include an outstanding – and quick selling! – Wake Forest lot, another superb 3-acre lot in desirable northern Wake County, and a 10-acre Pittsboro property, all situated within a convenient 30-minute drive of the Raleigh area.   

Pretty Wake Forest Mini-Farm

With 9.6 acres of pristine pastureland, this gem is one of the most beautiful Wake County lots most recently sold by Legacy Farms and Ranches. Currently being farmed for hay, the stunning property features rolling topography, an ideal location close to Falls Lake, a natural home site surrounded by lovely mature oak, and plenty of room for horses, livestock, and your own perfect country house. Wake Forest Lot for Sale 10 acres

With the expert marketing of Gardner and Frank, this gorgeous lot closed within just days of listing.

Picturesque Northern Wake County Lot

Old Creedmoor Road Lot for SaleThis beautiful, heavily wooded Wake Forest property is located in the Wakefield area off Old Creedmoor Road. With outstanding access to RDU, Interstate 540, shopping areas and the Falls Lake recreational area, the lot features 3 prime acres of rolling countryside.

Prime Pittsboro Acreage

These 10 beautiful acres just minutes from Chapel Hill, Pittsboro and the desirable RTP area are surveyed, partially fenced and cleared. The versatile property is ideal for those looking to build the iconic country estate, equestrian property or mini-farm, with some acreage available to be cleared for even more pasture. A beautiful piece of land in one of The Triangle’s most desirable locations, this property also closed within a matter of days. Lamont Norwood Lot for Sale in Pittsboro

If you’re looking for lots like these or your own Triangle farm, equestrian property or other land for sale in Raleigh area, check out the Land for Sale tab on the Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina website. Gardner and Frank can assist with all your real estate needs in Wake County as well as surrounding Franklin, Granville and Chatham Counties!

 

For tips on North Carolina Land Sales, NC Land and Farms for Sale in Central North Carolina, NC Farms and Land for Sale, or Financing for NC Land, please contact the professionals at Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina.


Lamont Norwood Rd Lot Sold

10 Acres on Lamont Norwood Road in Pittsboro

(SOLD)! Beautiful 10 Acres Perfect for a Country Estate in a Prime Location just Minutes to Chapel Hill and Shopping and Convenient to Downtown Pittsboro, Chapel Hill and RTP! Already Cleared and Partially Fenced! Ideal for a Mini Farm or Equestrian Property. Road Frontage on Lamont Norwood Road and Easy Access. Cutover Could be Cleared for More Pasture! Survey on File but No Soils Work.
 

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Wake Forest 10 acres

JUST SOLD 9.6 Acre Mini Farm in Wake Forest

(SOLD)! One of the Prettiest Mini Farms in Wake Forest! Beautiful Open Pasture in a Rural Setting yet Close to Wake Forest and Raleigh. Perfect for a Dream Home with Horses and Animals. Rolling Topography with Outstanding Views from Every Angle. Old Oaks Outline the Perfect Home site. Close to Falls Lake! $250,000

Do not drive vehicles across pasture. Property is being farmed for hay. Park on road and feel free to walk. Acreage has general flags on borders. Call agents for details!

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Equestrian Farm Legal Issues

Equestrian Farm Legal Issues NCNorth Carolina, a state that is still largely rural with one of the most temperate climates in the nation – we enjoy over 200 days of sunshine per year and average statewide temperatures of a comfortable 56-70 degrees – is an ideal location for anyone seeking to purchase their own horse farm. The process of buying an equestrian property, however, differs substantially from that of buying traditional farmland. In order to avoid the possible emotional and financial toll of dealing with legal issues connected to a property after its purchase, doing your homework beforehand and selecting a realtor with as much experience as possible in this area are key to a successful transaction.

Zoning & Covenants

Zoning ordinances, or regulations on the use of land and buildings within a certain geographical area, are designed to protect the public’s health and welfare. By ensuring that property owners adhere to a set of rules mandated by law, zoning restrictions help maintain property values and may also prevent future conflicts between neighbors. In an area of equestrian farms, zoning ordinances might regulate any number of things: whether the property may be used for commercial purposes (training or boarding, for instance); the number of horses allowed per acre; the suitability of the property for spreading manure; how far back fencing and barns must be placed from property lines; and many more important guidelines.

Issues sometimes arise when A) new zoning is proposed by authorities, or B) when property is re-zoned for commercial or residential use, or even C) when one property owner performs some activity on his own lands that might adversely affect his neighbors. When a land owner knowingly exceeds zoning regulations, what comes next, typically, is an appeals process through whatever local body governs that area. This process may be drawn out and costly, involving public hearings, the hiring of legal or other professional advisors, and, perhaps most importantly, garnering the support of neighbors and other locals. Sadly, an appeals process may sometimes even result in failure. In this case, the property owner will have to be satisfied with that outcome and continue to live in the midst of some of the very same neighbors who might NOT have been so supportive of him throughout the appeal.  

CCRs (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions) are regulations placed by a developer over and above any zoning laws that affect that property. A covenant may restrict the size or number of buildings that might be constructed, or it may apply to the size and/or placement of a residence. Although some new property owners may be put off by the idea of rules that guide – and restrict – their activities, the purpose of a set of CCRs is to ensure that standards are put in place that will protect ALL property owners and property values in the region, including their own. Covenants on farms in remote settings are likely to be less restrictive than those closer to more urban areas, as they often apply to larger properties with fewer neighbors. The risk of purchasing a property with few or no covenants, of course, is that neighboring properties are also likely to have that same freedom of being able to “do what they want,” whether this is collecting old junk vehicles, allowing decrepit, unsightly old buildings to fall into even worse disrepair, making an unreasonable amount of noise, or doing anything else that might be considered unacceptable.

The importance of having a realtor who is well versed in zoning law and the restrictions that apply in a certain area cannot be overstated. It’s no fun for a potential buyer or a new property owner to find out that certain restrictions exist affecting their future plans or activities. This situation can be avoided, of course, with the guidance of a real estate professional with expert knowledge in buying and selling equestrian properties.

The Importance of a Proper – and Current – Survey

Equestrian Farm Legal IssuesIf a survey doesn’t already exist, it is imperative – unless your legal advisor suggests otherwise – that a survey be taken. Oftentimes, especially if a property has been in the same owner’s or family’s hands for years, or even decades, a survey might NEVER have been done; yet imagine the frustration of purchasing a property without a current survey, then having to deal with the nightmare of a property line conflict or an electric company putting up power lines across a field (taking advantage of a utilities easement) down the road.

Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, a lender will require a survey to determine the exact boundaries and features of the land, and to ensure that the loan amount doesn’t exceed the actual value of the property. Besides property lines and easements (when the right to access a certain portion of a piece of property lies with some other entity), a survey will show flood plains and land elevation as well as where future fencing or other improvements – like driveways – might be added, according to local zoning restrictions. The fee paid for a survey is usually included in the buyer’s closing costs, yet it is well worth it; he will almost certainly need this survey if a new home or other buildings are a part of his future plans.

For tips on North Carolina Land Sales, NC Land and Farms for Sale in Central North Carolina, NC Farms and Land for Sale, or Financing for NC Land, please contact the professionals at Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina.

 


North Carolina Hops and Growing Hops

Beer, Brewing and Bines: It’s All About the Hops!

North Carolina HopsAsk anyone what they know about hops, and most likely they’ll be able to tell you that hops have SOMETHING to do with the taste and aroma of some of their favorite beers, but they might not be able to identify a field of hops or understand how hops are used in the brewing process. Hop production is expanding rapidly throughout the U.S., and an interest in hop farming in North Carolina is growing, too, as our state has one of the fastest-growing craft beer industries in the nation.

A History of Hops in the U.S. and North Carolina

Hops were first imported by European immigrants in the early 1600s. Because beer was such an important part of the early American diet, hop growing quickly spread up and down the East Coast. As a result of aphid infestations in the Northeast late in the 19th century, production expanded into other parts of the country, including what is today the nation’s primary hop-growing region: Oregon, Washington, Idaho and California. Over the past 80 years, both USDA and private hop breeding programs have developed in the Northwest and elsewhere, including in North Carolina, where this industry is just starting to take off in the mountain region.  

Hops’ Starring Role in the Brewing Process

“Bittering hops” added at the start of the brewing process balance out the sweetness of the malt by increasing the acid level of the mixture. This acidity is brought about through the process of boiling the fragrant flowers of the female hop plant and adding the resins and oils from the flowers into the brew. Hops added toward the end tend to have a lower level of acid, which flavors the brew and adds the very distinctive “hoppy” aroma that so many beer aficionados crave.

Hop Farming, Facts and Varieties

The vast majority of hop production takes place in the Pacific Northwest; just 4%, according to the USA Hops organization, occurs in other states, including North Carolina. On commercial farms in the Northwest, one acre of mature plants yields around 2,000 pounds, or 10 bales, of dried hop cones, and one of these bales yields anywhere from 135 to 800 barrels of beer. Outside the NW region, smaller farms supply local craft brewers, but hop growing is still a small crop in economic terms. Hops thrive in a sunny climate and are best grown in geographical locations – between 35 and 55 degrees latitude – with long days and cooler than average winters.

There are around 80 small hop farms in North Carolina, just a handful of which are able to supply enough hops for any large-batch brewing. Most NC hops are sold to smaller-scale brewers who still pick them by hand, but this demand is high, and hop prices, as a result, are climbing quickly. As hop demand increases, so does the process of experimentation and development that will eventually, no doubt, mean even greater expansion of hop production in our state.

Hops have several unique features, including the fact that they grow on bines, not vines (a bine twists around something, and always in a clockwise direction, whereas a vine grows in tendrils, in various directions), and up to 12” a day! Only the female plant is able to produce the actual hop “cones.”

Among the many varieties of hops grown in America – over seventy-five – three of these are grown most successfully in our state.

  • Chinook. This hop, with a high level of acid and a heavy aroma, is most commonly used in the production of stouts, porters, barley wine and bitter lagers.
  • The Nugget variety also has a high acid content and an herbal, spicy bitterness. It is used in the brewing of pale ales, IPAs, porters, stouts and lagers.
  • Cascade. This variety is an aroma hop, which can be described as flowery and citrusy and is most commonly used in the production of pale ales, barley wines, porters and witbier, which is a pale ale with a high wheat content.

Hops’ Healthy Benefits

Hop Growers in North CarolinaAccording to certain specialists in alternative medicine, some of the essential oils and flavonoids found in the plant’s buds have anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety, and pain-relieving abilities; researchers have also shown that they are effective at fighting insomnia, cardiovascular disease and depression. Some more controversial studies even indicate that hops – more specifically, the compound xanthohumol – may have cancer-fighting properties.  

Agritourism: The Hops Farm Tour

If you’ve ever had your own yen to grow hops or just have a curiosity about how a hop farm functions, check out the Farm Boy Farms’ Hop Farming Tour, in Pittsboro. Owner Dan Gridley’s interest in beer brewing compelled him to start growing hops (in additional to barley, wheat and rye), supplying local microbreweries and sharing his knowledge with the community in the form of immersive and interactive farm tours, which vary by season.

2021 Hop Festivals

Several annual beer events take place around the state, but two of the most notable festivals celebrating the thriving craft brewing industry – both of which were on hiatus in 2020 due to Covid – are scheduled for fall of 2021.

The Hops & Hogs Fest, happening Saturday and Sunday September 4th and 5th at Charlotte’s Park Expo Center, celebrates that perfect festival combination of beer, barbecue, and music and will feature a “craft corral lineup” of outstanding breweries, including Asheville’s own Bhramari Brewing Co. and Huntersville’s award-winning D9 Brewing.

A specific date has not yet been scheduled for Hickory, NC’s Hickory Hops Craft Beer & Music Festival, but the annual September event will feature the product of several local craft breweries and a full schedule of music. North Carolina Hops and Growing Hops

 

For tips on North Carolina Land Sales, NC Land and Farms for Sale in Central North Carolina, NC Farms and Land for Sale, or Financing for NC Land, please contact the professionals at Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina.

 


Waterfall on General Green Road

206 Acres on General Green Road in Franklin County

$4000 per acre! 206 Acres off of General Green Road in Kittrell offers the Best of a Recreational Tract with a Solid Timber Investment! One of the Prettiest and Diverse Properties in Franklin County! Waterfalls, Topography, Timber, Road Systems, Trails, Pond, Duck Swamp, Timber and More! Well Managed Merchantable Pine Stands (30-34+ years in age) with High Value. Hardwood Ridges and Valleys Abound with Multiple Flowing Creeks and Scenic Views. Trails Lead to Wildlife Areas with Tons of Deer and Turkey. Unique Swamp Area with Lots of Wood Ducks and Geese.

Look for Video Soon!

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Big Changes in Store for the 2021 NC Striper Fishing Season

Big Changes in Store for the 2021 NC Striper Fishing Season

As warm weather and longer days slowly but thankfully return, it’s time to look forward to springtime striped bass – or ‘striper’ – harvest season on the Roanoke River, and a few critical changes that are bound to affect your 2021 fishing plans.  

The History of Striped Bass on the Roanoke

2021 NC Striper Fishing SeasonThe striped bass, a silver-white fish with several distinctive horizontal stripes along its sides and an adult size of up to 3 feet and 20 pounds, is one of North Carolina’s most common fish species, and one of the most popular game and food fishes in the United States. North Carolina’s population of stripers is among the largest on the East Coast. One of the most unique features of the striped bass is the fact that it is an anadromous fish, or one that lives in saltwater – the Albemarle Sound – for most of its life but returns to its birthing location in the Roanoke River to spawn.

The striper was so popular as a game fish in the Albemarle Sound in the past – once growing up to 5-6 feet in length and weighing as much as 125 pounds – that between the 1890s and 1940s its numbers plummeted. In the mid-1900s, two additional things happened to threaten the species; commercial fishing expanded very quickly, and water quality in North Carolina’s coastal regions suffered from rapid expansions of agriculture, industry, and urban development. As a result, by the 1960s the populations of striped bass had dwindled considerably. It wasn’t until the 1970s that stricter controls on harvesting the fish were implemented on North Carolina’s rivers and the Albemarle Sound, and in 1997, the Roanoke River / Albemarle Sound habitat was officially declared ‘restored’ in terms of the population of striped bass. Today, the striper can be found on the Tar-Pamlico, Cape Fear, Neuse and White Oak rivers and in reservoirs including Lake Gaston, Jordan Lake and Lake Norman, but the primary spawning river for striped bass in our state is the Roanoke. Each year surveys on spawning and harvesting conducted by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission are implemented to ensure that the population of striped bass remains at a good and sustainable level.  

The Spawning Process

In the springtime, once waters reach a temperature of between 62 and 70 degrees – generally speaking, in March – adult stripers make their way from the Albemarle Sound to the mouth of the inlet near Plymouth, and then up the Roanoke for about 130 miles to the Weldon, NC area, where they were born. Here, female stripers release up to two million eggs within one spawning season, and males fertilize them. Once the eggs are fertilized, they float in the water for 2-3 days, hatch, and are finally carried by the current back down the river to the lower Roanoke and parts of the Albemarle Sound; incredibly, less than 1% of these striper hatchlings survive this journey. For up to four years, these young fish live and grow in the Sound, but eventually, once sexually mature – the males at around 2 years of age, the females at 3-4 years old – they make their way back up the Roanoke to spawn on their own, a cycle they’ll repeat for up to 20 years.

An Abbreviated 2021 Fishing Season

Because of a recent drop in the striper population due to over-fishing, the number of young, baby striped bass has also decreased. North Carolina’s Fisheries Reform Act of 1997 requires that when over-fishing is occurring, certain steps must be taken to reverse that trend over a 2-year period of time, and the population must be entirely recovered with ten years. A Stock Assessment Model used by the NCWRC has also determined that spawning has been affected by flooding in the Upper Roanoke over several recent springtime fishing seasons, which has greatly reduced the number of eggs that are able to be transported down the Roanoke and into the Albemarle Sound.

The Stock Assessment Model also calculates the maximum number of stripers that may be caught each year – the quota – in order to maintain a sustainable population of the fish. For 2021, this quota has been set at just 51,200 pounds. 50% of this figure will be applied to the Albemarle Sound commercial fishery, and the remaining 50% split between recreational fishing in the Sound and fishing in the Roanoke River Management Area. From last year to this, the Roanoke River limit has dropped from 68,750 to just 12,800 pounds.

The 2021 harvest season in the Roanoke River Management Area will now take place over just two weeks in April, and in two separate sections of the river – Lower and Upper – so that anglers with preferences in one area or the other will have a time to fish. Weeks selected for each of these areas were based on data collected over the past nine seasons.

  • Harvest Season –
    • Lower River Zone (downstream of the U.S. Highway 258 bridge at Scotland Neck to the Albemarle Sound): April 10-16.
    • Upper River Zone (upstream of the U.S. Highway 258 bridge): April 24-30.
  • Size limits remain the same for 2021 – a minimum of 18 inches per fish, and NO fish between 22 and 27 inches (a measurement designed to protect spawning females 5-8 years old) are permitted. Creel limits of two fish also remain unchanged. Only ONE of these two fish is allowed to be over 27 inches in length.

Catch-and-Release Fishing

Catch-and-release fishing, allowed between April 1 and June 30, allows anglers to enjoy fishing while keeping the number of harvested fish at a reasonable level. However, at least six fish out of every 100 caught and released dies on average, and when the water temperature approaches 70 degrees, the mortality rate jumps to almost 25%. The NCWRC also takes this information into consideration when calculating the fishing quota. Keep in mind these tips when catching and successfully releasing your striped bass.

  • Reduce mortality by sticking to single, barbless hooks while fishing on the Upper River.
  • Avoid deep hooking by using artificial lures instead of live bait and remove hooks carefully by using a de-hooker or a pair of needle nose pliers.
  • Minimize stress for the fish by using good tackle and landing the fish quickly.
  • Spend a minimal amount of time handling the fish and keep the fish in water.
  • Only use knotless or rubber landing nets, and even then, ONLY if absolutely necessary.

 

For tips on North Carolina Land Sales, NC Land and Farms for Sale in Central North Carolina, NC Farms and Land for Sale, or Financing for NC Land, please contact the professionals at Legacy Farms and Ranches of North Carolina.