This Action Plan provides long-term, habitat-based solutions for the most pressing challenges to American shad, striped bass, American eel, river herring and Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon in the Cape Fear River basin. At more than 9,000 square miles, the Cape Fear River basin is one of the largest watersheds in North Carolina, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to past Greensboro. Poor habitat quality in rivers and streams threatens fish, such as the endangered Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon. Dams and other blockages prevent fish such as these from migrating upstream to spawn, preventing them from reproducing.
• Identifies threats to healthy migratory fish populations;
• Outlines actions to improve water quality, habitat conditions
and fish passage; and
• Describes a plan to assess the community and economic benefits of
improved migratory fish populations on tourism, recreation, fishing,
and other commercial uses.
The construction of the rock arch ramp on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lock and Dam #1 near Riegelwood, in Bladen County— is complete and is expected to help migratory fish reach their historic spawning grounds. A future top priority of the Action Plan is to provide fish passage beyond two more locks and dams on the river, a critical next step to re-building migratory fish populations.
The Cape Fear River Basin Action Plan for Migratory Fish was developed by the Cape Fear River Partnership, a coalition of state and federal natural resources agencies, academic entities and private and nongovernmental organizations that was formed in 2012. Download the plan here!