Fishing Regulations


Fishing Aboard MCAS Cherry Point

Cherry Point has something for every angler by offering opportunities to fish in coastal, brackish, and freshwater systems at the Air Station and the outlying fields.  Each different waterway has its own unique fishing challenges as well as unique licensing and creel limits.


Cherry Point has three managed freshwater ponds available for fishing.  Any person 16 years of age and over when fishing in Bartlett, Catfish, or Duck ponds must have a valid state fishing license and also must possess a valid Station Fishing Permit.

The appropriate state fishing license (inland or coastal) is required for fishing within public waters of Slocum Creek, Hancock Creek, and their tributaries (inland); or the Neuse River below the US-17 bridge (coastal). Please refer to the appropriate state agency regulations (NCWRC or NC Division of Marine Fisheries) for specific licensing requirements.

Pond Regulations
  • The use or possession of live fish as bait is strictly prohibited. In addition, the introduction of any fish, from any source, into the ponds is prohibited. This helps to prevent the unauthorized stocking of diseased or undesirable types of fish.

  • No trotlines, gigs, spears, nets, poison, or electrical devices may be used for fishing. 

  • Small boats are allowed. No outboard motors. An electric motor is permitted. Water safety equipment is required.

 Species   Size and Creel Limits
 Grass Carp   None can be kept
 Largemouth Bass   16 inch minimum; 1 per day
 Hybrid Striped Bass   14 inch minimum; 4 per day
 Catfish   14 inch minimum; 4 fish per day
 Sunfish  No minimum size; 30 per day

We strongly encourage the use of barbless hooks for all fishing, but for the ponds in particular.  The use of barbless hooks causes less injury to the fish when doing catch and release, which will ultimately result in a greater chance of survival for any fish that is caught and released.

Crabbing Regulations

Crabbing is both permitted and a very popular activity along the waterways.  However, there are a few common misconceptions about the licensing and allowed equipment for crabbing.

An Inland Fishing License is required to crab in Inland waterways.  A license is not required in Coastal waterways.

Crab pots cannot be used in Inland waters.  You may only use baited strings and collapsible traps.

Crab pots can be used in Coastal waters with a valid Recreational Commercial Gear License.  Crab pots must be properly identified with a buoy and cannot be tied to any public structure.

All crabs must have a minimum carapace (shell) width of 5 inches to legally be kept.

This information is a summary of crabbing regulations and does not include all relevant laws.  Please refer to the appropriate state agency for more information or come to the Conservation Officer Office for a print out of all relevant information.

Helpful Links

Game fish regulations

Nongame fishing size and creel limits (includes crab information)

Non-game fishing regulations

Coastal size and creel limits




Conservation Officer Menu

Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point