Waterfowl Hunting

Waterfowl Hunting on the Tar River Water Supply Reservoir and Recreation Area

The primary purpose of the purchase, construction and management of the Tar River Water Supply Reservoir and Recreation Area is to provide a reliable water supply to the City of Rocky Mount. All other activities are secondary. Hunting involves the regulation of the carry and use of shotguns on City property in a way the City of Rocky Mount approves who and where it is authorized.

In order to create a municipal water supply, in 1967 the City of Rocky Mount purchased and flooded land to develop the Tar River Water Supply Reservoir and Recreation Area. The City maintains jurisdiction of all water and adjacent land to the 130’ elevation line above and below the surface of the water from approximately 0.7 of a mile downstream of Old Bailey Highway (1001) to the Reservoir dam on the Tar River and approximately 1.25 of a mile upstream of West Mount / Sandy Cross Road on Sapony Creek. It is the responsibility of the hunter to know these areas.

Since opening in 1967, the City has allowed regulated hunting on the reservoir. In November of 2007, following a presentation to the Council of the Whole, City Council updated CRM Ordinance Art. III Sect 15-51, 56, 59. This update regulated waterfowl hunting in a manner that has secured public access for the future. The regulation system is based upon the practices of the NC Wildlife Commission and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. It has been replicated by other municipalities, including the City of Wilson.

Basic regulations include:

  1. All State and Federal hunting and non-hunting* regulations apply.

  2. City Ordinance 15-51,56 and 59

  3. Hunters must obtain a proper permit.

  4. Hunters must remain 500 yards from residences, public roads, other hunters, private blinds (occupied or unoccupied) and Parks and Recreation permit only blinds. This is the limiting factor in the quantity of hunters City property can accommodate. Private blinds may be built only after the appropriate permits* have been secured.

  5. Access is by boat or adjacent private property only

*The Tar River Water Supply Reservoir and Recreation Area is in an area that the Federal Government has listed as “prone to flooding” and may be considered part of a designated flood-way. Certain Federal and County Regulations may require compliance if you decide to build a duck blind in the designated floodway and as a result additional cost or fees may be incurred. Please contact the Nash County Office of Inspections to verify compliance with any regulations under Federal Regulations CFR44-60.3 or Nash County Ordinance 12-2.

Private Blinds/Blind Sites

There are eleven possible private blind sites, seven of which have not become available since the program began in 2009, the other four open fairly frequently. As long as the blind / blind site (portable) is maintained, hunted, the fees are paid on time and there are no issues, the hunter retains the right to re-apply the next year. This is in recognition of the possible cost associated with the required floodway permitting, effort and cost of construction and understanding a few of the locations are adjacent private property owners that have hunted the sites before the City purchased the land for the reservoir in 1967. This is similar to certain coastal counties in North Carolina. All available private blind sites distributed by lottery in September, like the NC Wildlife and USFWS permit blinds.

2018-19 Season Information

One private waterfowl blind location has become available for the 2018-19 hunting season:

Location 12: 35 51’ 30.04”N 77 59’ 33.06”W

This location is extremely remote and the quality of waterfowl hunting is not known. There is no blind located in the area. Construction of a temporary or permanent structure is the responsibility of the hunter and must be in accordance with all Federal Regulations CFR44-60.3 and Nash County Ordinance 12-2. Access to this locations is extremely challenging and the responsibility of the hunter. Prior to applying, please make sure you understand the challenges associated with these locations.

Completed applications and the non-refundable $5 lottery fee must be in the Parks and Recreation Administrative office no later than noon, Friday, September 28, 2018. Limit of one application per individual. The lottery will be held at noon, Friday, October 5, 2018 in the Parks and Recreation Administration office. Applicants do not have to be present.

Successful applicants will annually pay $25 for the private blind permit and $25 for each hunter in the blind (including the permit hunter). ALL hunters are subject to a background check. All local, county, state and federal laws apply.

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