The Croaker Landing section of York River State Park has one of the most popular boat ramps and fishing piers in the region. So many out of state guests come here to fish, you could call it “Croakarolina.” During the main run of the Atlantic croaker (late April to mid-June), it is possible to catch 100 fish in a day and some up to 2 to 3 pounds.Better than average sized Channel catfish can be found off the pier in March and Blue crabs are plentiful until September. After that, there is no point of coming to the landing, right? Wrong! Birders, bring your binoculars. Photographers, grab your best lenses. Croaker Landing is a good place for admiring our feathered friends.
Migratory birds such as Buffleheads andCanvasbacks are common on the York River. When the Chesapeake Bay is too rough, they seek the sheltered waters in large numbers. On the other side of the parking lot, Mallards and Wood ducks can be seen as well.
The year round resident Great blue herons strut around the shoreline undisturbed by human traffic. Gulls and terns can be seen following any commercial fishing boat trying to get a quick meal. The once rare Brown pelican has made a home on the river from Gloucester Point to West Point.
Don’t be surprised to see this bird at Croaker Landing either. With the Osprey spending the winter below the equator, Bald eagles are the dominant raptor along the river. Our national symbol is at it’s most impressive soaring over the broad water snatching fish with it’s great vision and sharp talons.
Visitors who brave the cold at Croaker this winter will be treated to see a variety of birds. Oh, and bring a rod and reel just in case a few White perch or Rockfish (Striped bass) are around.