The Nanticoke River is one of the largest Chesapeake Bay tributaries that flow through the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Known for its wildlife, Nanticoke is a favorite destination of fishermen, hunters, and nature lovers.

The Nanticoke River begins as a drainage of small streams in Delaware. Along its path are the communities of Seaford, Blades, Woodland, Vienna, Sharptown, Tyaskin, Bivalve, Nanticoke, and others.

Nanticoke River - Seafood DEe River - Seafood DE
Nanticoke River – Seafood DE

The river becomes navigable at Seaford Delaware. Along the Seaford waterfront is a marina and docks for tugs and barges. A few miles downriver is the Woodland Ferry, one of the oldest of its type in the region.

Below Woodland, Broad Creek converges into the Nanticoke. At the convergence is Phillips Landing Park. The park provides public access to the river, including boat launching ramps, and other ammenities.

At Sharptown, Cherry Beach Park and nearby properties include a boat launching ramp, piers, and public fishing area. Below Sharptown, Marshyhope Creek converges into the Nanticoke.

Below the converge, the river widens and currents become formidable. At Vienna, public facilities include a boat launching ramp, riverfront paths, marina, and fishing area.

Near the river’s mouth, Roaring Point is a popular for recreation. Located nearby are a campground, public beaches, parks, marinas, fishing pier, and other recreational areas.

Fishing is popular along most of the river’s path. The upper Nanticoke is known for its shad fisheries. The middle river contains largemouth bass. A section of the river near Sharptown is known for its blue catfish fishery. The Nanticoke is one of several Eastern Shore rivers that contain northern snakeheads.

The Nanticoke River watershed is one of four major fish spawning systems monitored by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The annual DNR juvenile striped bass survey documents year-class success for young-of-the-year striped bass (Morone saxatilis) and relative abundance of many other fish species in Chesapeake Bay.

Much of the lower Nanticoke River has been designated as an oyster sanctuary.

Related Information

Chesapeake Bay Watershed