The Pee Dee River begins at the confluence of the Yadkin and Uwharrie rivers, which happens to be beneath the waters of Lake Tillery, and that begs the question: Is Lake Tillery part of the Yadkin system or Pee Dee system? How does the answer affect the daily creel and size limits anglers must obey?

"We're basically talking semantics," said Lawrence Dorsey, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission's fisheries biologist for the area. "The Pee Dee system officially begins where the Uwharrie River joins the Yadkin River.... (but) although the whole reservoir system is called the Yadkin-Pee Dee system, several years ago, the Commission decided all reservoirs north of the Blewett Falls Dam (the impoundment downstream from Tillery) would have unified rules for all fish species," Dorsey said. "So the lakes north of the Blewett Falls Dam - including Tillery - have the same regulations, including for striped bass."

Those rules allow an angler to keep eight fish of at least 16 inches (in length), although two may be less than 16 inches.

For the short stretch of the Pee Dee south from Blewett Falls Dam to South Carolina, the regulation is three striped bass of at least 18 inches per day - regulations that match those on coastal rivers, according to Dorsey.