The Neuse is an important habitat for such fish as shad, herring, catfish, bass, and flounder. The Neuse is also home to vital populations of blue crab and oysters. Of the 3.5 millioin acres that comprise the Neuse Basin, 48,000 acres are state parks, 110,000 acres are game lands held by the Wildlife Resources Commission, and 58,000 acres are National Forest
The Neuse River Basin receives its name from the American Indian tribe known as the Neusiok.
Some endangered species in the Neuse River Basin: Freshwater Mussels, Tar River Spinymussels, Red-cockaded Woodpecker, and the Loggerhead Turtle
The Tar River spinymussel is one of only three freshwater mussels with spines in the world. The brownish shell is up to 2.4 inches long, with up to 6 spines on each valve. The shell is smooth and shiny, with rings and ends with a point. Younger mussels are orange-brown with greenish rays. What's left of the Tar River spinymussel are small in size and isolated from one another, and are very much in decline. The primary factors affecting the species and its habitat are stream impacts (sedimentation, bank instability, loss of instream habitat) Discharges continues to affect and threaten habitat quality in the Tar River, and Wake County. North Carolina has proposed a new water supply reservoir and wastewater discharge which threatens the Little River population of the species.
The red-cockaded woodpecker is a small bird measuring about 7 inches in length. Identifiable by black and white barred back, the males have a few red feathers, or "cockade". These red feathers usually remain hidden underneath black feathers between the black crown and white cheek patches, unless the male is disturbed or excited. Female red-cockaded woodpecker lack the red cockade. The loss of suitable habitat has caused the number of woodpeckers to decline by 99% since the time of European settlement. The primary habitat of these woodpeckers has been reduced to 3% of its original size.