ELIZABETHTOWN — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recently completed construction of a universally accessible fishing pier that runs along the Cape Fear River at Lock and Dam No. 2 in Bladen County.
The wooden pier includes an 8-foot by 90-foot fishing platform that runs parallel to the river and a 7-foot by 93-foot walkway that provides access to the fishing platform. A 7-foot by 7-foot concrete abutment connects the pier to an existing ADA-compliant concrete sidewalk that also provides access to the existing concrete boat ramp.
The Commission’s Division of Engineering and Lands Management designed the pier and oversaw construction of the pier, which was completed by a marine contractor. Unlike many of the piers constructed by the Commission, the pier at Lock and Dam No. 2, like the pier at Lock and Dam 1, is a fixed pier with driven pilings that enable it to withstand high-water events typical on the Cape Fear River.
An existing portion of undesignated pavement near the pier was converted to parking by creating six parking spaces, one of which is ADA compliant. Ten additional gravel parking spaces were constructed adjacent to the access road about 300 feet from the pier.
Anglers fishing at Lock and Dam No. 2, which is located at the end of Lock 2 Road off of N.C. 87 Business about 1.5 miles east of the intersection with U.S. 701 in Elizabethtown, can expect to catch a variety of fish depending on the time of year.
“From about March to May, people can catch American and hickory shad and striped bass,” said District 4 Fisheries Biologist Michael Fisk. “Species that people can catch year-round include largemouth bass, blue, channel and flathead catfish, and several sunfish species, such as bluegill and redear sunfish. Several folks have been catching shad on the new pier this week.”
The Commission built the pier and gave it to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which will provide general maintenance to the pier while the Commission will provide structural repairs if needed in the future.
Pier construction was funded through the Sport Fish Restoration Program, which utilizes state fishing license money and funds generated from taxes on fishing tackle and other fishing-related expenditures.
For more information on fishing in public, inland waters, including an interactive map of more than 500 public fishing access areas throughout the state, visit www.ncwildlife.org/fishing. For a list of all boating access areas open to the public in North Carolina, visit www.ncwildlife.org/boating.