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Bill Would Create Fishing Haven on Cape Fear River

By Catherine M. Welch

Wilmington, NC – Stakeholders will meet in Wilmington Wednesday to discuss a proposal centered on turning over control of Locks and Dams No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 on the Cape Fear River to the state.

Right now the US Army Corps of Engineers maintains the locks and dams for commercial use. But it's been years since commercial vessels, such as barges, flowed through them. Cumberland County democrat Margaret Dickson filed legislation in the House during the last legislative session. The bill allows North Carolina to take over the locks and dams after the Corps installs fish ladders - preferably at all three dams.

Fish ladders help fish migrate up river. And that, says Dickson, would create a booming fishing industry.

Thousands of people go to the Roanoke River to fish and they all eat in restaurants, they buy bait and tackle and they buy gasoline and they may spend the night and we would love to have that all up and down the Cape Fear River as well.

Dickson says she plans to push her bill during the next session. She says managing Lock and Dams No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 would cost the state $700,000 a year.

HB1813 - Click here to view.

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