New fishing opportunities for handicapped children

There’s a new handicapped-accessible fishing pier in Western North Carolina, located at the Charles D. Owen Park in Buncombe County.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recently partnered with the Buncombe County Parks, Greenyard and Recreation Department to construct the pier. This is a six-section, floating fishing pier on the larger of the two lakes in the 29-acre park. The pier is 59-feet long with a 48-foot wide T-section at the end. It has low, angled handrail sections allowing easy access for children and anglers confined to wheelchairs.

A handicapped-accessible approach sidewalk and associated parking will be added, too, ensuring the park’s pier fully complies with Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.

There are plans to install a solar-powered fish feeder within casting distance of the new pier.

“Trout fishing in the Swannanoa River requires skills that not everyone has – particularly children,” said Jay Nelson, athletic coordinator for Buncombe County Parks, Greenways and Recreation Department. “This new universally accessible fishing pier and fish feeder will be an ideal place to take the family fishing.”

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