The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has received a donation from the N.C. Wildlife Habitat Foundation to improve angler access on the Reddies River in Wilkes County and to control invasive, non-native plants in the Wilson Creek watershed in Caldwell County.
NCWHF Executive Director Eddie Bridges presented an $8,000 check to Bob Curry, chief of the Commission’s Division of Inland Fisheries, at the Commission’s business meeting in Raleigh last month.
The Commission, working with the Yadkin River Greenway Council, will use $3,000 of the donation to construct four sets of angler-access steps on a one-mile reach of the Reddies River, which is classified as Delayed Harvest Trout Waters. The reach, which extends from North Wilkesboro’s water supply dam to the Yadkin River, is bordered by a paved walking trail that is part of the Yadkin River Greenway. The height of the bank, however, prevents many anglers from getting into the river from the greenway.
The steps will have a low profile, which should minimize damage from flooding and require only minor bank grading.
“Because these steps will concentrate angler access at several established points, erosion problems from anglers walking on the other sections of the river bank should be substantially reduced,” Curry said. “Reducing the amount of sediment entering the river will improve water quality and habitat for trout.”
The remaining $5,000 of the Habitat Foundation’s donation will be dedicated to controlling invasive, non-native plants in the Wilson Creek watershed, with an emphasis on Japanese knotweed. Within the last 10 to 15 years, invasive plants, such as Japanese knotweed, coltsfoot, Japanese honeysuckle, kudzu and others, have become widespread throughout the Wilson Creek watershed and threaten the ecological integrity of the river corridor.
Wildlife Commission staff will use herbicides to control these non-native plants on the Lutz Tract of the Pisgah Game Land and will erect informational kiosks alerting the public about invasive, non-native plants and associated management efforts to eradicate them from the game land.
“The Wildlife Commission is extremely appreciative of the good work that Eddie and the N.C. Wildlife Habitat Foundation have done over the years to enhance our state’s beautiful natural resources,” Curry said. “This latest donation,combined with state and federal money, will go a long way toward helping us improve habitat conditions and fishing access in two very popular angling destinations in western North Carolina.”
For more information on fishing in North Carolina’s public, inland waters, visit www.ncwildlife.org/fishing.