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MOREHEAD CITY – The first money spent from Coastal Recreational Fishing License sales will go toward a public fishing access project and a marine resources education project.

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission have agreed to spend $200,000 from the N.C. Marine Resources Trust Fund for an engineering design for a proposed Chowan River fishing pier at the old bridge site on U.S. 17 near Edenton. Also, the two commissions approved $100,000 for a new saltwater angler’s field guide.

“I am very pleased with the close working relationship we have developed with the Wildlife Resources Commission, and I’m excited that we can fund these projects that are of such interest to both agencies,” said Louis B. Daniel III, director of the Division of Marine Fisheries.

The Wildlife Resources Commission and the Division of Marine Fisheries are working jointly with Chowan County and the Town of Edenton to improve an existing boat ramp at the Chowan River Bridge and turn the old highway bridge into a fishing pier with bathrooms and possibly a pier house.

“The development of an accessible fishing pier and renovation of the boating access area at the Chowan River site are critical to providing access to quality fishing in the Chowan River,” said Bob Curry, chief of the Wildlife Resources Commission’s Division of Inland Fisheries. “This project demonstrates how state resource agencies can work together with local governments to improve recreational opportunities for all anglers.”

“We are excited about the opportunity to work with the Division of Marine Fisheries to improve angler access,” Curry said.

The Division of Marine Fisheries is also putting together a full-color pocket field guide that will be available free of charge to fishermen. The guide will include summaries of the state’s saltwater fishing programs, descriptions of the most popular recreational fish and the habitats in which they live, and information on how we need to have healthy fish habitats to have healthy fish populations.

Fishing access and public education is one of three program areas the Wildlife Resources Commission and the Marine Fisheries Commission have adopted as priorities for license funding. The other two areas are fisheries research and habitat enhancement.
 
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