Fishing Pier Constructed on Cape Fear River at Lock & Dam No. 1 in North Carolina


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. 1 in Bladen County.

The wooden pier extends 30 feet out and is 90 feet wide across the T-section. The pier was designed and constructed by staff with the Commission’s Division of Engineering and Lands Management. Unlike many of the piers constructed by the Commission, the pier at Lock and Dam No. 1 is a fixed pier with driven pilings so that it can withstand high-water events typical on the Cape Fear River.

The pier coincides with the construction of a rock arch ramp — or “fish passage way” that is expected to improve passage of anadromous fish such as striped bass, American shad, river herring and sturgeon, during their spring migrations upriver to reach historical spawning grounds.

“This is a site that we have been interested in for years,” said Tom Rachels, a fisheries biologist with the Commission. “The construction of the rock arch ramp provided a great opportunity to expand our collaboration with the Army Corps of Engineers and build a fishing pier for anglers who do not have a boat.”

While the Commission built the pier, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers now owns it and will maintain it. 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.

Anglers fishing at Lock and Dam No. 1, which is located about 32 miles upriver from Wilmington, can expect to catch a variety of fish that varies depending on the time of year.

“Between the months of March and May, anglers have the opportunity to catch American shad and striped bass, although they cannot keep the striped bass,” Rachels said. “A few resident striped bass are in the river all year long as are largemouth bass, bluegill, striped mullet and channel, blue and flathead catfish.”

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 For a list of all boating access areas open to the public in North Carolina, visit

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