Two New Public Fishing Areas Established in Wildlife Refuge The universally accessible pier on Sullivan's Pond is 59 feet long and 32 feet wide at the end. MEDIA: A hi-res version of the image may be downloaded here. Please credit the N. C. Wildlife Resources Commission. ANSONVILLE, N.C. (April 2, 2009) Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge visitors looking for a good place to go fishing should cast their lines in Sullivans Pond this spring. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently partnered to establish the 2-acre impoundment as a public fishing area. The partnership led to the construction of a new fishing pier on the pond and the scheduling of stockings of catchable-size channel catfish each spring to supplement the ponds existing population of largemouth bass, catfish and sunfish. The stocking is timed to coincide with the refuges biggest kids fishing event, which is scheduled for May 9. Another refuge impoundment, Arrowhead Lake, located about 5 miles from Sullivans Pond, also was established as a new public fishing area, but anglers will have to wait at least until next year to catch fish. The 25-acre lake was drained in October to repair a dam and was refilled only recently. To re-establish Arrowhead Lakes fish population, the Wildlife Commission is stocking fingerling largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and channel catfish. The first stocking was earlier this month, and consisted of 1,350 channel catfish. This fall, Commission staff will stock the lake with nearly 10,000 bluegill and 4,000 redear sunfish, and early next spring, they will stock 1,300 largemouth bass. Keith Hendrickson, a fisheries technician with the Commission who spearheaded the project, said the fingerling channel catfish should be catchable sized by next spring while the largemouth bass and sunfish fingerlings will take at least two years to grow to a size large enough for anglers to catch. In addition to the fish stockings, two universally accessible fishing piers were built on the impoundments to make fishing accessible for everyone. The pier on Sullivan Pond is 59 feet long and 32 feet wide at the end; while the pier on Arrowhead is 75 feet long and 32 feet wide at the end. Both have benches and alternating high and low handrails with bait shelves that can accommodate children and anglers in wheelchairs. The piers were funded through a 3-to-1 match, with the Commission providing 75 percent of the matching money through the Sport Fish Restoration Fund and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service paying the remaining 25 percent. The timing of this project was perfect. The Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge had previously planned to build two fishing piers entirely with its own funds, said J.D. Bricken, refuge manager. The money we saved by working with the Wildlife Commission enabled us to build a 700-foot wetland boardwalk near Sullivan Pond, in addition to the two fishing piers. Bricken said that the National Wildlife Refuge systems six public-use objectives include fishing, hunting, wildlife observation, wildlife photography, education and interpretation. This project helps us meet the fishing objective and provides another reason for people to get outside and enjoy the outdoors, he said. Sullivans Pond is open to fishing year-round while Arrowhead Lake is open to fishing only from March 15 to Nov. 24. The Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge closes Arrowhead Lake to all public use from Nov. 25 to March 14 because it is located within the waterfowl sanctuary, where migratory bird species spend their winters. Fishing in the entire refuge is by permit only, and permits, which are free, are available at the refuge office and at all kiosks located around the refuge. No gas motorboats are allowed on either impoundment. Refuge operation hours are ½ hour before sunrise until ½ hour after sunset. For more information on the Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge, visit the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services Web site, www.fws.gov/peedee. For more information on fishing in North Carolinas public, inland waters, visit the fishing page.