on Aug 23, 2011 12:00 AM • Views 8275

Gaston County Parks and Recreation Director Cathy Hart (left) helps Wildlife Commission Fisheries Technician Nick Shaver complete construction of a new handicapped-accessible fishing pier on George Poston Park pond.

Media Contact: Chris Wood
828-659-3324 (ext. 222)

GASTONIA, N.C. (Aug. 23, 2011) – The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recently partnered with the Gaston County Parks and Recreation Department to construct a universally accessible fishing pier on George Poston Park Lake.

The floating pier is the latest feature at George Poston Park, which is located at 1101 Lowell-Spencer Mountain Road.  It extends 91 feet from the shore into the lake and has a T-shaped section at the end that is 80 feet long and 11 feet wide, ensuring anglers will be within easy casting distance of the brush-filled creek channel in the middle of the lake, as well as a fish feeder that will also be installed. The pier features alternating low-high handrails to make it easier for children and wheelchair-bound anglers to cast their lines into the 11-acre lake, which was impounded in June this year.

In addition to installing the new fishing pier, the Wildlife Resources Commission will help develop the park by stocking the lake with an assortment of popular fish species.

Fingerling bluegill and redear sunfish will be stocked in the Poston Park Lake this fall, followed by a stocking of fingerling largemouth bass in Spring 2012. After the fingerling game fish have had at least one year to grow, catchable-sized channel catfish ranging from 7 to 12 inches will be stocked in Spring 2013.

The staggered fish-stocking schedule will create a self-sustaining fishery in Poston Park Lake without incurring a great expense for Gaston County, according to Chris Wood, a fisheries biologist for the Commission.

“The sunfish and largemouth bass that we stock will be 2 to 3 inches long. They won’t be big, but they will be stocked free of charge through our agency’s warmwater stocking program,” Wood said. “The channel catfish stocking will be done through our Community Fishing Program, which creates a put-and-take fishery through these catchable-sized catfish.”

Gaston County Parks and Recreation Department Director Cathy Hart said the decision to stock the small fingerling fish in the new lake was easy.

“We could have purchased large bluegill and bass from a commercial fish hatchery, but getting the free fingerling fish and asking anglers to be patient for a year was more fiscally responsible to Gaston County citizens,” Hart said. “It won’t be long before people will be reeling in nice-sized fish from the new pier.”

The stockings of catchable-sized channel catfish and the construction of the handicapped-accessible fishing pier were coordinated through the Commission’s Community Fishing Program, which allows the Commission to cost-share fishing improvements in parks with local cooperators.

At Poston Park, the Commission will pay for 75 percent of the fishing pier, fish feeder, catfish stockings and fish feed through the Sport Fish Restoration Fund, while Gaston County Parks and Recreation will pay the remaining 25 percent.

For more information about Poston Park, call the Gaston County Parks and Recreation Department at 704-922-2160, or visit http://www.gastongov.com/departments/parks-recreation/parks/george-poston-park.

For more information about the Wildlife Resources Commission’s Community Fishing Program or fishing in the state’s public, inland waters, visit Fishing, or call the Division of Inland Fisheries at 919-707-0220.