ROXBORO, N.C. (May 17, 2011) – Fishing on Mayo Lake has become more accessible, thanks in part to a cooperative effort between the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and Person County Recreation Arts and Parks, who are providing free loaner adaptive fishing gear to physically challenged anglers.
The adaptive fishing gear, which can be borrowed from the Mayo Park office, is available free of charge through the Wildlife Commission’s Tackle Loaner Program. Park staff has electric reels, pole harnesses, easy-cast fishing poles and easy-grip gloves available to loan to anglers who have limited hand, arm and upper body movement.
“This adaptive fishing gear gives fishermen the ability to cast and reel in fish with minimum effort,” said Jeremy Royster, Mayo Park Ranger. “Anglers can register at the park office to join the program and receive a tackle loaner card that lets them borrow free loaner tackle at Mayo Park, as well as other participating tackle loaner sites across the state.
“We’re fortunate that the Commission is offering this adaptive fishing gear through the Tackle Loaner Program because it allows Mayo Park to expand outdoor opportunities for persons with physical limitations.”
While having the right fishing equipment is just one part of a successful fishing trip, finding a site that is universally accessible is another. In February 2010, park staff built a universally accessible fishing pier that extends 80 feet into the lake. The pier incorporates a "T" at the end with lowered sections in the railing for wheelchair access, and is easily accessible from the park’s nature trails. Parking at the largest playground, a picnic shelter, restrooms and an Environment Education and Community Center—all of which are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act—make visiting the lake accessible for all anglers.
The adaptive fishing gear is funded through a 75-25 percent cost-share venture between the Commission and the parks department and is available on a first-come-first-serve basis through the Commission’s Tackle Loaner Program, which loans rods and reels just as a library loans books. Anglers register to receive a tackle loaner ID card that lets them check out a rod and reel for free for the day. While the program is geared toward children under 16, anyone interested in fishing can participate.
In addition to the adaptive fishing gear, Mayo Park has available through the program fly rods and reels, spincast combos and ultralight spinning combos that can be checked out at the Environmental and Community Center.
The center is located at 1013 Neal’s Store Road in Roxboro. Operating hours for the center vary, although the boat launch, which is free, is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, year round. For more information about Mayo Park, contact the Person County Recreation Arts and Parks at 336-597-1755. For more information on fishing in public, inland waters, visit http://www.ncwildlife.org/Fishing.aspx.