on Jun 13, 2014 03:24 PM • Views 1967

The new Kinston Boating Access Area is the first one to be constructed by the Wildlife Commission in Lenoir County. It provides access to the Neuse River.

Media Contact: Jodie B. Owen

KINSTON, N.C. (June 13, 2014) — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission celebrated the opening of its first Boating Access Area (BAA) in Lenoir County with a ribbon cutting ceremony this morning.

The Kinston Boating Access Area, located at 963 Hwy 11-55 in Kinston, features a floating dock and two launch ramps. Other amenities include a paved parking lot with 31 trailer spaces and 11 single-vehicle spaces. ADA-compliant parking also is available. 

The 5-acre site provides access to the Neuse River, which supports a typical coastal river fishery, according to Christian Waters, a fisheries program manager with the Wildlife Commission. Anglers can expect to catch striped bass, American and hickory shad in the spring, and catfish, largemouth bass, sunfishes and crappie throughout the year, Waters said.

Like many other BAAs built by the Wildlife Commission, the Kinston Boating Access Area is a joint partnership between the Commission, local government and the business community. Lenoir County provided the land and will maintain the site. The Commission designed and constructed the site and also has committed to making future repairs as needed to major infrastructure, such as boat ramps, docks and the parking area. Construction was funded through motorboat receipts.

Kinston business leader Russell Rhodes, president and CEO of Neuse Sport Shop, initiated the effort to get Lenoir County its first boating access area. He contacted the Commission in 2010, inquiring about the agency providing public access to the Neuse River and helping identify potential sites for the new boating access area.

“This is a good example of a local community and the Wildlife Commission partnering to provide access to a great public resource like the Neuse River,” said Erik Christofferson, chief of the Commission’s Division of Engineering Services and Land Management. “Construction of these boating access areas truly is a user-pay, user-benefit system.”

For more information on boating in North Carolina, including the locations of more than 200 free, publicly accessible boating access areas, visit the Commission’s online locater map. For more information on fishing in North Carolina, including where to fish, visit the fishing page.

a high-resolution version of the photo above. Please credit Mark Hamlett/NCWRC