EAST BEND, N.C. (Aug. 28, 2020) —The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission once again has partnered with the Yadkin County Parks and Recreation Department to provide anglers with an improved fishing access area on the Yadkin River in Yadkin County.
The recently renovated Donnaha Park Public Fishing Area (PFA) is located at 6131 Donnaha Park Road in East Bend, and is 6.9 miles downstream of the Shoals Public Fishing Area (PFA) in Pilot Mountain State Park and 6.6 miles upstream of the Old U.S. 421 River Park, which is operated by Forsyth County Parks & Recreation. GPS coordinates are 36.216, -80.434.
Donnaha Park PFA will provide access primarily for kayakers and canoeists, who can use it as a take-out for Shoals PFA and a put-in for Old U.S. 421 River Park. The PFA provides access to the river for small boat operators as well, however, there is limited navigation for small boats and only under the right flow conditions. Boaters using the Donnaha PFA will have to launch and take out there, as navigation obstacles above and below the PFA will prevent small boats from reaching the other access areas.
Due to design constraints necessitated by the depth of the river, Donnaha PFA has a modified ramp design that does not extend in the river as far as standard boat ramps do. Because of this modified design, the ramp is not designed for trailered boats, and a bollard is in place at the top of the ramp to block vehicular access.
“Any boats that use this location will have to be light enough to be carried by hand,” said Kin Hodges, the agency’s D-7 fisheries biologist. “This isn’t as big a deal as it might seem because if a boat is heavy enough to require trailering, it would not be able to navigate this section of the river very well, anyway.”
The parking lot has eight single-vehicle spaces, two trailer spaces and two paved ADA-accessible spaces.
Before renovations to the BAA, a smaller, more primitive ramp, which was located on a different part of the property, was difficult to keep clear of mud because it was situated at a low elevation — an issue that was exacerbated during flooding events, which would deposit even more sediment on the ramp, making it unusable at times.
“Given the improved design of the new ramp and the fact that it was built on higher ground, sediment deposition during flooding should be less of an issue,” Hodges said. “And when it does get covered in sediment, it should be easier to clear off, thereby reducing the amount of time the ramp can’t be used.”
Anglers fishing the Yadkin River from the Donnaha PFA can expect to catch smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, spotted bass, flathead catfish and redbreast sunfish.
The Wildlife Commission constructed the site with funds from the Sport Fish Restoration Program and fishing license sales receipts. The Yadkin County Parks and Recreation Department operates and maintains the site.
“We are proud to partner with Yadkin County once again to improve fishing access within the county,” Hodges said. “Given the extensive shoals in this section of the Yadkin River, anglers using the new Donnaha access will have access to some of the best smallmouth bass fishing in the entire river. And paddlers will enjoy the great scenery and wildlife viewing opportunities.”
The Wildlife Commission has recently partnered with Yadkin County on other projects to improve boating and fishing in the county, including the construction of a ramp and parking area at the Yadkin Shore access on the Yadkin River, a boat ramp and fishing piers at Lake Hampton in Yadkin Memorial Park, and the construction of a fishing pier coupled with an intensive Community Fishing Program fish stocking program at Yadkin County Park.
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 www.ncwildlife.org/fishing. For a list of all boating access areas open to the public in North Carolina, visit www.ncwildlife.org/boating.
Download top photo: Please credit Dean Barbee/NCWRC
John & Stephanie Anetrella launch their kayak into the Yadkin River, shortly after the completion of renovations to the Donnaha Public Fishing Area.
Download bottom photo: Please credit Dean Barbee
Aerial view of the recently renovated Donnaha Public Fishing Area in East Bend