Wildlife Commission opens new public fishing area on Fisher River

Staff Report

DOBSON — The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission recently opened a new public fishing access area on the Fisher River in Surry County.

The Bray Ford Public Fishing Area is a partnership between the commission and Surry County and is located just south of Dobson. GPS coordinates are 36.332219, -80.680876. The fishing area consists of a gravel parking area with eight parking spaces and a concrete sidewalk leading to the water. A set of wooden rails to slide paddlecraft on is incorporated directly into the sidewalk.

Early next year, the commission and Surry County officials plan to develop a new access area upstream of Bray Ford that will serve as a launch point for anglers taking out at Bray Ford.

The Bray Ford Public Fishing Area provides access to a section of Fisher River that is relatively shallow and rocky, making it an ideal access for wade fishing or fishing from a paddlecraft. This section of river is not suitable for larger, motorized boats.

“Anglers fishing this stretch of river can expect to catch smallmouth bass, spotted bass, redbreast sunfish and bullhead catfishes,” said Kin Hodges, a district biologist with the Commission.

The land for the fishing area was donated by Doug and Hannah Holyfield, owners of the Rockford Inn Bed and Breakfast in the nearby Rockford Community. Surry County will maintain the site while the commission funded the design and construction of the site with money from the Sport Fish Restoration Program and fishing license sales receipts.

According to Hodges, the Bray Ford Public Fishing Area is another example of the types of partnerships the Commission seeks out to advance its goal of improving public river access across the state.

“It is difficult to find and acquire sites on rivers that are suitable for the construction of access areas, and this project couldn’t have happened without the generous donation of this parcel by the Holyfields,” Hodges said. “While the Commission has the resources to build and patrol access areas such as Bray Ford, we do not have enough staff to oversee their routine maintenance, which is why cooperation from partners such as Surry County is vital.”

The historic Rockford Inn Bed and Breakfast sits on 6 acres in the center of the Yadkin Valley Wine Region. “My family has been in this community since the 1770s and we are pleased to provide this property as a public access to the Fisher River,” said Doug Holyfield.

For additional information about this site, along with other public fishing opportunities in the state, visit the Commission’s interactive angling access map (www.ncwildlife.org/Fishing/Where-to-Fish). For a list of all boating access areas open to the public in North Carolina, visit www.ncwildlife.org/boating.

Staff Report

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