By Don Mallicoat- Spring is here, the weather is warming, and anglers are thinking about getting out on the water. For mountain anglers there are two new boat ramps that will give you more access to fishing. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission has opened two new boating access areas on Glenville Lake, also known as Thorpe Lake, in Jackson County. The Powerhouse Boating Access Area and the Pine Creek Boating Access Area both provide access to Glenville Lake, which is popular for its bass fishing.
The Powerhouse Boating Access area, which is located 1371 Pine Creek Road, has a 15-foot boat ramp, a 100-foot floating boat dock and two handicapped-accessible parking spaces shared with the adjacent public fishing area. An additional eight graveled parking spaces are available for the general public.
The Pine Creek Boating Access Area is located at 2799 Pine Creek Road, about 1 mile west of the Powerhouse BAA. It features two 15-foot boat ramps on either end of the access area. The southern end of Pine Creek BAA features a new 80-foot floating boat dock next to a new boat ramp. The northern end of the boating access area features a new 100-foot boat dock aligned with an existing boat ramp. Handicapped-accessible parking is available next to both boat ramps, and the area between the two ramps has been graveled to provide an open parking area for the general public.
“Most Glenville anglers fish for smallmouth bass and largemouth bass,” said Powell Wheeler, the Wildlife Commission’s area fisheries biologist. “Historically, there were walleye in the lake, but this population has dwindled in recent years. We are experimentally stocking fingerling walleye in Glenville to restore the walleye fishery, but it will likely be several years before we know if this effort is successful.” The Wildlife Commission paid for the construction of the access area through funding from motorboat registration receipts and from Sport Fish Restoration Program funds, which you may know as the Dingell-Johnson Act.
I’ve written in previous columns about the ongoing Forest Service process to update the plan for the Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests. There is another comment period that ends on April 28th. This is the scoping notice for the Need for Change. It is important that hunters let their voices be heard. We have been fortunate, through hunter involvement, to get wildlife habitat as one of the top three considering factors. But we can’t give up now. You can view all of the background documents to include the Scoping Letter to the Public at www.fs.usda.gov/detail/nfsnc/home. Click on the link on the right, Nantahala-Pisgah National Forests Plan Revision. There you can see the Scoping letter and click on Read the Related News Release to find out about submitting comments online. Use the documents from previous meetings to make comments supporting making wildlife habitat their first priority.
A while back I mentioned the SHARE Act (H.R. 3197) that passed the House of Representatives. This act protects hunting, fishing, and recreational shooting opportunities on federal land. Its companion bill in the Senate now needs your support. The Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act, Senate Bill 1996, is co-sponsored by our own Senator Kay Hagan. We all need to let our Senators know that this is important to hunters and we expect them to support and vote for it. In the past this effort has passed the House but never made it to the Senate floor for a vote.
For those of you taking advantage of this warm weather to go shoot some clay targets here is an important tip for the sporting clays shooter. Maintain hard focus on the target. What do we mean by that? Many shooters let their eyes focus on the barrel and bead. If you do that, you will miss the target. Liken it to hitting a baseball or tennis ball. You don’t look at the bat or racket, do you? So what is the best way to maintain hard focus?
Get your body aligned with the point where you intend to break the target. Mount the shotgun to your shoulder. Swing the gun back to the point where you want to first acquire the target. Now here is the key: lower the gun shoulder so the gun is away from your cheek. Call for the bird and focus to the point you can see the leading edge and details on the target. Bring the gun to your shoulder and pull the trigger when you are ahead of the target. Practice this at home and you will be surprised to see your scores go up!