Cape Fear River lock and dam closing to aid spawning fish

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Cape Fear River
Cape Fear River on June 14, 2017 (Photo: Hannah Patrick/WWAY)

RIEGELWOOD, NC (WWAY) — The US Army Corps of Engineers Cape Fear River Lock and Dam 1 facility will be closed through mid-November to help fish migrating upstream to spawn.

The lock and dam, located near Riegelwood, has a rock ramp fishway that was constructed in 2011 and 2012 to allow different fish populations to access historical upstream spawning areas.

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According to various state and federal resource agencies and academic institutions, fish were not able to migrate upstream over the rock arch fishway.

Cape Fear River Watch led the Lock and Dam 1 Fish Passage Improvement Project with funding assistance from the NC Division of Marine Fisheries, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, NC State Port Authority and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

The goal of the project is to modify the existing fish passageway to increase passage of striped bass and sturgeon to historical spawning areas, and create a self-sustaining striped bass population in the Cape Fear River.

The project started in mid-July and should be completed by mid-November.

The US Army Corps of Engineers said Lock and Dam 1 will be closed to the public for safety precautions while heavy equipment is on-site.

Click here for more information about the project.