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New barrier-free fishing pier completed at Croft State Park's Lake Craig near SpartanburgMarch 28, 2017

A ribbon-cutting was held recently for a new barrier-free fishing pier built at Croft State Park's Lake Craig in a partnership between S.C. State Parks, Duke Energy and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Cutting the ribbon at the new fishing pier at Croft State Park’s Lake Craig were (from left) Ross Self of SCDNR, Amanda Dow and Linda Hannon of Duke Energy, Phil Gaines and John Moon of S.C. State Parks, and James Horne of Friends of Croft State Park.

Cutting the ribbon at the new fishing pier at Croft State Park’s Lake Craig were (from left) Ross Self of SCDNR, Amanda Dow and Linda Hannon of Duke Energy, Phil Gaines and John Moon of S.C. State Parks, and James Horne of Friends of Croft State Park.

"It's difficult for folks to find a place to fish if they don't have a boat," said Ross Self, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) freshwater fisheries chief. "We are always looking for more shore-based fishing access, and now there is this wonderful new fishing pier at Lake Craig that is accessible to everyone, including mobility-impaired folks and people in wheelchairs. This is also a great example of cooperation between industry and state agencies like SCDNR and State Parks."

Funding for the new 110-foot fishing pier in Spartanburg County was provided by a $75,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation's Water Resources Fund and a $50,000 grant from the Spartanburg County Water Recreation Fund, which is derived from an excise tax on motorboat fuels and can only be used to enhance recreation on the state's waters. A ribbon-cutting was held at the new fishing pier March 23.

"This is what Duke Energy's Water Resources Fund is all about," said Amanda Dow of the Duke Energy Foundation. "We are happy to be a partner, and we want everyone to have better access to natural resources like this beautiful lake."

Michael Tinsley of Spartanburg was the first angler to fish off the new barrier-free fishing pier at Lake Craig after the official ribbon cutting. (SCDNR photos by Greg Lucas)

Michael Tinsley of Spartanburg was the first angler to fish off the new barrier-free fishing pier at Lake Craig after the official ribbon cutting. (SCDNR photos by Greg Lucas)

Duke Energy's Water Resources Fund is a $10 million commitment to improve water quality, quantity and conservation in the Carolinas and neighboring regions.

Phil Gaines, director of the S.C. State Park Service, said the new fishing pier on the 150-acre lake is a great example of partnerships between different organizations working together for the common good.

"It's a great day when you have sister agencies like SCDNR and State Parks come together with a great partner like Duke Energy to make an impact and to help families make memories," said Gaines.

Fishing is big business in South Carolina. Anglers in South Carolina spend almost $742 million to fish each year, making the sport, with economic multipliers factored in, a $1.3 billion dollar business in the Palmetto State.


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