Former Bonner Bridge now in second act as fishing pier

Published 10:12 pm Friday, October 22, 2021

On a beautiful fall day at around 8 a.m. on Friday, October 1, 2021, the Bonner Bridge Pier opened for fishing.

Three collaborators – Cape Hatteras National Seashore, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and North Carolina Department of Transportation – joined together to create the pier.

Some 20 avid pier anglers stood in line while NCDOT workers finished the last bit of work at the entrance to the concrete path leading to the actual pier.

Ava Triplett, nine months old, led her family and early morning anglers onto the pier behind Cape Hatteras National Seashore Superintendent Dave Hallac. Ava and her parents, Allison and Brandon, are from Lenoir and are long-time visitors to the Outer Banks.

Also on site for the opening was Greg Housden from Luray, Va., who has been coming to the Outer Banks for 17 years. He now comes for April and May and September and October.

The 1,046-foot remaining section of the former Bonner Bridge, is located next to the south end of the Oregon Inlet Bridge and projects into Oregon Inlet. It is a fee-free pier, accessible 24 hours a day.

Parking for about 70 vehicles is available near the pier. Additionally, portable restrooms and trash receptacles are available for public use. Use caution in the parking lot and on the approach road, warns the national seashore webpage for the pier. The area is still an active construction site as the Bonner Bridge demolition project continues.

Rules for using the new pier can be found at the entrance to the Bonner Bridge Pier and on Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s Bonner Bridge Pier webpage.

A valid North Carolina Coastal Recreation Fishing License is required to fish from the pier.

Purchase a license at ncwildlife.org. Fee for 10-day license is $6 for residents and $11 for non-resident; an annual license is $16 for residents or $31 for non-residents.

Rules as found on the Bonner Bridge Pier webpage:

Jumping from the pier and climbing down on the bridge pilings are prohibited for safety reasons. Boats are not allowed to tie-off, or moor to the bridge structure.

Prohibited on the Bonner Pier and enforceable are:

– Pets

– Drones

– Glass containers

– Canopies, grills and generators

– Pin-rig or spearfishing

– Bicycles, skateboards and rollerblades

– Fishing with more than two rods per angler

Etiquette:

– Be considerate of those around you and do not crowd other anglers.

– Keep music volume low.

– Attend fishing carts and rods at all times.

– Use underhand casts.

– Unwanted fish should be released alive.

– Wear shoes or sandals.

– Recycle fishing line in the provided canisters.

– Report sturgeon and seal sightings to Cape Hatteras National Seashore biologists at 252-216-6892.

If you hook a sea turtle:

– Contact Cape Hatteras National Seashore biologists at 252-216-6892.

– As you wait for a response, use a net to lift turtle to pier or land.

– Do not lift turtle by hook or pulling the line. If unable to lift try to walk the turtle to shore.

– Keep hands away from turtle’s mouth and flippers.

– When you have control of the turtle, use scissors or knife to cut line, leaving 2 feet of line to aid rescuers in de-hooking. Leave hook in place.

– If you cannot reach a response team or are unable to lift the turtle, cut line as close to turtle as possible.

A webcam and perhaps two are scheduled to be installed at the pier.

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