The Outer Banks Angler’s Club was just awarded a $822,000 grant to create an artificial reef eight miles south of Oregon Inlet. The grant will enable the Angler’s Club to sink sink a 100’ ship offshore and add 2000 tons of concrete and pipe. There is a possibility, according to reports of a second ship being sunk as well, although that has not been confirmed.
Most offshore of North Carolina’s artificial reefs are located in the southern part of the state. Marine Fisheries seems to be addressing the imbalance.
Plans are already on the books to use the debris from the demolition of the Bonner Bridge to enhance four artificial reefs off the Outer Banks that have been deteriorating. The plan seems to be a win/win type of plan. As the old bridge is dismantled, the debris is cleaned in place, put on a barge and taken to the reef site.
Commercial and recreational fishermen benefit from enhanced habitat, Marine Fisheries gets the material a very good price and NCDOT doesn’t have to dispose of it.
Because the Gulf Stream passes closest to the Continental United States at Cape Hatteras, there is more deep sea fishing leaving Outer Banks docks than other part of the state. An artificial reef creates a better environment for near shore fishing and the improved reefs and new new reef will have little or no impact on fishing farther off shore.
Although the southern part of the state boasts the most artificial reefs, Dare County is second to only Wake County, where Raleigh is located, in fishing license revenue.