Anglers, rejoice! A new handicapped-accessible boat dock is scheduled to be built at Lake Junaluska this spring thanks to the efforts of an avid Haywood County fisherman and the North Carolina Wildlife Commission.
The dock will be located at Fulbright Park, a popular fishing spot on the west side of Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center just inside the main entrance, across from the Bethea Welcome Center.
The 40-foot dock will be built by the North Carolina Wildlife Commission and paid for with boat registration fees, said John Macemore, the commission’s mountain region boating supervisor. “[Fishermen] can park their boats next to the dock and we’ll have a handicap rail and that will assist them in getting in and out of their boats,” he said.
Work on the dock will start in April once the lake’s water levels are back up. The lake has been lowered to remove a silt build up.
“This is great news,” said Tyree Kiser, a 62-year-old retired Haywood County educator, who emailed the state Wildlife Commission requesting the dock. “Lake Junaluska is full of catchable fish and is a great lake to teach young people how to fish.”
But the lack of a boat dock has meant many a wet day, especially when the wind was up, he said.
“Lake Junaluska only allows electric motors, which are usually on the front of boats. This means that you usually get wet when launching and taking a boat out of the water. If the wind is blowing your boat floats up against the shore while you back your trailer into the water. If you have your children, grandchildren or friends with you then everyone may have to get wet getting in and out of the boat. This new boat dock will solve all those problems, allowing you to tie up your boat and get everyone in and out while staying dry,” he said.
Lake Junaluska is open for fishing from dawn to dusk. There is no charge to fish at the lake, but all state fishing regulations apply.