Contact: Joanna Wilson, DNREC Public Affairs, 302-739-9902.
New footbridge provides easier,
safer access to Garrisons Lake
SMYRNA (July 5, 2012) – Garrisons Lake near Smyrna is one of the top five most-fished ponds in Delaware, with sunfish, largemouth bass and black crappie among the popular fish species anglers can hook there. Now, with a new aluminum footbridge in place connecting the north and south sides of the lake, Garrisons Lake is also a safer and more accessible place to fish.
“Building this footbridge was a matter of public safety, since anglers and visitors previously had to walk along the shoulder of a very busy highway – Route 13 – in order to fish from both sides of the lake,” said DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife Director David Saveikis. “The bridge also provides safe and convenient fishing access to the spillway.”
Construction started on the nearly 140-foot-long, handicapped-accessible footbridge in January and was completed in June at a cost of approximately $335,000. Funding for the project was split, with 75 percent from the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration Funds allocated to DNREC by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and 25 percent State of Delaware matching funds.
“The Federal funds come from fishing gear taxes paid by recreational anglers and fuel taxes paid by boaters, and the state funds come from recreational fishing license fees, so this project was entirely funded by those who will use and enjoy the results – the fishing public,” said Fisheries Administrator John Clark.
Also included in the project was a paved concrete path to the bridge and rip-rap repairs to the spillway dam. The project contractor was a local company, Kent Construction of Smyrna.
Since 1937, Delaware has received matching funds for fish and wildlife conservation projects from the federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program. This pioneering program today serves as a model for cost-effective fish and wildlife conservation and fishing and hunting access funded by those who directly benefit from the resource – the anglers and hunters. Their contributions through this “user pay, public benefit” conservation funding model benefit all Delawareans. In 2012, the DNREC Division of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are celebrating the 75th anniversary of this longstanding and very productive state and federal partnership.
Vol. 42, No. 253