Updated 12/15/2014: Over the weekend, we received a press release from the C&O Canal National Historic Park. Progress is being made, but we still need your help! The full text of the press release:
The National Park Service (NPS), Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park, is hosting a public meeting regarding Fletchers Cove river access. The public is invited to provide input on December 17, 2014 from 6:30 PM to 8:00 PM at the NPS National Capital Region Headquarters located at 1100 Ohio Drive, SW, Washington, DC, 20242.
Fletchers Cove has been a popular river fishing destination in the District for more than a century, but sedimentation is threatening recreational/subsistence fishing and concession operations (boat rentals). NPS is committed to working with the concessioner to provide safe, appropriate, and sustainable access for fishing and boat rentals at this site. Those interested in this issue may attend the meeting to engage in a dialogue about potential short- and long-term solutions.
Fletcher’s Cove, a staple for fishermen and Potomac River enthusiasts throughout the Washington, DC area, is in danger. The dock was closed by the National Park Service two weeks before the end of the season, and if nothing is done soon, it may not reopen in the spring.
Fletcher’s Cove got it’s name from the family that lived in the area and ran the boathouse until about 10 years ago. The boathouse sells tackle, bait and fishing licenses, and also rents rowboats, canoes, and kayaks. Each spring, Fletcher’s is the jumping point for thousands of anglers – myself included – that take a rowboat out to hunt for the shad and striped bass that make their annual migration through the waters.
What drove the NPS to close the docks is the result of years of human development changing the natural course of the Potomac River. Silt and river debris have lodged themselves under the walkway to the dock, tilting it and creating the potential for a hazard.
So what can be done about this? The NPS is investigating both short-term and long-term solutions, but if no progress is made soon, it will endanger the 2015 spring season. To help get Fletcher’s Cove back open, a local Washington, DC fly fishing club, Tidal Potomac Fly Rodders, has created a letter and a petition that anyone can sign encouraging the NPS to take action immediately. Additionally, you can email the NPS directly. All you need to do is drop them a brief note in support of reopening Fletcher’s. The more mail traffic they receive, the higher priority the fix will be!
Help us ensure access to our beloved resource does not go away!