Program promotes fishing, environmental education

Published 6:06 pm Friday, July 22, 2016

A new program adopted by Goose Creek State Park is encouraging visitors to try their hand at fishing the waters of the Pamlico River.

Through the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s Tackle Loaner Program, first-time and novice anglers are encouraged to borrow rods and reels free of charge, according to the NCWRC website. The program was created to introduce North Carolinians, especially children, to fishing and encourage new anglers to continue developing their angling skills.

Candace Rose, a park ranger with Goose Creek State Park, said the program operates much like a library. Anglers register at the park to receive a tackle loaner ID card, which allows them to check out a rod and reel. Rose was a ranger at Cliffs of the Neuse State Park, where she also got the program going prior to coming to Goose Creek, she said.

“It just promotes fishing,” Rose said. “Once I came to Goose Creek, I realized we had a lot more fishing opportunities here on the inland and coastal side of it. It’s about the need the get people fishing and educate them about the water and water quality and fishing rules, so it’s a good way to get people to recreate in the park. It’s just another activity they can enjoy. It’s a program to allow novice fisherman to get more experience.”

Rose said the ID card issued can be used at any park that participates in the statewide program. However, rods and reels rented from a site must be returned to the same site. Upon returning the gear after their first loan, anglers will receive a free mini-tackle box, containing hooks, bobbers, sinkers and a stringer.

“We’re really happy to have the program, and we’re hoping people will be able to come out and take advantage of it,” Rose said.

For more information, call Goose Creek State Park at 252-923-2191, or visit to see a list of the participating parks.