By Leon Alexander
Dry Run Creek located at the Norfork NFH is getting national attention in the Trout Unlimited “Trout” magazine. The editor of “Trout” magazine, Kirk Deeter, had requested an article from Dave Whitlock on DRC. After some discussions, it was decided that Kirk or his assistant editor would write the article but in order to have the full impact he suggested that it would be best if they came here and saw it in person. So the deal was struck that Kirk or his assistant editor would make the trip and then write the article. He is expected to come on the same weekend as our annual Kids Fishing Derby, June 11. How Special is That !!
This is such a special opportunity to have this Magical Place receive this attention. As most of you are aware, the Friends of the Norfork NFH in partnership with the Norfork NFH and the AGFC performed an Enhancement Project of the then 20 year old DRC back in 2009 at a total cost of about $150,000.00. DRC at the time had been “Loved to Death” through 20 years of use with little to no maintenance or improvements.
The Enhancement Project consisted of the design portion being provided by Dave Whitlock who is well known for his stream restoration projects. The “Instream” work and trail construction was performed by the AGFC. Huge thanks go to Tim Burnley and his crew for their outstanding work in following Dave’s plans. The Boardwalk was extended by 172 feet with three fishing platforms, an elevated observation deck, a large landing area and a bridge over the largest hatchery discharge, which makes for a dramatic location to feel the water spray and look down on the trout. The entire new portion of the Boardwalk is now “Handicap Friendly” which was a major goal and improvement in the design. The USFWS supplied the material for the boardwalk and the general arrangement details. The FNNFH created the final plans, contracted with contractors for construction, supervised the construction and worked on the final details to bring the Boardwalk to life.
DRC is now being used by a wide variety of visitors. We have families coming to just walk the trails and maybe let the little ones wade in the shallows. We have scout groups coming to stay the weekend with fishing for trout as a major draw. We have school tours, and 4H projects being performed. We have father and son fishing, father and daughter, mother and son and mother and daughter, not to mention grandparents who really love to see their grandkids enjoying the stream and the natural beauty. We also have a number of mobility impaired adults that are able to fish here using special permits issued by the AGFC. I may have left out that there are family picnics and there has been several marriages performed on the Boardwalk with DRC as the backdrop.
Yes, it is a Magical Place for all to enjoy and it deserves this recognition. If you have the opportunity to visit with Kirk Deeter or his assistant editor on their visit, be sure and tell them your story and why it is important to you and your family. All of us are so appreciative of this opportunity to share our story of Dry Run Creek with others. Continue to enjoy it and help keep it clean.