PALATINE, W.Va. — A new dock was ready for the West Virginia B.A.S.S. Nation (WVBN) State Championship at Prickett’s Fort State Park late last summer, thanks to a team effort by chapter volunteers, the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and several local businesses.
“The anglers were very pleased with the project. The congestion was eliminated and access to the ramp was greatly improved,” said Jerod Harman, WVBN conservation director. “We heard many positive comments about the new Prickett’s Dock, and our members have yet another accomplishment they can be very proud of.”
A new dock was needed because of a siltation problem on this portion of the Opekiska Pool of the Monongahela River, Harman added.
“The pre-existing dock is approximately the same size as the new dock and is installed parallel with the ramp,” he explained. “But it is becoming inaccessible on the back side due to silting problems.”
And that forced anglers to travel across the two-lane boat ramp to get to the old dock, creating congestion problems during tournament and other busy days. By contrast, the new dock sits on the other side of the ramp, eliminating much of the crowding during loading and unloading of boats.
Many members of the Nation donated time and money to the project, Harman said. Jim Summers, chapter vice president, managed the project, and helpers included Tim Mitchem (president), Kenny Anderson, Gary Neldon, Henry Chisholm, Mike Anderson and Greg Henline.
Bret Preston, DNR fisheries chief, and Frank Jernejcic, DNR biologist, assisted in the approval process and procuring the new dock, said Harman, who added that Kevin Wolfe, park manager, “was fantastic to work with throughout the project.”
Ed Bunner, Climatrol Inc. and KS Contracting also contributed, with the latter providing equipment and a concrete finishing crew.
The 25 volunteers cleared 400,000 pounds of silt for this project and contributed 300 man-hours. They raised $10,000 for the effort. Clubs that were involved were Mon Valley Bassmasters, Bassbusters, Appalachian Bassmasters, Buckhannon Bassmasters, Full Moon Bassmasters, Classic Bound Bassmasters, Benton's Ferry Bassmasters, WV Bassmasters and 1-79 Bassmasters. The clubs worked with the West Virginia Division of State Parks, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources and the West Virginia Division of Highways.