A fishing dock for all ages and abilities

Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary pier

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) – Considered one of the best urban fishing locations in the country, Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary in Green Bay dedicated a new improvement to its lagoon Thursday.

Designed for children under the age of 16, the elderly and disabled, the wildlife sanctuary’s urban fishing program is one few cities can match.

“There really aren’t any opportunities for fishing close by,” wildlife sanctuary director Mike Reed said. “We have kids coming out here on their bikes, we have people taking public transportation, and there aren’t many places they can do that and have the accessibility for fishing they can here.”

And now… what a difference a pier can make. From the old wooden pier to the new pier opened Thursday which is considered state of the art.

“Now this pier allows for handicap groups to come out, it’s wide enough that wheelchairs can pass each other, they can go all the way out and get near where the drop off is, where fishing is better,” Reed said.

Bluegill, bass, sunfish and trout are the common catch in the sanctuary’s 55-acre lagoon.

Thanks to a Leadership Green Bay team from the Chamber of Commerce, and The Friends of the Wildlife Sanctuary, the new $35,000 pier is in place, paid for and ready for use.

“We were excited about it, and the wildlife sanctuary, there’s tons of visitors every year, lot of people in our area don’t even know how big it is and how many people use it, so we’re kind of excited to get a little bit bigger here and add to what’s already a great facility,” Kristy Wiernasz, of Leadership Green Bay’s Class of 2015, said.

Eighty years ago, the first pond at the Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary was dug out by hand and stocked with injured waterfowl. Today the sanctuary’s 55-acre lagoon is not only a haven for thousands of birds but also an ideal habitat for many different types of fish.

Bay Beach Wildlife Sanctuary is in the midst of raising $3 million to expand its nature center as part of its 80th anniversary celebration.