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Groundbreaking of Long-Awaited Rhodes Pond Dam

DUNN, N.C. (May 14, 2021) – After experiencing several years of delay due to weather events and permitting issues, the Rhodes Pond project is back on track. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission is scheduled to hold a ground-breaking ceremony in Dunn on May 21 to celebrate the New Rhodes Pond Spillway and Impoundment Restoration project. Construction will begin in June.

The Rhodes Pond project includes a complete redesign to eliminate flooding issues, improve habitat for area wildlife and bring more outdoor recreation opportunities to the area.

The project will:

  • Return Rhodes Pond to historic water levels.
  • Reopen boating access area and install a new floating fishing pier.
  • Create a new labyrinth spillway for controlled discharge of severe storm events.
  • Create a baffle chute for energy dissipation and protection of the Black River.
  • Create a new secondary spillway designed for health of Black River side channel.
  • Reconstruct the embankment with erosion protection for long-term stability.

Wildlife Commission officials say the project will be completed by late 2022.

“It’s been a long road, but we are glad to say we have everything in place to get this job completed so that the community and visitors can enjoy this recreational area for many years to come,” said Gary Gardner, chief of the Wildlife Commission’s engineering division.

McGill Associates was awarded the contract amendment and in March 2019 was approved to proceed forward with design to a revised and higher standard by the N.C. Dam Safety Program. Based on the revised design requirements, the new spillway will now be a 208-foot labyrinth spillway with a new gatehouse structure. 

The project has undergone an intensive Individual Permit process by the US Army Corp of Engineers. The permit was approved in December 2020 along with the State Construction Office plans approval.

Rhodes Pond, which is owned by the Commission, is a 461-acre blackwater impoundment of Black River and a popular destination for anglers targeting largemouth bass and sunfish. For a list of boating access areas and public fishing areas located across the state, visit

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