The Oregon Inlet fishing center, known for charter boats that bring in trophy catches, will get new managers for the first time in 45 years.
The National Park Service is negotiating a lease with Oregon Inlet Marinas LLC, managed by Russell King, to run the site at the foot of Bonner Bridge, where 45 charter boats operate.
New managers would take over by the end of the year if negotiations go as planned, said Sarah Merrill, the Outer Banks Group management analyst for the Park Service.
The marina bulkhead and the store are in poor condition, according to Park Service documents. The new managers are expected to improve the bulkhead in return for a rent reduction of up to $3 million. The company’s repairs to the store could also further lower the rent, according to the Park Service.
The 7.4-acre site has been a staple for charter fishing tours for anglers from all over the world going back to the 1950s. Patrons can fish offshore, near land and in the sounds.
Catches in the last two weeks from an Oregon Inlet fishing report show a Georgia man caught a 70-pound yellowfin tuna, and a South Carolina woman caught a 20-pound blackfin tuna. Photos show big hauls of fish lined up on the docks at the end of the day.
The Park Service has permitted management of the marina, store and other facilities for more than 60 years. Oregon Inlet Fishing Center has managed the place since 1973.
The marina and store have averaged gross revenues of more than $3 million annually, according to documentation from the National Park Service. Revenues have fallen in the last two years to below $3 million. The Park Service requires a fixed annual rent of $40,000 plus 5 percent of gross revenue.