The new crossing is at the very southeast end of the town of Handley, next to the old CSX depot. There are no signs to indicate that it provides access to the fishing area, so anglers must be alert lest they miss it.
To further complicate the matter, a sign on the gate near the locks directs anglers to go to alternate fishing sites at Marmet and Kanawha Falls. The sign, put there while the London piers were still closed, hasn't yet been removed. When told of the sign's presence, Preston said he would make some calls and get it taken down.
A DNR district fish biologist said the newly reopened piers should provide what he called "excellent mixed-bag fishing."
"There's a lot of variety," said Jeff Hansbarger. "One of the big things right now is catfishing, mainly for channel cats and flatheads.
"Bass fishing has picked up because there's much more aquatic vegetation in the river than there used to be. The vegetation supplies a good nursery area for young bass, and fishermen are reporting good catches of smallmouths and largemouths.
"Other good bets are hybrid striped bass and true striped bass. You might even pick up a muskie or two. Early in the year, in late February and March, London gets a good run of sauger and walleye, too."
The hydropower licenses for all of the Kanawha River's hydropower fisheries - London, Marmet and Winfield - are up for renewal. Bledsoe said DNR officials have asked that the new licenses require the power companies to provide adequate parking, portable toilets and trash removal.
Parking space at the London site is limited, but Appalachian has placed a portable toilet there for angler use.
Reach John McCoy at johnmc...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1231.