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Is the Davis Canal at Oak Island natural or manmade?

Ben Steelman
StarNews

The short answer is, a little of both.

Some Oak Island residents are lobbying the town to limit the length of docks. On one part of the island where this condo (visible in distance) is being built they have to stretch over a wide marsh to reach navigable water on Davis Canal.        StarNews photo by Paul Stephen/Wilmington StarNews

Some Oak Island residents are lobbying the town to limit the length of docks. On one part of the island where this condo (visible in distance) is being built they have to stretch over a wide marsh to reach navigable water on Davis Canal. StarNews photo by Paul Stephen.

Davis Canal apparently started out as part of Davis Creek, a natural waterway that flows into tidal marshes draining into Lockwoods Folly Inlet.

In the 1970s, though, parts of the creek were substantially dredged as part of the development of Long Beach. (The towns of Long Beach and Yaupon Beach merged in 1999 to form the town of Oak Island.)

Local sources still referred to the vicinity as “Davis Creek” until the late 1960s, according to files at the Barbee Library in Oak Island. By the early 1980s, though, it was commonly referred to as “Davis Canal.”

Davis Canal cuts through the middle of Oak Island to 40th Street and empties into the Intracoastal Waterway. The Oak Island Scenic Walkway leads over part of the canal. It is a favorite kayaking spot, and local fishermen report good results in its waters almost year-round, angling for trout, red snapper, flounder, black drum and other sport fish as well as bait fish. It is also reportedly good for shrimp netting during the summer.

RELATED LINKS:

Are residents allowed to build piers completely across Davis Canal in Oak Island?

What are those large pipes on the side of homes being connected to the new sewer system in Oak Island?

User-contributed question by:
martyn hawkins

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