Anglers looking to stock their freezer should visit Evans County Public Fishing Area in the next few weeks as the limit on what they can take increased after preparations began for an upcoming improvement project on the area. The PFA will temporarily close on June 1, 2012 and re-open in 2013.
“The draining of the lake at Evans County has begun, so fish are being pushed into concentrated areas, which should make the fish-catching easier,” says John Biagi, fisheries chief of the Wildlife Resources Division, Georgia Department of Natural Resources. “We encourage people to head to the area and take advantage of the opportunity.”
The “take” limit on most fish species has increased: Bream limit is 50 per person (formerly 15); largemouth bass is 10 per person with a 12-inch minimum length (formerly five per person with a 14-inch minimum length); channel catfish has no limit (formerly five per person); and crappie is 30 per person (no change).
Multiple issues, such as tree growth on the dam and wave erosion, currently affect the nearly 50-year old impoundment. Bond funding will support tree and stump removal, slope rebuilding and grading for structural integrity and improved maintenance, and rip-rap installation to prevent further wave damage. Fisheries Management plans to rebuild the fish population with restocking and add lake enhancements, such as fish attractors.
Alternative Fishing Locations
Anglers needing an alternative location to fish during the construction period have several options:
- Fort Stewart and Hunter Military Installations: This area offers nearly 20 managed ponds, lakes and numerous access points on the Canoochee River. An additional license is required and rules/regulations are different from state regulations. More info at: http://www.stewart.army.mil/dpw/fish/FS%20MAP.htm
- Canoochee, Ogeechee, Savannah and Altamaha rivers: Up-to-date fishing prospects for many rivers is available at http://georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/Rivers
- City of Savannah community ponds: Good fishing is available at several community ponds within the city limits of Savannah. More info available at http://tinyurl.com/7wejqzu .
- Georgia Public Fishing Areas: There are nine other PFAs in the State of Georgia that offer managed and family-friendly areas for anglers and outdoor recreation enthusiasts. More info at www.georgiawildlife.com/fishing/public-fishing-areas .
Evans County PFA, located east of Claxton, Georgia, is a 372-acre area that includes three separate impoundments. Lakes Longleaf, Woody and Bidd Sands attract more than 5,000 anglers each year with an additional almost 4,000 guests visiting the area. The area boasts concrete boat ramps with courtesy docks, fishing piers, primitive camp sites, boardwalk nature trail, restrooms and picnic tables.
This PFA also is home to alligator and waterfowl hunts. Sportsmen drawn for these quota hunts will be able to participate in the hunts during renovation, but should check with staff to verify the lakes have water (September 2012-January 2013). Fishing is expected to resume in June 2013.
For more information on public fishing areas in Georgia, visit http://georgiawildlife.com/fishing/public-fishing-areas.