SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. (1/26/2010)
Anticipating more than 10,000 visitors each year, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Resources Division opened a new fishing pier below the Hartwell Dam on Jan. 15, giving anglers greater access to fishing areas adjacent to the facility on the Georgia side of the Savannah River.
The fishing pier includes a 400-ft boardwalk and 400-ft aluminum fishing pier that will be accessible to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Fisheries Divisions for both Georgia and South Carolina will continue stocking trout in the tailrace in order to make for great fishing at this new facility.
Restroom facilities also are under construction and are expected be completed soon.
The pier connects to an existing fishing pier on the dam and allows renewed public access to the original pier as well as provides new opportunities to fish below the structure. The Corps of Engineers closed access to the original pier following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, because parking and entry to the pier allowed vehicles too near the dam's power plant. With the new pier, parking and access will be available at an existing public recreation area.
Georgia DNR received funding for the pier as part of a natural resource damage settlement related to PCB contamination of Twelve Mile Creek which feeds into Lake Hartwell. The PCB contamination resulted from discharges from a manufacturing plant formerly located along the creek. The construction of this pier marks the first use of monies from the settlement trust fund. After its dedication on the 15th, Georgia officials transferred the pier to the Corps of Engineers.
The Savannah District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers owns and operates the Hartwell Dam and Lake project for flood risk reduction, hydropower production, recreation, water supply, water quality, navigation, and environmental stewardship. The states of Georgia and South Carolina along with the Savannah District operate numerous recreation facilities along the reservoir's shore.