Lake Hartwell Hunting

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Hartwell Lake Office will open four of its larger recreation areas for archery and small game hunting during the regular 2016-2017 Georgia hunting season. These areas include:

  • Paynes Creek Park, Hart County, GA. (399 acres)
  • Hartwell Dam Quarry Area, Hart County, GA. (410 acres)
  • New Prospect Park, Hart County, GA. (34 acres)
  • Jenkins Ferry Park, Stephens County, GA. (31 acres)

The Hartwell Dam Quarry is restricted to archery equipment only during deer and turkey seasons. A permit is required from the Hartwell Lake Office which is available at no cost. Hunting regulations, license requirements, and seasons set by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, will apply. Information on regulations is available from state wildlife offices.

Small game hunting is allowed in all areas listed above but only after the deer and turkey season closes. Hunting for small game is restricted to shotgun only with number 4 shot or smaller. Hunting for deer and turkey is restricted to archery equipment only – all firearms are prohibited. The areas will be open on a walk-in or boat-in only basis.  No motorized vehicles will be allowed within the gated area. Only portable stands or blinds are acceptable and must be removed from public land after the season.

The Corps areas listed below are considered part of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ Fant’s Grove WMA hunting area. Contact the SCDNR at 864-654-1671 for information on licenses, seasons and bag limits.

  • South Carolina River, Anderson County, S.C. (125 acres)
  • Glenn Ferry Park, Anderson County, S.C. (211 acres)
  • Weldon Island Park, Anderson County, S.C. (138 acres)
  • Apple Island Park, Anderson County, S.C. (107 acres)
  • Townville Park, Anderson County, S.C. (23 acres)
  • River Forks Park, Anderson County, S.C. (182 acres), No hunting in closed portion of the recreation area.
  • Camp Creek Park, Anderson County, S.C. (48 acres)
  • Martin Creek Park, Oconee County, S.C. (60 acres)
  • Choestoea Park, Oconee County, S.C. (369 acres)

Hunting is prohibited in all designated recreation areas unless listed above. All other public lands and waters around Hartwell Lake, including islands, are open to hunting in accordance with Title 36 Code of Federal Regulations and Georgia and South Carolina hunting regulations. Due to safety concerns, big game hunters are encouraged to use archery equipment only while hunting on the islands.

Feral hog hunting is allowed on Hartwell Project lands year round except areas designated as WMAs. A letter permit is required when hunting hogs outside the state deer season on all Hartwell Project property. Dogs are only allowed outside of the state deer and turkey season. Long rifles are not allowed.

For additional information and permits, contact Park Ranger Jess Fleming at the Hartwell Lake Project Office at 888-893-0678, ext. 335, or 706-856-0335.

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Rain is coming, but will it be enough?

If the first three days in August are any indication, things could be looking up for the Savannah River Basin.

Last month, on the other hand, the only reason to look up was in a fit of frustration. Russell’s take was especially bleak, netting only 2.2 inches compared to its 4.3 inch average. Hartwell and Thurmond each received 3.1 inches, just 60 and 71 percent of their monthly averages, respectively.

July Rainfall Chart

It has definitely been worse: A dozen or more times in the last 68 years the sub-basins have received less than they did last month, including in 1980 when Thurmond got a paltry 1.4 inches, and a six-year dry spell from 2006-11 when Hartwell couldn’t hurdle the 3-inch mark.

The interesting thing about last month’s numbers is that rain did fall, but it either missed the mark or was just plain mist.

For instance, here’s Hartwell’s Doppler estimate by the hour in July. The chart itself looks green, indicating rainfall, but the overwhelming majority of the values is four hundredths of an inch or less. Thurmond painted a similar picture with its Doppler estimate.

Another noteworthy trend is the manner in which the sub-basins are underperforming this year. Thurmond, aka Mr. Consistency, has reached between 71-79 percent of its average each month since April, whereas Hartwell took a stepped approach: progressively notching its way toward the average every three months before plunging back to 20-30 percent.

August, though, could be another story. In just three days, Hartwell has already received more than half the rainfall it received in June, which had a similar average as August (4.8 vs. 4.9 inches). Likewise, Russell equaled its June total of 1.4 inches in just 3 days. Meanwhile, Mr. Consistency (Thurmond), with 1 inch, is still plugging away.

~ Jeremy S. Buddemeier, Corporate Communications Office

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DNR courtesy boat inspections set for July Fourth weekend

In an effort to keep state waterways safe during the upcoming July Fourth holiday weekend and beyond, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Law Enforcement Division will again be conducting courtesy safety inspections at some public boat landings. The July Fourth holiday weekend, July 2-4, is one of the busiest weekends of the year on state waters.

DNR courtesy boat inspections set for July Fourth weekend

DNR boating safety and enforcement officers will perform a quick, but thorough inspection for items such as required safety equipment and proper boat and motor registration. Those who are not in compliance with safety regulations or registration requirements will not be ticketed during the complimentary inspections. Instead, they will be given an opportunity to correct the problem before they launch their boat. DNR officers will also be available to answer questions and give boaters tips on how to stay safe on the water.

To report boating violations such as reckless operation or an intoxicated boat operator, call the DNR toll-free, 24-hour hotline at 1-800-922-5431. For a copy of South Carolina’s boating regulations, to find out about local boating safety courses or to obtain a free float plan form, contact the DNR Boating Safety Office at 1-800-277-4301 or visithttp://www.dnr.sc.gov/education/boated.html.

Courtesy boat inspections July 2, July 3 and July 4 will be held at the following locations:

July 2:

  • Anderson County: Riverfork Forks Boat Ramp-Lake Hartwell; 2pm-4pm
  • Beaufort County: Lemon Island Landing (Edgar Glenn) – Chechesse River; 10am-12pm
  • Berkeley County: Cypress Gardens Landing (Dunham Creek) – Dunham Creek; 10am-12pm
  • Charleston County: Isle of Palms Landing – Morgan Creek; 10am-12pm
  • Charleston County: Wappoo Cut Landing – ICW south of Charleston Harbor; 10am-12pm
  • Clarendon County: Alex Harvin Landing – Lake Marion; 10am-12pm
  • Darlington County: Easterling Landing – Lake Robinson; 11am-1pm
  • Dorchester County: Herbert H. Jessen Landing – Ashley River; 10am-12pm
  • Georgetown County: Carroll A. Campbell Landing – Sampit River; 10am-12pm
  • Horry County: Johnny Causey Landing – ICW at Little River; 10am-12pm
  • Kershaw County: Clearwater Cove Landing – Lake Wateree; 10am-12pm
  • Lexington County: Lake Murray Dam – Lake Murray; 10am-12pm
  • McCormick County: Dorn Landing-Lake Thurmond; 10am-12pm
  • Newberry County: Billy Dreher Island – Lake Murray; 10am-12pm
  • Oconee County: South Cove Park-Lake Keowee; 10am-12pm
  • Pickens County: Twelve Mile Park-Lake Hartwell; 10am-12pm
  • York County: Ebenezer Park Landing – Lake Wylie; 10am-12pm
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