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#07-59 February 26, 2007

Adult-youth fishing begins March 3 in Bonneau WMA

Bonneau Ferry Wildlife Management Area, in Berkeley County, opens to adult-youth public fishing March 3.

Fishing on Bonneau Ferry Wildlife Management Area (WMA) will be allowed on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays during daylight hours only from March 3 through Oct. 31. Exceptions to this schedule, in which the area will be closed, occur on Saturday mornings until 11 a.m. during April for youth turkey hunts, and all day during scheduled deer hunts in the fall.

For these specific hunt dates, check the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) rules and regulations brochure.

In order to fish on the Bonneau Ferry WMA, a youth (17 years or younger) must be actively fishing and accompanied by no more than two adults at least 18 years of age. Adults are not allowed to fish unless they are accompanied by a youth. Boats will be allowed, however they may be operated only under the power of an electric motor or by paddling. Alcoholic beverages are prohibited. Creel limits per person per day are as follows: two largemouth bass, 10 panfish (including crappie, bluegill, redear, pumpkinseed, redbreast). There are no size restrictions.

Participants are reminded to pay attention to areas and roads that are closed to vehicles. Signs reminding participants of these regulations are posted at the main entrance. Maps showing lake and pond locations can be obtained at the kiosk at the main entrance. For more information, call DNR’s Dennis Wildlife Center in Bonneau, at (843) 761-8820 or (843) 825-3388 during regular business hours.

This is the third year of adult-youth public fishing on Bonneau Ferry WMA.  “Fishing at Bonneau Ferry continues to be a popular family activity during the spring and summer months,” says Will Carlisle, Wildlife Biologist at DNR’s Dennis Wildlife Center. "Adult-youth fishing has proven a successful strategy for maintaining a quality fishery at Bonneau Ferry while still providing ample opportunity for youth anglers," Carlisle said. 

DNR fisheries biologist, Chad Holbrook says the reservoirs at Bonneau Ferry WMA are actively maintained to improve fish productivity.  “Both Lake Emily and Nimitz Lake have been limed within the past year, a practice causing an increase in growth among microorganisms which is then passed along to fish through the food chain,” says Holbrook. The growth in organisms such as plankton and microscopic plants, through liming, increases available food for insects and small fish, which cycle into a productive environment for all fish. The DNR has also just renovated New Lake, which remains closed to the public until spring of 2008.  All other reservoirs will be open for fishing this year unless specified by postings at the WMA. 
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