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April 27, 2010

Aiken County wildlife area will be open four Saturdays in May

Aiken County's Crackerneck Wildlife Management Area and Ecological Reserve will be opened to the general public on four Saturdays during the month of May, and visitors are encouraged to use these days for sight-seeing, bird watching, hiking, nature photography, horseback riding and mountain biking.

Crackerneck Wildlife Management Area and Ecological Reserve consists of about 10,470 acres owned by the U.S. Department of Energy. Crackerneck is in Aiken County along the Savannah River and lies south of the town of Jackson, off SC 125. It will be open May 8, 15, 22 and 29. A number of uses, including fishing and scouting, will be allowed on those four Saturdays. No weapons will be permitted during May.

For a detailed map of the Crackerneck Wildlife Management Area and Ecological Reserve, including specific rules and regulations, contact the S.C. Department of Natural Resources office in Aiken County at (803) 725-3663. The map may also be requested by e-mail—include your name and postal mailing address and send it to caudellm@dnr.sc.gov.

Approved uses during the Saturdays in May at Crackerneck include sight-seeing, bird watching, hiking, nature photography, horseback riding and mountain biking. Mountain bikes and horses are restricted to the designated road system of 50 miles. Camping will not be permitted.

Fishing will be allowed during the four Saturdays in May at Crackerneck. In Skinface Pond, the limit on largemouth bass is set at two per person, per day, 14-inch minimum. Bluegill limits will be the same as state creel limits—30 fish. Limited fishing opportunities are also available in three swamp lakes, but these require a jon boat for access. No fishing, boating or other uses are allowed in Upper Three Runs Creek.

Access to Crackerneck is through the check station gate off Brown Road. The Crackerneck entrance gate will open at 6 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. during open dates in May (8, 15, 22 and 29). All individuals using Crackerneck are required to sign in before entering the area and sign out before leaving.

Anyone not following this procedure will be considered trespassing.

South Carolina's natural resources are essential for economic development and contribute nearly $30 billion and 230,000 jobs to the state's economy. Find out why Life's Better Outdoors.


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