Governor Breaks Ground for Houston Co. Public Fishing Area
|Monday, June 13, 2005||
Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774
Long Awaited Public Fishing Area Scheduled to Open as Early as Spring 2007
PERRY, GA. – Angler hopes are high for future fishing opportunities in Houston County as plans for a new public fishing area (PFA) come closer to reality. Today, Governor Sonny Perdue joined State Senator Ross Tolleson, State Representative Larry O'Neal, Georgia Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Noel Holcomb and local officials to break ground for the long awaited Flat Creek Public Fishing Area (PFA) near Perry.
“Today's groundbreaking marks almost 20 years of local citizen efforts to obtain additional outdoor recreational facilities in Houston County,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “These efforts have finally yielded success thanks to the hard work and cooperation of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, members of the General Assembly, officials of Houston County and countless local citizens to find a site for a public fishing lake in this area.”
Construction of a 108-acre public fishing lake will be the first phase of development on the 858 acres that were purchased to build a new state park. The Department of Natural Resources' Wildlife Resources Division (WRD) will operate the lake as a public fishing area until the remainder of the park's development is funded and completed.
“Based on 12,000 annual fishing trips expected, the area will generate about $430,000 in fishing related expenditures, resulting in more than $860,000 in economic activity each year,” said Senator Ross Tolleson. “When other outdoor recreation such as bird and wildlife watching is considered, these numbers double.”
The main lake is expected to begin filling sometime in 2006 and may continue for more than a year. WRD will stock fish in the lake as it fills and allow the population to develop for about a year before opening the area to public fishing, possibly as early as the spring of 2007.
The lake will be intensively managed to provide the best fishing opportunities for both bank and boat anglers. Input from local anglers will be gathered at a public meeting during the construction phase to help determine how the lake should be managed to best serve local wants.
“This project will continue the Wildlife Resources Division's efforts to provide additional fishing opportunities to the more than one million resident freshwater anglers in Georgia and a fishing location for anglers in an area of the state where these opportunities are limited,” said Commissioner Holcomb.
After completion of this fishing lake, there will be eleven public fishing areas in the state, including the recently completed Ocmulgee PFA that will open in June 2006.
The project was funded primarily by the sale of a $3.5 million bond approved by the General Assembly during the 2002 legislative session. An earlier bond in the amount of $185,000 was used for design and preliminary work. Approximately $200,000 of WRD Fisheries Section capital outlay construction funds will be used to complete the fishing facilities on the lake. Former State Representative Larry Walker was instrumental in securing these funds for this public fishing lake.
The area will be open from sunrise to sunset all year long. Anglers 16 years of age or older must possess a current Georgia fishing license and a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) stamp in order to fish. Anglers in possession of a one-day fishing license, Senior (65+) or Honorary license do not have to possess a WMA stamp. Anglers may use up to two fishing poles and any size outboard motor may be used at idle speed.
For more information on the Flat Creek PFA or other fishing opportunities in Georgia, visit the WRD website at www.gofishgeorgia.com or contact the WRD Fisheries Management Section at (770) 918-6418.