Brittney Fitzpatrick | The Tribune
Multiple species of fish have been stocked in the Hard Labor Creek Regional Reservoir to include bass, bluegill, redear and black crappie and are growing to sizes between 12 and 14-inches as they continue to expand throughout the entire lake.
The reservoir is set to open for public fishing this November.
According to officials with the Department of Natural Resources, the bass fingerlings originally stocked back in the spring of 2016 are growing well.
The DNR stocked adult black crappie between 12 and 14 inches this previous spring and some have been found a bit smaller, leading DNR officials to believe they must have already been present in the system.
According to Kevin Little, Walton County Board of Commissioners chairman, “The Hard Labor Creek Project has been a success for both counties (Oconee and Walton).
“We will now have sustainable water supply for many years to come,” he said. “The recreation portion is going to be a major asset to the county as well as Social Circle.”
According to Jimmy Parker with Precision Planning, the public access and recreation area is currently under construction and will tentatively open in early 2018.
The public access area will include a boat ramp, parking lot and restroom facilities.
Parker did mention gas-powered engines will be prohibited but electric-powered boats, canoes and kayaks will be allowed.
The reservoir, which has been in the works for over seven years, is getting closer to being a finished project, a place for families to enjoy a little fishing and recreation, as well as, a sustainable water source for the community.
During the drought back in 2016, Morris Jordan, director of the Walton County Water Department told The Tribune Walton County was in better shape than other places because the reservoir provided an area with “considerable reserve” should the drought have worsened.
As some may agree to disagree on just how well the reservoir is doing for the county and its citizens, at least now families can look forward to another place, close to home, to enjoy some outdoor activities.