Ethanol’s E-15 bad for small engines



When you’re in your boat or on your jet ski on Thurmond Lake and you want to move quickly from one place to another, what do you do?

Step on the gas pedal in your boat and open the throttle on your jet ski. Nothing to it.

But what would you think or say if those motors locked up? Can’t happen? Don’t be too sure.

The American Sportfishing Association through its Keep America Fishing program has issued a warning to boat owners or anyone who uses any gasoline-powered outdoor equipment like a lawnmower, or operate any other small engines like motorcycles or all-terrain vehicles.

The problems are that corn oil derivative called ethanol and a federal program called the Renewable Fuel Standard. The program, part of the 2005 Energy Policy Act, mandates the blending of a certain amount of renewable fuels, including ethanol, into our gasoline.

When the act was passed by Congress, the assumption was that U.S. gasoline consumption would continue to rise. That hasn’t happened, but changing driving habits, more fuel-efficient cars and trucks and other factors have actually led to a decrease, Keep America Fishing staffers point out.

The RFS program does not allow flexibility to take into account how Americans actually consume gasoline.

Enter the Environmental Protection Agency. It’s insisting that 36 billion gallons of ethanol be blended into our fuel supply. Not only that, the agency is calling for the concentration of ethanol be increased to 15 percent from the current 10 percent. Known as E-15, Keep America Fishing points out that E-15 is unsafe fuel for boat engines, small engines and even older model cars.

In fact, E-15 is so unsafe to those engines that the EPA prohibits the use of ethanol blends higher than E-10 in recreational boats. E-15 is already being sold in gas stations in 28 states.

So the head of EPA, members of Congress who serve on key committees and even President Trump have been contacted by Keep America Fishing on behalf of all of us, urging that reforms modify the RFS. Stay tuned.


Billy Murphy, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed guide specializing in striped bass and hybrid bass. (706) 733-0124 – The lake remains at near eight feet below full pool and surface temperatures continue to stay in the mid 70s. Live herring pulled behind planer boards and free lines over humps and across points continue to work for us. The best bite starts at daylight until 9 a.m., and then it slows down. Mike Casebolt, his son, Josh, and his friend, Josh Johnson, all of Pikeville, Ky., caught 24 fish. Ten of those were largemouth and Kentucky spotted bass and the others were striped bass and hybrids. Josh Casebolt caught a six-pound striper and Josh Johnson a 6-pound largemouth. All the fish had eggs. We released all the largemouths and spotted bass to bite another day. Larry Freeman, of Grovetown, joined me on a scouting trip. We limited out by 8 a.m., with our fish weighing 3 to 8 pounds, with Larry catching the latter. Fred McNatt, of North Augusta, and Tony Polson, of Beech Island, caught 15 fish the next day. Tony landed a 6-pound largemouth. Check our web site at

William Sasser’s Guide Service, (Capt. William Sasser, Capt. Bradd Sasser, Capt. Andrew Tubbs, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed, full time professional guides specializing in crappies, hybrids and striped bass). (706) 589-5468 (William), (Bradd) (706) 267-4313, (Andrew) (803) 507-5083 – Bradd: Surface temperatures are rising into the high 70s to the low 80s over most of the lake. Crappies are being caught on small to medium shiners fished in 20 to 30 feet of water over brush piles. Bream and shellcrackers are still along the banks, hitting worms. Hybrids and stripers are being caught on live herring fished in 18 to 30 feet of water, the bait being placed on the bottom.

Check us out on Facebook for up-to-date pictures.

Capt. Tommy Dudley, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in stripers and hybrids. (706) 833-4807 – The fish are in the strong summer pattern. They’ve been thick under the boat. Most of my fish are coming in 30 to 40 feet on live herring placed on the bottom. Some really nice big fat hybrids are making most of our catch. Chunky striped bass are being caught 30 feet down in 60 feet of water at the junctions of creeks and river. I’ve put up the bad ol’ planer boards because the summer pattern of fishing on the bottom is working well.

Frank, Adrian and Wyatt Metzker, of Hendersonville, N.C., had a great day on the lake.

Check out my web site:

Little River Guide Service, Capt. Tony Shepherd, U.S. Coast Guard-licensed professional guide specializing in striped bass and hybrids (706) 210-3474 – The springtime bite along the cables on the lakeside of Thurmond Dam has picked up steam. Try your luck from dusk to dawn. Rest of the striped fish are working on a typical summer pattern, with shallow humps in the early morning and progressively deeper water off the points as the day advances among the best places.

Follow us on Facebook (Little River Guide Service Appling) for current catches.


Carter and Hunter Morris, licensed professional guides specializing in fly fishing for rainbow, brook and brown trout. (706) 833-1083( ( – As we move into the warmest time of the year, it’s been very helpful that we’ve been getting substantial amounts of rainfall. Trout are happy for now because of the highest sustained stream flows we’ve seen in months. Big terrestrial dry flies and stone flies have been attracting lots of trout to the surface on smaller streams, while most fish in the Toccoa River have been eating an array of mayfly nymphs.


Check-in station, 1408 Doug Barnard Parkway, John Byars, (706 722-8263) – Anthony Bailey weighed in 7.60 pounds of bass to win last Friday evening’s tournament. Chris Kelly and Austin Davis were second with 6.48 pounds and Joe Thompson and Lonnie Pope were third with Pope’s big fish of the tournament at 5.10 pounds.


Ralph Goodison, Fripp Island, (843) 838-2530 – The annual two-day Fripp Island Memorial Day Tournament will be held over that weekend, with registration and a captains’ dinner starting at 6 p.m., May 25. The competition is to be held May 26-27. Entertainment and the awards ceremony will take place after the weigh-ins. Largest bull dolphins, kingfish, Spanish mackerel and wahoo will earn prizes.


Miss Judy Charters, Capt. Judy Helmey, (912) 897-4921 ( P.O. Box 30771, Savannah, Ga. 31410-0771 – Our beach fronts are holding trophy redfish, assorted sizes of sharks and chopper bluefish. Plain old bottom fishing in the surf can get interesting, fishing a small chunk of fish or shrimp.

Best thing about last week’s howling winds: No gnats! Spanish mackerel have arrived in the vicinity of our artificial reefs. The flocks of diving birds will show you where they are.

Be sure to pick up a copy of the latest Georgia sport fishing regulations. They’ll remind you that Spanish mackerel must be 12 inches fork length (from the fork of the tail to the tip of the nose) to keep and king mackerel have to be 24 inches in fork length. There are lots of other good information in the booklet.



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