One of Augusta’s mysteriously fishless public fishing lakes on Gordon Highway should be more productive in the future, now that thousands of shellcracker, bluegill and catfish have been added.
Last June, Georgia’s Wildlife Resources Division used electrofishing gear to survey the pond on the highway’s west side – one of the two “Gordon Lakes” – and concluded it was nearly void of fish.
Now that cooler weather is here, fisheries officials added 1,000 channel catfish, followed by 8,000 bluegill fry and about 2,000 shellcracker fry.
The catfish were raised at the state hatchery near Dearing, and are already close to catchable size, said regional fisheries biologist Ed Bettross.
“We initially had planned to use fingerlings, but these will be the bigger fish,” he said. Most were in the 8 to 10-inch range and are expected to grow rapidly.
Last week, the bluegill and shellcracker fry were added. They will require more time to grow to catchable size.
Although both ponds are open to public fishing, the pond on the east side of Gordon Highway is overgrown along the edges and difficult to access, so it has not been restocked, Bettross said.
The pond on the west side is easy to access and has plenty of room for bank fishing.