A lot of anglers might say no, based on a recent study that portrayed our river as the nation’s third most polluted waterway.
The analysis by Environment Georgia Research & Policy Center accurately showed that factories dump about 5 million pounds of toxic materials into the river annually, but there are other ways to measure the impacts of pollution.
Another report released last week – which didn’t attract nearly as much attention – was the S.C. Department of Health & Environmental Control’s annual fish consumption advisory, which characterizes the Savannah River in a less sinister light.
DHEC, which works with Georgia officials to analyze fish tissue for concentrations of mercury, PCBs, insecticides, radioisotopes and other compounds, gave most of the Savannah’s fish a clean bill of health, but did recommend no more than one meal per week of largemouth bass from Thurmond Lake and one meal per month of largemouth bass caught below Stevens Creek Dam down to the Hwy. 119 bridge near Clyo, Ga.
There were no advisories in that segment of the river for crappie, bluegill, catfish and perch.
PADDLEFEST: One of the biggest homegrown boating events on the river is coming up Aug. 2, when Savannah Riverkeeper and its sponsors will hold the Eighth Annual Paddlefest offering kayakers, canoeists and rafters an opportunity to spend time on the river.
Launch time will be 8:30 a.m. and participants can be timed for competition or simply come out and enjoy a leisurely paddle with friends. The event includes a festival from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Riverfront Marina with food, music, vendors and silent auctions.
For registration details and maps showing launch points, visit http://www.paddlefestga.com.
SRS DEER HUNTS: About 600 hunters will be selected to participate in Savannah River Site’s annual deer hunts scheduled from Nov. 1 to Dec. 6, but the application period opened last week.
Applications and details are at www.srs.gov/general/deer_hunt/hunt.htm and participants will be selected through a lottery system.
The large dog-drive hunts have been popular for decades and often yield quality bucks, along with plenty of venison and wild hogs. Participants can also kill coyotes.
RAMP REOPENED: The Morrah’s boat ramp, located on Bobby Brown State Park Road at the upper end of Thurmond Lake, has been re-opened for public use, according to the Army Corps of Engineers.
The ramp was closed March 24 for safety reasons while contractors repaired a rock jetty near the Richard B. Russell Dam. The boat ramp area was used as an access point for contractor staff and equipment during the repair work. Following construction, the roadway and parking area was repaved.
Security light improvements will be completed in the upcoming weeks.
BUCKARAMA TIME: The Georgia Wildlife Federation’s annual Buckarama events will be held Aug. 1-3 at the Atlanta Expo Center, and Aug. 15-17 at the Georgia National Fairgrounds in Perry, Ga.
Both events feature vendors, seminars and lots of outdoor activities related to fishing, shooting and hunting. For details, visit www.gwf.org.