HCWA welcomes the public to the 2018 Fishing Season
As the Henry County Water Authority’s (HCWA) winter fishing season comes to a close, the utility has set its schedule for the regular fishing season, when local anglers will get the opportunity to enjoy fishing two of the Authority’s five reservoirs on Wednesdays and Weekends this year.
The 2018 HCWA Regular Fishing Season opens March 2 and runs through the last weekend of November. The Authority will offer the public an opportunity to fish the Tussahaw and Upper Towaliga Reservoirs, which will be accessible on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
To access HCWA reservoirs, citizens must have a Reservoir Use Permit, which is available at the HCWA headquarters during normal office hours to any HCWA customer, Henry County resident or property owner. HCWA Reservoir Use Permits are valid for one calendar year from the date of purchase.
Discounts on HCWA Reservoir Use Permits are available for seniors (62 and older) and citizens with disabilities. This HCWA permit provides access for fishing, boating (with non-gas motors), canoeing and kayaking, for the permit holder and one guest (who is admitted free).
In addition to having an active Reservoir Use Permit, those using the reservoirs must sign the waiver/release form that accompanies their permit, possess a Georgia Fishing License if they are fishing at the Tussahaw or Upper Towaliga, as well as adhere to all rules and regulations governing the use of HCWA reservoirs and Georgia public waters.
Local anglers continue to enjoy the convenience and value of fishing on HCWA reservoirs, as nearly 1,300 citizens purchased Reservoir Use Permits during 2017.
The HCWA owns and operates five drinking water reservoirs, which collectively provide raw water storage of approximately 18 billion gallons for drinking water production and distribution to more than 60,000 customers.
The Tussahaw and Upper Towaliga are the two largest of the five HCWA reservoirs, accounting for more than 85 percent of the Authority’s raw water storage capacity.
The 1,466-acre Tussahaw Reservoir, with 9.78 billion gallons of storage at full pool, is the newest of the HCWA reservoirs, opening in 2007. It is accessible to the public via “Tussahaw Island,” which is the Authority’s public use area located at 1000 Collins Way, which is off Peeksville Road.
The 1,100-acre Upper Towaliga Reservoir, with 6 billion gallons of storage at full pool, was dedicated in honor of former HCWA Board Member Ed Cole. The public boat ramp for the Upper Towaliga/Ed Cole Reservoir is located at 160 Hunter Road in Locust Grove.
These HCWA reservoirs are protected natural resources, operating according to more stringent regulatory standards than recreational lakes. However, that makes for ideal fishing conditions, according to Authority officials and local anglers who say they enjoy their time on these pristine local reservoirs.
“We continue to receive positive feedback from the public about the quality, the convenience, and the value of fishing on our reservoirs,” says Lindy Farmer, HCWA General Manager. “Our customers seem to be very appreciative of the opportunity to have access to our reservoirs and other properties for recreation. This is a service we have provided for many years, and we look forward to hosting another successful year of public fishing in 2018.”
For more information on fishing at HCWA reservoirs, citizens can check out the Authority’s new website at www.hcwa.com, or contact the Cubihatcha Outdoor Education Center at 678-583-3930.
Chris Wood, Ph.D.