Georgia Power Dam fishing open again - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Georgia Power Dam fishing open again

May 16, 2003

Albany -- Georgia Power's Flint River Dam recreation Area in Albany is open again. One of Albany's favorite fishing spots has been closed since December 2002, while they improved the facilities.

But now Georgia Power is charging a small fee to fish at their park, and some anglers are upset. But many fishermen are just glad to have their favorite spot back.

 J.C. House has fished next to Georgia Power's Flint River Hydro dam for over 50 years. He missed it for the last 6 months, while the recreation area was improved. House said "Oh, it's great. It's real good. They done a real good job on it."

Cliff Baltzell caught this 5 pound appaloosa catfish at the dam, his favorite fishing hole. Baltzell said "I been waiting on it since back in December. I was up here the first day." And you caught a fish the first day? "I sure did, I caught one weighed 40 pounds."

Before you had to fish off the dam. In the last six months, Georgia Power built a new fishing pier on the Muckafoonee Creek side of the property. There is a new bathroom, the road and parking lots are improved. At the dam, they added a walkway down to ground level. The walkway is underwater now. That is one reason the improvements took longer than expected. High water slowed construction. But now it's open to the public again, and the fishermen are back.

Georgia Powers Bill Mashburn said "We had several fishermen out Saturday. Catching appaloosa and shoal bass. They were having a good time."

 Some people are upset. Georgia Power is charging for the first time to use their recreation area. 3 dollars for a day, or 35 dollars for the year. You pick up a parking sticker at the entrance. Mashburn said "For maintaining the park. Keeping the trash cans emptied and the grass cut." House said "Get rid of some of the people that was tearing up the stuff anyway maybe."

Local businesses suffered while the dam was closed. Cravey's Bait and Tackle is serving up worms and crickets again. Freddy Askew said "Now that they opened it back up, it will pick up a lot."

J.C. House caught a 3 pound largemouth bass and a 2 pound channel cat. House said "But there has been some caught here weighing 40 or 50 pounds. There is some big fish out here." Georgia Power's Flint River dam is paying off for him already, as it opens back up to the public.

To get to the Flint River Dam recreation area, you go to Georgia Power Road off Jefferson Street near the Bypass. Fishing is open from dawn to dusk.

posted at 3:29 by jimw@walb.com