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Fishing

The Chattachoochee River lakes are an angler's paradise. Gamefish include largemouth bass, white bass, hybrids, crappie, channel catfish and bream.

Alabama and Georgia have a reciprocal agreement concerning fishing licenses, with each state accepting the use of a current license from either state on the Walter F. George Lake.  Anglers should be aware, however, that the two states differ in daily limits and size restrictions for some species.

Bank fishing is excellent at many locations, including public fishing docks, along riprap by bridges, and at the mouths of creeks flowing into the lakes. Fishing below Walter F. George and George W. Andrews Dams offers good downstream fishing opportunities.

Most of the lake's original submerged vegetation has disappeared over the years, but the Corps of Engineers and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources have maintained a series of fish attractors in Georgia waters for better fishing. Groups of cedar trees have been strategically placed in the lake to create new fish concentration areas, and these attractors are marked with buoys. An on-going program refurbishes the attractors on an annual basis, insuring sportsmen of successful fishing for years to come. Locator maps are available at the Natural Resources Site Office.

The Natural Resources Site Office would like to inform anglers and boaters about an invasive weed which could lead to serious problems for the future of recreation on Walter F. George Lake.  This invasive weed is called Hydrilla.  Everyone can help prevent the problem with Hydrilla by cleaning their boats before leaving the ramps.  Transporting plant fragments on boats, trailers, and in livewells is the main introduction route to lakes and rivers.

Angler's are also cautioned about discharges from the dams and to be aware of buoy lines below the dams and locks.  Daily fluctuations range from a maximum of about 16 feet below Walter F. George Dam and up to eight feet below the Andrews Dam.

One of the biggest misconceptions about fishing below dams is that the safest times are when the generators are not running.  Some projects still give no warning when the generators come on.  Therefore, if a boat is anchored or tied off, and the generators come on, they can easily be overturned or sunk.

Many fishermen love to fish below dams when the spillways are open.  They believe that if they anchor their boats, the current will keep them away from the spillways. In reality, the turbulence and undercurrent can easily pull their boat into the spillway. This has happened many times in the past few years resulting in thousands of dollars of lost equipment and several lives. Most of these fatalities occurred with the boaters wearing life jackets.

Many lakes and dams have underwater obstructions that are not visible while boating. With many more boats and personal watercraft on the water, our users must learn the waters that they will be using.

While boating around locks, stay back a minimum of 1,000 feet from the stern. If a recreational vessel gets too close to the stern, and the towboat reverses its engines, it can be pulled into the turbulent water caused by its wheelwash, and be overturned.

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