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#06-47 February 20, 2006

Aiken County wildlife area will be open to the public

Aiken County’s Crackerneck Wildlife Management Area and Ecological Reserve will be open to the public on selected Saturdays during the month of March, specifically March 4, 11 and 18. Scouting, some non-consumptive uses, and fishing will be allowed. No weapons will be permitted during March.
Crackerneck Wildlife Management Area and Ecological Reserve consists of about 10,470 acres owned by the U.S. Department of Energy. Crackerneck is in Aiken County along the Savannah River and lies south of the town of Jackson, off SC 125. Access is through the check station gate off Brown Road.

To request a detailed map of the Crackerneck Wildlife Management Area and Ecological Reserve, including specific rules and regulations, contact the S.C. Department of Natural Resources office in Aiken County at (803) 725-3663. The map may also be requested by e-mail by including name and postal mailing address and sending it to caudellm@dnr.sc.gov.

Hunters will be able to scout the area prior to the commencement of wild turkey hunts in April. Anyone unfamiliar with the property, but interested in hunting the area this season should take advantage of these March dates to scout Crackerneck.

Some non-consumptive uses such as sightseeing, bird watching, hiking, nature photography, horseback riding and mountain biking will be allowed. Mountain bikes and horses are restricted to the designated road system of about 45 miles. Camping will not be permitted.

Fishing will be allowed during scouting days. In Skinface Pond, the limit on largemouth bass is set at two per person, per day, 14-inch minimum. Bluegill limits will be the same as state creel limits, 30 fish. Limited fishing opportunities are also available in three swamp lakes, but these require a jon boat for access.  No fishing, boating or other uses are allowed in Upper Three Runs Creek.

The Crackerneck Wildlife Management Area and Ecological Reserve entrance gate will open at 6 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. during open dates on March 4, 11, and 18. All individuals using Crackerneck are required to sign in before entering the area and sign out before leaving. Anyone not following this procedure will be considered trespassing.                        

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