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** Archived Article - please check for current information. **

February 10, 2011

Aiken County wildlife area will open to the public three Saturdays in March

Aiken County's Crackerneck Wildlife Management Area and Ecological Reserve will be open to the public on selected Saturdays (5, 12 and 19) during the month of March. Scouting, some recreational activities and fishing will be allowed. No weapons will be permitted during March.

Crackerneck Wildlife Management Area and Ecological Reserve is 10,470 acres owned by the U.S. Department of Energy in Aiken County along the Savannah River and 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. You may also request the map by e-mail—please include your name and postal mailing address and send it to CaudellM@dnr.sc.gov.

Hunters will be able to scout the area prior to the commencement of spring wild turkey hunts. Anyone unfamiliar with the property, but interested in hunting the area this season, should take advantage of these March dates to scout Crackerneck. Habitat changes resulting from timber harvests, prescribed burning and road creation make it advisable for even seasoned hunters to also scout prior to the hunt season.

Some recreational activities will be allowed during these three Saturdays such as sight-seeing, bird watching, hiking, nature photography, horseback riding and mountain biking. Mountain bikes and horses are restricted to the designated 50-mile road system and selected fire lines. Camping is not permitted.

Fishing will be allowed during these three Saturdays. On 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 bank fishing opportunities are available at Skinface Pond, so small boats are recommended to improve success. Limited fishing opportunities are also available in three swamp lakes, but these require a small boat for access. No fishing, boating or other uses are allowed in Upper Three Runs Creek.

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 5, 12 and 19. 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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