Winter fishing ramps up in Henry County
By Monroe Roark
A little bit of cold winter weather won’t keep some Henry Countians from enjoying a favorite outdoor pastime on the water.
Winter fishing is back again this year courtesy of the Henry County Water Authority, which is opening its Tussahaw Reservoir for the seventh consecutive season on select weekends. Officials said last week that more than 1,400 people currently hold reservoir use permits and have been able to enjoy fishing at the facility throughout the year.
The winter season began Dec. 16-17 and fishing opportunities will continue Jan. 17-19 and Feb. 10-12. The full fishing season at designated HCWA reservoirs will resume March 1.
The Tussahaw Reservoir will be open on winter fishing days from 7 a.m. until about 5 p.m. Fishing enthusiasts can access the reservoir through the Tussahaw Island Public Use Area on Collins Way off Peeksville Road. The reservoir is not accessible via the Tussahaw Water Treatment Plant.
Tussahaw Island, which opened in 2010 as the HCWA’s latest designated public use area, has outdoor pavilions, restrooms, plentiful parking, and boat ramps, one of which is accessible to citizens with disabilities.
Fishing at HCWA reservoirs is permitted from the banks or from a boat powered by an electric/trolling motor. The reservoir is also available for canoeing or kayaking.
Gas-powered boats and watercraft are prohibited in the reservoir. Many people have said that they prefer fishing on bodies of water like this because, as public drinking water reservoirs, they are more regulated and protected.
The HCWA owns and operates five drinking water reservoirs that provide up to 18 billion gallons of raw water and account for a large portion of its 8,000-plus acres of protected green space. Other opportunities on these properties include hunting, with six public hunts during the 2016-17 season attracting more applicants than available spots. That season will conclude Jan. 20-21 with a waterfowl fundraiser.
All hunters must be licensed and must complete a safety orientation prior to their respective hunt. Hunting on HCWA property is allowed only during these special events. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources oversees the HCWA public hunts while monitoring the health of animal habitats.
To fish, HCWA customers and Henry County residents or property owners must have a reservoir use permit, available for $45 at the Authority headquarters, 1695 Highway 20 West in McDonough. Permits are valid for one calendar from the date of purchase. For more information, visit www.hcwa.com or contact the HCWA Cubihatcha Center staff at 678-583-3930.