Anglers Fighting For Access To Bear Creek Reservoir

GON Staff | June 23, 2009

More than eight years after it was impounded and stocked with F1 bass, Bear Creek Reservoir finally has a boat ramp under construction. It should be completed by August.

Now, Jackson County, which will control day-to-day operations at the 505-acre water-supply reservoir near Athens, has announced plans to limit access to just three days a week, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

According to Rick Cairns, a homeowner on Bear Creek who is pushing for seven-day-a-week access to the fishery, the Jackson County Commission is concerned about the cost to taxpayers of paying an employee to take up the entry fees at the boat ramp. He also said there was a lingering concern about security for the water supply discussed at a recent board meeting.

Some of the homeowners and a group of anglers are now fighting for access to the reservoir. They are taking up signatures for a petition to present to the Jackson County Commission. The group is asking that the reservoir be open seven days a week at least to begin with to alleviate the initial crowds they foresee. The petition proposes an honor system be used in place of a paid attendant at the ramp.

The issue is to be discussed at the Jackson County Commission meeting July 22 at 9 a.m. To sign the petition or for more information, call Rick Burns at (404) 379-4656.

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