Fish restock study begins this week

A study to determine the need for a potential fish restocking effort on two of Spartanburg Water’s reservoirs is expected to begin next week.


During the week of September10th, officials with the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources will conduct the first phase of an assessment on Lake Bowen and Municipal Reservoir Number One. A team of biologists will be collecting samples that will help the agency calculate a restocking rate following a major fish loss that occurred on both reservoirs last May.


The primary gamefish population most affected by the fish loss included the bluegill and redear varieties of sunfish, more commonly known as bream.


“The idea behind the sampling will be to determine the relative abundance of gamefish, with focus on species and sizes most impacted by the fish loss,” according to a statement from SCDNR. “This sampling should give us some idea of stocking rate needed.”


Samples will be collected by a process known as “electrofishing,” which injects a minor electrical charge into the water that temporarily stuns fish so that they can be collected and safely returned to the water with little stress or injury. Electrofishing is the safest and most effective method for these kinds of assessments.


“SCDNR teams will be on lower Lake Bowen and upper Reservoir One, so we want to make sure that everyone is aware of what is occurring,” Ken Tuck, Spartanburg Water’s Director of Water Treatment said. “As this process continues, we’re committed to sharing information about the partnership and keeping our community informed about what they might see as we get closer to a potential fish restock.”


Last month, officials from both Spartanburg Water and SCDNR met to discuss improved communication efforts and explore new partnership opportunities, including the proposed restocking effort.


“This is a great step forward in the renewal of our watershed, and the renewal of a great partnership,” said Sue G. Schneider, Spartanburg Water’s Chief Executive Officer. “The challenges we’ve faced have renewed our commitment to be a good partner, and to focus on the great opportunities before us.”