Fish restocking begins Tuesday on Lake Bowen

Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2018

Fish restocking efforts will begin in earnest on Lake Bowen as early as Tuesday afternoon, officials from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources have announced.

Tuesday’s release of approximately 85,000 bluegill signals the next step in SCDNR’s partnership with Spartanburg Water to replenish the lakes. Last May, more than 200,000 fish, primarily bluegill, more commonly known as bream, died in both Lake Bowen and Municipal Reservoir #1.

Dan Rankin, SCDNR’s Upstate regional fisheries biologist, said the timing of Tuesday’s release was based on availability—the agency partners with South Carolina-based hatcheries that supply restocking efforts like these.

“The great thing is that we’re ready to begin the process and the fish are available,” Rankin said. “This restock will focus solely on bluegill, which was the primary species in Lake Bowen affected by what occurred earlier in the spring."

Other species affected by the May fish loss may be stocked at a later date, Rankin said.

Ken Tuck, Spartanburg Water’s Director of Water Treatment, said the precise location of the release will be dependent on the weather. A 30-percent chance of rain is likely in the later part of the afternoon. 

“We’re excited to have this great news and looking forward to continuing to work with our partners at SCDNR," Tuck said.

Last month, SCDNR biologists conducted an assessment of both lakes affected last May to determine what species would benefit from a restocking. Rankin and Tuck said that more updates about next steps, including any restocking efforts on Municipal Reservoir #1, will be made as plans are developed. The restocking will not have an impact on any recreation planned for Tuesday, both said.

“Thanks to SCDNR, important research is being conducted that will not only help us avoid another fish loss, but will also allow us to work together in this replenishment of fish stocks in our lakes,” Sue G. Schneider, Spartanburg Water’s Chief Executive Officer, said. “I’m confident in the path that we have forged together, and I’m honored to be a part of these efforts to ensure a bright future—one in which our precious natural resources are protected and conserved for our children and grandchildren.”