LANCASTER — Lancaster County’s Sunrise Lake, part of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ State Lakes Program, will soon undergo a restoration that will improve fishing at the public fishing lake near the community of Pleasant Hill.
Funding for the lake’s renovation will come from the Lancaster County Water Recreation Fund, derived from excise taxes on motor boat fuels. Lancaster County Water Recreation Funds, which must be approved by the Lancaster County Legislative Delegation, are “user pay” and can only be used in projects that help make possible various forms of water recreation.
“We have many people in Lancaster County who enjoy fishing,” said state Sen. Greg Gregory, chairman of the Lancaster County Legislative Delegation, “and we are happy as a delegation to help improve Sunrise Lake. I would encourage parents who grew up fishing to take their children fishing, because it’s a wholesome pastime, and Sunrise Lake is a great place to get out and enjoy the outdoors.”
Sunrise Lake closed July 1 and is expected to be closed for about two years. The lake level is being lowered and the fish are being removed and relocated to other nearby lakes. The main task at Sunrise Lake will be to renovate the dam structure and spillway. While the dam is being refurbished, fish habitat on the lake bottom will be improved by installing gravel spawning beds, fish attractors, culverts and other structures that will provide habitat for fish.
“We plan to enhance and improve the lake’s habitat for fish,” said Robert Stroud, regional fisheries biologist for the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), “and this will help provide for a better fishing experience for anglers.”
Sunrise Lake in Lancaster County is a 25-acre lake providing largemouth bass, shellcracker, bluegill and channel catfish fishing. The lake features a small picnic area and boat ramp.
The DNR’s State Lakes Program, of which Sunrise Lake is a part, is designed to provide fishing to the public in areas of the state where the opportunity is lacking or where there are few public fishing lakes. This program provides more than 1,500 acres of public fishing waters to the South Carolina anglers. These lakes provide anglers with opportunities for bank fishing, and with boat launching facilities, fishing piers (some include mobility-impaired access), and picnic areas.