Corps of Engineers Squashes Rumors About Lake Access

It’s expected to be a beautiful spring weekend with lots of sun and warm temperatures and the Corps of Engineers wants you to know it is safe for you to get out on the water with your boat or personal watercraft.

Corps spokesman Billy Birdwell said Thursday there have been rumors that all lake access has been blocked due to COVID-19, but he says that is just not true.

“Consistent rumors abound concerning access to Thurmond Lake, Russell Lake and Hartwell Lake on the upper Savannah River for boating and fishing. Boating and fishing remain open,” he said. “You can still fish at Thurmond, Russell and Hartwell Lakes. Campgrounds and day-use areas are closed. Boat ramps with gates are closed. Boat ramps without gates and bank fishing in open areas are open. Check local and state government guidelines concerning groups, travel, and social distancing.”

Campgrounds and day-use areas at Thurmond and Hartwell lakes operated by the Corps of Engineers are closed until further notice.

However, boat ramps without gates remain OPEN and fishing from the bank is still allowed.

So Birdwell says if you’ve been itching to get your boat out on the water, this weekend is a perfect time to do so.

Do remember though, that all restrooms that can be locked have been and all picnic shelters are closed regardless of the park status.

Birdwell said that it is a safety precaution in order to limit exposure opportunities for the public, Corps staff, and the cleaning contractors.

He said if you are coming to an open Corps-operated area, visitors must pack trash out and realize that sanitary facilities are not available at most locations.