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DNR refurbishes offshore fishing reef
DNR workers drop one of the fish aggregating devices into Wassaw Sound at the mouth of Romerly Marsh Creek. - photo by Photo provided.

BRUNSWICK — The Coastal Resources Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources recently deployed 50 fish aggregating devices, FADs, at the Joe’s Cut inshore artificial reef site as part of ongoing efforts to increase fish habitat and angling opportunities in coastal Georgia.

Joe’s Cut inshore artificial reef site is in Wassaw Sound at the mouth of Romerly Marsh Creek in Chatham County.
In 1987, Joe’s Cut was designated as an inshore artificial reef site. In the late 1990s, several PVC/concrete FADs were deployed at the site. Soon after deployment within the intertidal zone, these FADs were colonized by marine life, making them attractive fish habitat and a popular destination for anglers.

Over time, silt and subsidence caused these FADs to lose their effectiveness. Members of the Savannah Sport Fishing Club approached Coastal Resource Division staff with a proposal to reinvigorate the Joe’s Cut Inshore Artificial Reef with new materials, and committed $12,000 to help cover the costs of material acquisition, transport and deployment. Rayonier Inc. donated metal container frames that were combined with fabricated PVC/concrete units to create the FADs.

Joe’s Cut is only accessible by boat and provides excellent year-round fishing for coastal residents and tourists. The site is centrally located for Savannah, Skidaway Island and Richmond Hill anglers. It is clearly marked with a wooden marker piling and signs to alert mariners of the danger of submerged reefs. At low tide, the FADs are partially submerged. The Turner’s Creek boat ramp is the closest public access to the artificial reef.

This fish habitat enhancement project was made possible by fishing license funds and Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration through a partnership with Rayonier’s Jesup Plant, Boykin Steel and Crane, Savannah Sport Fishing Club and TW3 Transportation.

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