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The Jocassee Gorges of today

Bountiful fishing and stellar natural resource management

By Dr. Thomas Cloer, Jr.

Special to The Courier

Part one of this article attempted to describe Duke Energy’s Keowee-Toxaway Project that dammed the rivers of the Jocassee Gorges, and   resulted in lakes Keowee and Jocassee. That massive project was just underway for the 100th birthday of Pickens County in 1968. Part 2 will view things after the project was completed.

Serendipity

I remember vividly what happened on tributaries of Lake Jocassee soon after the lake filled and trout were stocked. Each of the rivers already had big trout. However, the hydroelectric process began to entrain fish, and the cannibalistic nature of huge trout soon began a phenomenon that produced really huge fish. When water from Lake Keowee was pumped backward and upstream into Jocassee, many fish would be entrained and belched out in Jocassee around the water intakes. Monstrous trout would cruise around the intakes waiting for fish morsels.

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