Lake accidentally drained, all fish killed


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (FOX Carolina) – The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said an unintended drainage of Lake Edwin Johnson killed all the fish in the lake and it will be closed until summer 2024.

According to DNR, the draining incident occurred as the dam and water control structure were undergoing extensive renovations to significantly improve dam safety and resilience.

Officials said the water level was scheduled to be lowered by about 10 feet, to allow work on the dam, but on Aug. 8, system failures resulted in complete drainage of the lake, killing the fish.

DNR officials said a valve in the dam was opened completely and they have not ruled out an act of vandalism.

“Despite the setback, SCDNR remains committed to maintaining Lake Edwin Johnson as a high-caliber fishery for South Carolina anglers,” said Ross Self, SCDNR freshwater fisheries chief. “Dam improvements are scheduled to be completed by late fall 2022, at which point we will focus our efforts on re-stocking the lake with bream, bass and catfish.”

The 40-acre public fishing lake will re-open on July 1, 2024, and offer fishing opportunities for largemouth bass, bluegill, shellcracker and catfish.

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