Public boat ramps in Anderson and Oconee counties and other public boat ramps across South Carolina began opening Friday after Gov. Henry McMaster issued a revision to an executive order during a press briefing on Thursday.
Public boat landings, as well as public beaches, across the state were previously ordered closed to mitigate the potential impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. The ramps were reopened for the purpose of launching or retrieving boats beginning at 12 p.m. Friday.
The revision does not include other facilities such as restrooms, piers, docks or designated bank fishing areas located at public landings. Those facilities remain closed.
It is still however at the discretion of the local government or the managing authorities that these public boat landings can be opened. They also have the authority to close or add public access restrictions if they determine that it is necessary to protect public health.
Anderson and Oconee counties officials released lists of boat ramps opening to the public:
Anderson County boat ramps
- McFalls Landing – Brown Road fishing pier closed, governor’s order
- Green Pond Landing – Facilities closed, portable open, Old Ramp closed
- Saluda River: Dolly Cooper
- Timmerman – Fishing pier and kayak launch closed, governor’s order
- Lake Hartwell ramps open: White City, Tiley, Cove Inlet, Jack’s Landing
- Lake Russell ramp open: Mountain View
Oconee County boat ramps
- Ramps that will be open by Saturday: Seneca Creek, Fair Play and South Union (Lake Hartwell) and South Cove double ramp (Lake Keowee from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.)
- Ramps that will be open by Tuesday, April 21: Holders, Lawrence Bridge, Choestoea and Mullins Ford on Lake Hartwell.
- Ramps that will be open by Saturday, April 25: Timberlake, Lakeshore, Barton’s Mill and Port Bass on Lake Hartwell.
Oconee County Director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Phil Shirley said that crews there will give priority to disaster relief from the EF-3 tornado.
All boaters are still advised to maintain social distancing and limit groups to three or less to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19.
Link to the recording of the press briefing can be found here: S.C. Emergency management Division