About 1,500 bream were stocked at Oconee State Park Campground Lake near Walhalla on Wednesday, Oct. 23. On hand for the stocking of bluegill and redear sunfish (shellcracker) was state Rep. Bill Sandifer of Seneca.

“A day of fishing is a wonderful way to enjoy spending time outdoors with friends and family,” Sandifer said, “and there’s no prettier place to go fishing than Oconee State Park. I’m thrilled that the Department of Natural Resources was able to stock Oconee State Park with bream, so that more folks will be able to fish at the park.”

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) used a specially equipped fish hauling truck to stock 1,125 bluegill and 375 redear sunfish (shellcracker) at the Oconee State Park Campground Lake (not the swimming lake). The fish were produced at the Cheraw State Fish hatchery. These larger-size fish should grow to a catchable size by spring 2014.

A fishing pier is located in the Oconee State Park campground at Campground Lake. The park participates in the Tackle Loaner Program (http://dnr.sc.gov/aquaticed/loan/), sponsored by DNR. Rods and reels are available for loan in the park office.DNR

 The DNR Freshwater Fisheries Section annually stocks from 7 to 10 million fish in state waters, including striped and hybrid bass, largemouth and smallmouth bass, channel and blue catfish, bluegill, redbreast, redear sunfish (shellcracker), and rainbow, brook, and brown trout. Anglers in South Carolina spend almost $742 million to fish each year, making the sport, after factoring in economic multipliers, billion dollar business in the Palmetto State.