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Lake Hartwell is a reservoir bordering Georgia and South Carolina on the Savannah, Tugaloo, and Seneca Rivers. The lake is created by Hartwell Dam located on the Savannah River seven miles (11 km) below the point at which the Tugaloo and Seneca Rivers join to form the Savannah. Extending 49 miles (79 km) up the Tugaloo and 45 miles (72 km) up the Seneca at normal pool elevation, The lake comprises nearly 56,000 acres (230 km ²) of water with a shoreline of 962 miles (1,548 km). The entire Hartwell â€œProjectâ€ contains 76,450 acres (309 km ²) of land and water. I-85 bisects Hartwell Lake and makes the area easily accessible to visitors.Since its construction, Hartwell Reservoir has provided good fishing habitat for many species. Bream, catfish, smallmouth bass, walleye, and largemouth bass are naturally occurring species in the lake, with quality fishing available for those species. The most popular fishing on Lake Hartwell, however, has become pursuing striped bass. Striped Bass, also known as rock fish, where discovered to be able to survive in freshwater after the construction of a dam on the Santee-Cooper system in lower South Carolina trapped many striped bass in fresh water. Striped bass were eventually introduced to the three lower Savannah River System lakes: Hartwell, Russel, and Thurmond. The species has done well, but due to the need for moving water to successfully hatch eggs, must continually be stocked in the lakes. These fish provide anglers with a fishing challenge more likened to saltwater fishing, with anglers tending to use larger boats, conventional reels, and oftentimes trolling techniques. State record fish have come from all three of the lakes holding "stripers" on the Savannah River system. 60+ lb. fish have been caught on Lake Hartwell, with 20 lb. fish being common. The majority of striped bass caught on the lake will range from 5 to 12 pounds.
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