Joe’s Cut Reef Enhanced

The Coastal Resources Division (CRD) of DNR recently sunk 50 fish-aggregating devices (FADs) at the Joe’s Cut inshore artificial reef site. The structure is part of ongoing efforts to increase fish habitat and angling opportunities in coastal Georgia.

Joe’s Cut inshore artificial reef site is located in Wassaw Sound at the mouth of Romerly Marsh Creek in Chatham County.

The area was designated as an inshore artificial reef in 1987. In the late 1990s, several FADs made of concrete and PVC were deployed at the site in the intertidal zone. These FADs were quickly colonized by marine life, making them attractive fish habitat and a popular destination for anglers.

Over time, silt and gradually sinking caused these FADs to lose their effectiveness. Members of the Savannah Sport Fishing Club approached CRD staff with a proposal to reinvigorate the Joe’s Cut Inshore Artificial Reef with new materials. The group committed $12,000 to help cover the costs of material acquisition, transport and deployment. Rayonier Inc. donated metal container frames that were combined with fabricated PVC/concrete units to create the new FADs.

Joe’s Cut is only accessible by boat, but the location provides excellent year-round fishing. It is centrally located for anglers fishing out of Savannah, Skidaway Island and Richmond Hill. The Turner’s Creek boat ramp is the closest public-access facility to the artificial reef. It is marked with a wooden piling and signage to alert boaters of the submerged reef. At low tide, the FADs are only partially submerged.

This fish habitat enhancement project was made possible by fishing license funds and Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration, a federal excise tax on fishing equipment. Also making it possible was a partnership with Rayonier, Inc., Jesup Plant, Boykin Steel and Crane, Savannah Sport Fishing Club and TW3 Transportation.

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