Northeast Georgia’s Chestatee River, a tributary of the Chattahoochee River and Lake Lanier, is one of the waterways at the center of a debate which surfaced in the General Assembly earlier this year. That discussion led to the creation of the House Study Committee on Fishing Access to Freshwater Resources which plans to hold its first meeting on Oct. 4 in Gay, Georgia.
Created by House Resolution 519, the panel will examine the public’s right to fish in Georgia’s freshwater resources and examine any inconsistencies or conflicts in the law between the public’s right to fish and private property rights.
As Capitol Beat News Service reports, the committee was created after a property owner along a stretch of the Flint River declared fishing from the bank on its side of the river off limits. Four Chimneys LLLP sued the state, accusing the Georgia Department of Natural Resources of failing to enforce the ban.
The panel plans to hold two of its meetings in the cold-water trout stream country of the North Georgia mountains and a third in Statesboro, a city through which the Ogeechee River flows.
As Capitol Beat News Service reports, the question of property rights versus the public’s right to fish also has come up in recent years along the Seventeen Mile River, a tributary of the Satilla River in southeastern Georgia; the Chestatee River, a tributary of the Chattahoochee; and along the Upper Ocmulgee River above Macon.