In 2001 saltwater fishermen in Richmond Hill formed a chapter of the Coastal Conservation Association or CCA. The objective of the CCA is to conserve, promote and enhance the present and future availability of these coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public. CCA is a national organization with chapters in 17 coastal states. From the very beginning Richmond Hill has had a very strong chapter. Today there are 150 local members. Four of these members represent the state CCA board: Mike Odom, Fraser Bowen, Coley Bryant and Jimmy Roberts. Mike Odom represents Richmond Hill and Georgia on the national CCA board of directors.
At present CCA is working on two local projects that could have a big effect on our coastal resources. First, CCA has worked hard to have the Georgia EPD (Environmental Protection Division) take another look at The Liberty County Development Authority dumping treated sewage into the Midway River. All this fresh water being dumped into a fragile saltwater estuary could have long term adverse effects on the Midway River and St Catherine’s Sound. The second project concerns salt water trout. Last winter was especially cold and historically cold weather has an adverse effect on our salt water trout population. No one knows how many trout were killed last year, but there were reports of dead trout being seen along the Georgia Coast during the worst of winter. In an effort to protect and preserve our salt water trout population the CCA is promoting a voluntary program for all trout fisherman to release large female roe trout. This catch-and-release program, if successful, will protect our trout population and will also keep our Georgia State Legislators from having to change the law on the number of trout we can keep.
Over the years the CCA has worked hand and hand with Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources. One of CCAs big projects was the building of an off shore artificial reef that is located off the coast of Ossabaw Island. Artificial reefs provide good habitat and protection for small fish. The reef in turn attracts large game fish which attracts salt water fishermen.
This Friday night at 6 p.m. the local CCA chapter is having its annual fund raiser at the Wetland Center behind city hall. Tickets can be purchased at Bryan Bank and Trust and Plantation Building Supply.
McLeod is a Richmond Hill resident.