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Be safe. It’s boating season on the Santee Cooper Lakes


June 07, 2017   By Willard Strong in Santee Cooper Lakes

Under S.C. law, a child 12 years old or younger must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device while boating



If you live around lakes Moultrie or Marion, or close by, the lure of the lakes is almost unavoidable. Just about everyone it seems, owns some type of watercraft, from 10-foot-long johnboats to V-8 powered inboard/outboards with that unmistakable rumble.

Safe boating is important and the old highway adage, “Watch out for the other guy,” certainly applies to our waterways, particularly this time of year. There have already been too many boating accidents in 2017 on South Carolina’s lakes and rivers.

While Santee Cooper manages our lakes, law enforcement is largely the domain of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), and county sheriff’s departments. SCDNR was out in full force during the long Memorial Day weekend, even offering “courtesy safety checks” at boat landings. Even though your boat may pass a safety check, it might be a good time to ask yourself the following:

Is it... Continue Reading >>

Overton Beach Park is a summer favorite place to cool off


June 02, 2017   By Aaron Grant, Summer Intern in Santee Cooper Lakes

Overton Beach Park on Lake Moultrie features a 400-foot long beachfront.

Now that summer is finally upon us (OK, not officially until June 21, but close enough!) it is our responsibility to go out and enjoy it!

I mean, what is there not to enjoy? The heat index can look more like an Area Code than a temperature forecast. The air can be so thick that you can practically take a bite out of it and a simple walk back to your car can lead to a minor heat stroke.

I suppose that is a rather cynical way of looking at the current season that we will soon cooking in…I mean experiencing.

I’ve just never really been one to cope well with the extreme heat that South Carolina so generously forces down on me.

But as the laws of the universe state, with every negative there comes a positive. Thus, with every 100 degree summer day, there is a refreshing body of water waiting for you to dive into. That refreshing body of water is Lake Moultrie and you can take a dip at the 400-foot waterfront that makes... Continue Reading >>

Get out on the lakes this fall


September 07, 2016   By Willard Strong in

A sailboat plies the blue waters of Lake Marion on a recent September afternoon.

The Santee Cooper Lakes, Marion and Moultrie, are South Carolina’s largest freshwater resource when you combine the acreage of the two reservoirs, which are connected by the Diversion Canal.

One thing I heard this summer, particularly during the brutal July was, “it’s just too hot to get out on the water.” Well, good-bye Tropical Storm Hermine and hello autumn! After she blew through with a little wind, lots of rain and a few scattered power outages, fall seemed to arrive a little early last Saturday morning.

Temperatures were in the low 60s around the lakes and the humidity was way down. It felt so good, warming up to the mid-80s by early afternoon. The water is still plenty warm enough for swimming, tubing or any kind of water sports. I still don’t understand how this thing they call a “noodle” is useful in any way in a lake or swimming pool. But I digress.

The secret is, the next 30 to 45 days... Continue Reading >>

Make summer boating fun no accident


July 20, 2016   By Susan Mungo in Santee Cooper Lakes

Boats ply the Tailrace Canal near Moncks Corner, which connects to the west branch of the Cooper River and to Lake Moultrie, via the Pinopolis Lock at Santee Cooper’s Jefferies Hydroelectric Station.

I love certain things about every season of the year.  The cool mornings and vibrant colors of fall, flavored coffee and sitting by the fire in winter, and morning runs in the spring are all things I thoroughly enjoy. When it comes to summer, time spent on or near the water, is added to the list of my favorite things.

I am also a fan of the Santee Cooper Lakes, home to some of the best recreation and water sports fun available anywhere.  This time of year, the lakes are often crowded and full of activity, so a day on the water can create lifelong memories.  It can also result in tragedy.  One of the most important things you can do before going on any body of water is know the safety rules and procedures for the activities you plan to enjoy.

Our Santee Cooper web page and the SCDNR have lists of boating safety tips that you should be familiar with. Of course the list includes: Know how to operate your watercraft, wear your personal... Continue Reading >>

A dozen things you can do this summer to enhance water quality on the Santee Cooper Lakes


May 11, 2016   By Willard Strong in Santee Cooper Lakes
This month has Memorial Day weekend, the traditional start of the summer boating season. Whether you’re there for the day, the weekend or live on the water year round, there are things you can do to keep the Santee Cooper Lakes cleaner for everyone. So let’s get started.

1. Don’t litter . Keep a litter bag on your boat and at the shoreline, and use it. Don’t throw discarded fishing line or tackle overboard, or cigarette butts.

2. Properly dispose of waste from cleaning fish . It smells and is attractive to insects, vermin and other animals.

3. Don’t use the lakes as a restroom . Try to go before you go. On your boat, investing in a portable potty might not be a bad idea and can extend your hours on the water.

4. Keep your outboard motor or inboard-outboard engine tuned up . A cleaner running engine reduces the amount of emissions going into the environment.

5. Use... Continue Reading >>