Drainage Failure Causes Fish Kill in Lake Edwin Johnson

An unintended drainage of Lake Edwin Johnson, a public fishing lake in Spartanburg County, killed all the fish in the lake, but the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) says the unfortunate accident will not deter the agency from greatly improving the popular fishing area.

“Despite the setback, SCDNR remains committed to maintaining Lake Edwin Johnson as a high-caliber fishery for South Carolina anglers,” said Ross Self, SCDNR freshwater fisheries chief. “Dam improvements are scheduled to be completed by late fall 2022, at which point we will focus our efforts on re-stocking the lake with bream, bass and catfish.”

Lake Edwin Johnson will be closed to fishing until July 1, 2024. Until the lake reopens for fishing, anglers may want to visit Lake Craig in Croft State Park in Spartanburg and Jonesville Reservoir and Lake John D. Long, both in Union County.

The unintended draining of the lake occurred as the Lake Edwin Johnson dam and dam safety and resilience. The water level was scheduled to be lowered by about 10 feet, to allow work on the dam, but on Aug. 8, system failures resulted in complete drainage of the lake and the subsequent fish kill.

Lake Edwin Johnson is a 40-acre fertilized lake located at the end of State Road 359 off SC 295 between Spartanburg and Pacolet. When Lake Edwin Johnson reopens in 2024, it will offer fishing opportunities for largemouth bass, bluegill, shellcracker and catfish.