Local leaders and DNR collaborate over West Point Lake concerns

Published 8:35 pm Friday, October 19, 2018

Local leaders attended a meeting with the Department of Natural Resources on Monday at the LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce to discuss concerns over West Point Lake.

The meeting focused on the County-wide concern of the decline in largemouth bass population in West Point Lake, along with ways in which the increase in striped bass was affecting the fishing community. The objective established at the gathering was to create a balance between fishing, recreational, and economic stimulus use of the lake by identifying habitat preservation necessities while maintaining cleaner lake conditions.

“West Point Lake attracts the most visitors of all of our attractions in Troup County,” said LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce President Page Estes. “It is a valuable asset in our tourism portfolio. The Chamber is proud to support collaborative efforts that will enhance the visitor experience for anglers, boaters, water enthusiasts and nature lovers.”

Troup County Board of Commissioners Chairman Patrick Crews hosted the gathering, along with LaGrange Mayor Jim Thornton, former GDOT Commissioner and current Republican nominee for the Georgia House of Representatives Vance Smith, state representative Randy Nix, LaGrange-Troup County Chamber of Commerce representatives, local business owners and fishing enthusiasts.

 “We were pleased to meet with the Department of Natural Resources to retain a positive partnership and preserve an open dialogue for the benefit of Troup County citizens,” Crews said. “West Point Lake is a wonderful amenity. It’s important to our economic engine for our community, and we want to help the DNR as best as we can.” 

It was determined in the discussion that a common goal would be possible through future objectives from the DNR, who was very responsive to the concerns in the meeting, to work toward steadily increasing the largemouth bass population and decreasing other populations of fish, such as striped bass, by altering fish stocking effort plans.

Nix said he was appreciative to DNR for being receptive to concerns from West Point Lake stakeholders. 

“I appreciate their responsiveness to the concerns of the community,” Nix said. “They indicated that the projected goal was attainable and that they would work with us to make it possible. It was a pleasure to meet with them, and I look forward to seeing West Point Lake regain its status as a popular destination for fishermen throughout the region.”