We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Greetings from West Columbia, South Carolina from Captain Tom.
Lake Murray is a very interesting fishery. 50,000 acres of water and all kinds of micro-ecologies from amazing pan fish through it's premier striper fishery. 20/25 lb catfish are common and bream, shell cracker, crappie and your garden variety sunfish are in abundance in dinner plate sizes. The striper fishery is incredible - again, larger specimens of this fish are not uncommon in the 30 lb range with the average specimens running in the 15/20 lb class.
Lake Murray was built in the late '20s by impounding the Saluda River and its basin at Dreher Shoals a little Northwest of Columbia, SC. At one time, it was the largest earthen dam ever constructed. Water from the dam was used to power hydroelectric turbines for a large part of South Carolina and these turbines are still in use today.
Lake Murray also has an interesting military history. The Army Air Force during WWII used the lake's islands as bombing and strafing target practice. Five bombers were lost in the lake, four were recovered at the time for salvage, but the fifth, a somewhat rare B-25C, was lost until it was found in 2003. A salvage effort was launched in late 2004, the plane raised and it is now located at a restoration facility in Montgomery, Alabama.
Lake Murray is also famous for its Purple Martin Sanctuary located on Bomb Island (approximately in the middle of the lake). As odd as it may seem, this is a major tourist attraction for the area as thousands of Purple Martins leave in the morning and return in the evening to roost over night. A lot of boaters make an evening of picnics on the water watching the evening return of the Purple Martins to Bomb Island. If you Google up Purple Martins and Bomb Island, you will see some images and an incredible radar image taken of this daily routine. I don't have my pictures of this event - took the wrong laptop with me.
Ed. Note: You can read all about the remarkable anadromous and adaptable Striper here.