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Edisto River

Outdoors column Dr. John Rheney on Feb. 11 addressed the cleanup of the North Fork Edisto River. He advocates more than a 15-foot passage for navigating the river, writing, "Quite frankly if the citizens of Orangeburg County are going to spend money to make the river navigable, it needs to be useful for all citizens and not just a few." You can find his column at TheTandD.com.

I've enjoyed reading Dr. John Rheney's column in The T&D in respect for wildlife -- until I read his opinion of how to finish destroying the wilderness of the famous North Fork of the beautiful black water Edisto River.

This is one of the few rivers you can relax and watch the most beautiful wood duck flying over or swimming down the river. This is their nesting habitat. This is a place to throw a fishing line out and enjoy the birds and harmless tree snakes sunning.

Let's not turn this beautiful river into the Edisto canal. I have seen what jet skiers and large racing boats can do in shallow fishing areas in large lakes. We have public boat-launching ramps on the North Fork Edisto River if the county would keep them up. An example, as Rheney mentioned, is Demme's landing. Or better yet, Rheney could lease his ramp to the county.

This river should be restricted to no more than a 10-horsepower motor. How do you expect red breast and other fish to spawn in a canal. This river has been through a lot, with lots of dead fish turning up.

I was raised approximately 1-1/2 miles from Demme's landing, walking distance. I used to say when I die, just prop me up on the bank with a pole in my hand. This is not a highway with potholes, so don't ruin it.

I'm 83 years old and don't fish the river now, but I still love it.

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Retired Capt. Gerald Williams is from Orangeburg.

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