FAUNA OF THE OCONEE
Black bass- largemouth and redeye- primarily in lower section of river
White bass-These fish can be caught on sandbars and deep river-bends, but prime locations are below the Barnett Shoals Dam south of Athens and in creekmouths between the dam and Lake Oconee.
Catfish: During warm summer months, morning and night fishing are particularly good for all catfish
Bream- lower Oconee: try fishing closer to cover, upper: locations near creekmouths and bedrock shoals
Crappie: Feb-April= largest numbers, Crappie will stack up below Barnett Shoals Dam in early February and also concentrate toward creekmouths near the main lake and gradually move towards shallow water as temperatures rise in spring. For more information regarding fish species along the Oconee visit http://www.georgiawildlife.com/Fishing/OconeeRiver
Georgia contains one of the most diverse arrays of fish and aquatic life in the world.
Along the Oconee it is common to find the following species of fish.
The most common animals that can expect to be seen along the river include white tail deer, several species of bats, Virginia opossum, coyote, species of skunks, white tail deer, species of shrew, variety of rabbits, squirrels, mice, nine-banded armadillo, eastern chipmunk.
Additionally, with a diversity of farmlands, forest, rivers, and lakes, the upper Oconee River watershed contains habitat over 200 bird species. Many birds can be found year-round along the rivers. Year-round resident birds include some you may see in your backyard, such as northern cardinals, eastern towhees, hairy woodpeckers, and brown-headed nuthatch. Other bigger birds, such as great blue heron, barred owl, wood duck, and red-tailed hawk also spend the whole year in the area.
Each spring and fall, neotropical migratory birds (birds that breed in North America and spend winter in South America) use the Oconee River as a haven during their long migrations. Colorful and active warblers, tanagers, grosbeaks, and orioles all migrate along the Oconee River. They use it as a guide on their journey north and south. Conservation areas along the Oconee River, such as Oconee National Forest, Whitehall Forest, the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, North Oconee River Greenway, Ben Burton Park, and the Tallassee Tract, act as safe places for feeding, resting, and for some birds, breeding.
For more information on birds in the area or to go on a free bird walk, contact Oconee Rivers Audubon Society (http://www.oconeeriversaudubon.org).
Oconee County (containing parts of the Oconee River) is located in the Redlands District of the Oconee National Forest, containing hundreds of different species of grasses, ferns, mosses, shrubs, flowering plants, bushes, and trees. Some of the plant species that you can expect to see from the river banks include: American Pilwort, various species of spleenwort and woodferns, a variety of orchids, iris, and blue-eyed grass flowering plants, and hickory, pine and cedar trees. Visit http://www.discoverlife.org/nh/cl/ONF/plants.html for more information regarding the flora of the Oconee River.