Description: Dodge County PFA boasts a 104-acre lake nestled within a 444-acre tract of land southeast of Eastman in Georgia's middle Coastal Plain. The gently rolling terrain surrounding the lake contains mixed pine/hardwood stands, sand ridges with longleaf pine/wiregrass communities, planted pines, and a mature hardwood bottom. Special habitat features include an Altamaha Grit outcrop and a pitcherplant community. Steve Bell Lake contains numerous coves and points, several shallow creek channels, a small island, some standing timber, and submerged structures for attracting fish. The average depth of the lake is ten feet.
Viewing Information: Dodge County PFA offers a wide variety of wildlife viewing. A belted kingfisher may be perched in the standing timber of the lake while a great blue heron silently works along the shoreline, both searching for a meal. White-tailed deer, red foxes, raccoons, fox squirrels, bobwhite quail, and pileated woodpeckers frequent the woodlands surrounding the lake. Southern flying squirrels are plentiful in the area but are seldom seen because of their nocturnal habits. A walk along the nature trail in the spring will reveal a number of songbirds and blooming native plants, including the "insect-eating" hooded pitcherplant (Sarracenia minor) and the trumpet pitcherplant (Sarracenia flava). The American alligator inhabits the more remote areas of the lake; they are usually not aggressive but deserve your attention and respect. Observe from a distance and stay out of the water when a gator has been seen. On the sand ridge during the warmer months, a gopher tortoise may be observed foraging on native plants. This habitat also holds many non-venomous snakes as well as a few venomous ones such as the eastern diamondback rattlesnake. From late fall through spring the twilight arrival of Canada geese and wood ducks present an exciting scene as they prepare to roost for the night. Osprey and an occasional bald eagle may be seen during the winter soaring above the lake.
Directions: From Eastman take US Hwy. 341 south for 3 miles. Turn left on County Road 49 (dirt road) and cross the railroad tracks. The PFA is located .6 miles off US Hwy. 341.
Management: Georgia DNR, Wildlife Resources Division, 912-374-6765
Closest Town: Eastman, GA
Site Notes: primitive camping, handicap accessible fishing pier, interpretive nature trail, archery range
Additional Information: The Department of Natural Resources has stocked the lake with largemouth bass, bluegill, redear sunfish, and channel catfish. Fishing is permitted, but a fishing license and a WMA stamp is required.
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