Artificial Reefs in South Carolina Lowcountry

There are 45 man made fishing reefs off the coast of South Carolina. 12 artificial reefs are near the coast of South Carolina Lowcountry Region. These reef sites are constructed from a variety of durable materials including specially designed concrete and steel structures, ships and tugboats, barges, even army tanks and subway cars. When durable materials such as these are placed in the marine environment their surfaces are rapidly colonized, and eventually completely covered, by a wide variety of sessile organisms including algae, barnacles, corals, sponges, hydroids, bryozoans, and marine worms. In time, these organisms become the foundation of the reef community and the base of the food web which is critical to later fishing success.

Beaufort 45 Reef

Lat. 32 07.15’N, Long. 80 29.30’W. Concrete reef balls & army tanks provide high profile habitat.

Betsy Ross Reef

Lat. 32 03.2’N, Long. 80 25.0’W. Betsy Ross Reef is located 18 miles off Hilton Head Island. 440′ long liberty ship is the largest single piece of material on any of South Carolina’s artificial reefs. 85′ of water. Trolling & bottom fishing habitat. Many species of fish hang out here, including Red snapper, black sea bass, grouper, barracuda, king mackerel, and Spanish mackerel.

Betsy Ross Reef consists of the following  pieces of material:

Betsy Ross Reef materials position map1) Reef Buoy 32 03.427  080 24.851
2) 440′ Liberty ship (Betsy Ross) 32 03.285 080 24.996
3) Bridge section 32 03.39 1 080 24.880
4) Bridge section 32 03.387  080 24.846
5) Bridge section 32 03.363  080 24.862
6) 175′ Ship (YO-224) 32 03.142  080 25.132
7) NYC Subway cars 32 03.197  080 24.972
8) NYC Subway cars 32 03.272  080 24.970
9) NYC Subway cars 32 03.203  080 24.938
10) NYC Subway cars 32 03.211  080 24.886
11) NYC Subway cars 32 03.281  080 25.069
12) NYC Subway cars 32 03.222  080 24.993
13) 100 Concrete cones 32 03.290  080 24.890
14) 105′ Tugboat 32 03.092  080 24.951
15) 100′ Barge w/ deck house 32 03.237  080 25.089

Eagles Nest Reef

Lat. 32 09.44’N, Long. 80 32.26’W. Tugboat, barge, cement truck, tires, concrete blocks.

Edisto Offshore Reef

Lat. 32 14.1’N, Long. 79 50.5’W. 23.5 miles from Stono Inlet. Originated as a mid-water trolling alley in 1980. 1-mile square reef is the farthest offshore in the South Carolina system. King & Spanish mackerels, barracuda, amberjack & dolphin can be found in the 50-72′ waters.

Fish America Reef

Lat. 32 07.9’N, Long. 80 24.9’W. 2.5 miles east of Hilton Head Island. Consists entirely of heavy pieces of concrete culvert pipe in 9′ of water. Mackerels, bluefish & sea trout.

Fripp Island Drydock

Lat. 32 17.1’N, Long. 80 24.9’W. 20x80x20 foot structure. Sea bass, sheepshead & bluefish are abundant around the wreck.

Fripp Island Reef

Lat. 32 15.5’N, Long. 80 22.5’W. 5.8 miles from Fripp Island. Low-profile materials such as concrete culvert pipe, scrap steel & more than 50,000 automobile tires in 30-38′ of water. Bottom fishing for black sea bass, porgy & flounder is good.

Gaskin Banks Wreck

Lat. 32 05.8’N, Long. 80 42.1’W. Consists of many steel railroad rails, 6-10′ under water.

General Gordon Wreck

Lat. 32 10.1’N, Long. 80 33.2’W. 2.0 miles due east of R14 in Port Royal Sound at 250′ steel-hulled sailing vessel.

Hilton Head Reef

Lat. 31 59.7’N, Long. 80 35.7’W. 1.5 miles off Hilton Head. 1,800′ reef in 50′ of water. Black sea bass, porgy, grouper, sheepshead, amberjack, barracuda, mackerel & cobia.

Hunting Island Reef

Lat. 32 13.0’N, Long. 80 20.3’W. 10 miles southeast of Hunting Island. Barges, dredge tender, landing craft & approx. 30,000 tires.

White Water Reef

Lat. 32 03.1’N, Long. 80 45.0’W. Multiple barges and miscellaneous materials. Trolling for Spanish mackerel productive.