Some news and notes for Lowcountry anglers

rodcrafter@islc.netOctober 15, 2011 

At the onset of my limited journalistic ramblings, I discovered it was better to add detail, using nouns and verbs, rather than over-do adjectives. With this in mind, and considering the fact that fishing has been everything but productive the past week, perhaps a break from routine would benefit both reader and participant.

WADDELL EVENTS

The Waddell Mariculture Center serves as an aquaculture research and development platform to identify potential marine species for commercial food production. The center is developing production and management tools to assist in rebuilding important wild fish stocks, as it appears demand will exceed supply in less than 10 years.

  • Tour & Oyster Roast at Waddell Mariculture Center, 5:30 p.m. Monday -- Reservations required, $25 per person. Al Stokes, manager and wildlife biologist, presents a tour of the Center, followed by a dinner buffet. Proceeds benefit the Center. For more information or to make a reservation, call Mary at 843-815-2472 or 843-815-2474.

  • A Taste of Waddell, 3-7 p.m., Nov. 13 -- A celebration of the Port Royal Sound ecosystem, presented by the Friends of Waddell & the Hilton Head Island Sportfishing Club. Shrimp dinner, May River oysters, beer and wine. Music by Lowcountry Boil. Raffle and silent auction. Tours and nature trail. Tickets are $30 per person (beer, wine and oysters extra). The event benefits the cobia, red drum and sea trout stock enhancement program at the Center and the Port Royal Sound adult red drum study.

  • RED DRUM STUDY

    Red drum is one of the main species targeted by recreational and charter boat anglers. The Port Royal Sound Foundation will fund a two-year study of red drum, led by fisheries biologist Glenn F. Ulrich, to help provide fresh data for sound management practices.

    Working with a network of charter captains and private anglers, Ulrich will implant PIT tags (microchip) in adult red drum, collecting DNA samples, measurements, developing catch rate data and evaluating catch-and-release strategies.

    This study was initiated by a 2007 grant from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources to provide data on the population characteristics of the adult red drum of Port Royal and Calibogue sounds. The data will be shared with SCDNR to augment ongoing DNA studies. The results will be distributed to participating captains and the public in an annual report.

    This study can significantly add to our understanding of the population and health of our indigenous spawning stocks. The DNA data will inform us of what portion of our adult fish are wild as opposed to being a product of the Waddell Mariculture Center stock enhancement program. Beaufort County has roughly half of the state's productive habitat and nursery for this iconic species and the recreational fishery generates $150 million annually in South Carolina.

    For more information, contact the Port Royal Sound Foundation at 843-785-4106 or daveh@hargray.com.

    SHEEPSHEAD MEETINGS

    Recent action by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council likely will remove sheepshead from federal management by Jan. 1 and turn management over to the individual states. The SCDNR Marine Division will host regional meetings to discuss management in South Carolina. Meetings will focus on the history of the species, population status and potential actions designed to ensure the future of the fishery.

    Meeting schedule: 7-9 p.m. Monday at DNR Marine Resources Research Institute in Charleston; 7-9 p.m. Tuesday at Robert Reed Conference Center in Myrtle Beach; 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at the Kimbel Lodge at Belle W. Baruch Institute in Georgetown.

    You are invited to take an online survey about the topic on the DNR website.

    Comments and concerns can be submitted to DNR biologist Wallace Jenkins at 843-953-9835 or by email at Jenkinsw@dnr.sc.gov.

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