Yellowfin tuna made long journey, grew along the way

rodcrafter@islc.netDecember 24, 2011 

A report of a tagged yellowfin tuna last year came as a surprise to fisheries biologists.

The tag, sent from the National Research Institute of Far Seas Fisheries in Shizuoka, Japan, was received by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources' Marine Resources Division.

The tag was initially installed by a volunteer angler participating in a fish tagging program in April 2001 south of Cat Island in the Bahamas. At the time, the yellowfin was a juvenile just under 15 pounds. When the fish was recaptured May 26, 2010, off the west coast of Africa, it had grown to almost 68 inches with an approximate weight of 189 pounds.

"What makes this recovery exciting is that 151 yellowfin have been tagged and released by volunteers, but none have been recovered until now," said Robert Wiggers, a DNR fisheries biologist. "This fish was free for nine years, and gained about 174 pounds, and was recaptured 4,000 miles from where it was initially tagged."

This is the first recapture of a yellowfin tuna in the history of the program, which began in 1974.

For more information about the Marine Game Fish Tagging program, go to www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/tagfish/tagfish.html

DEER SEASON NEAR END

The 2011 deer season will close on Sunday, Jan. 1. The old law that provided for hunting on Saturday was repealed by the General Assembly at the request of the S.C. DNR. Hunters on public lands (WMA) are reminded that deer season will close Dec. 31.

SEASONAL CLOSURE FOR GROUPER

The seasonal prohibition for shallow-water grouper is effective Jan. 1 through April 30, and applies to the recreational and commercial harvest of gag, black grouper, red grouper, scamp, rock hind, red hind, coney, grasby, yellowfin grouper, yellow mouth grouper and tiger grouper in the South Atlantic. For more information, contact Rick DeVictor at 727-824-5305.

CAUTION ADVISORY, BUOY 23

The Port Royal Sound Shoreline Restoration and Stabilization Project is well under way. The submerged line is marked with two white lighted buoys at the Joyner Banks crossing, with coordinates as follows: Eastern Buoy: Lat = 32 deg 12.990780' N / Long = 080 deg 39.451510' W. Western Buoy: Lat = 32 deg 12.883208' N / Long = 080 deg 39.747125' W.

All mariners are requested to move through the area with caution.

The floating dredge pipeline will connect from the stern of the dredge to the submerged dredge pipeline. There will be anchor buoys around the dredge and pipelines. These pipelines and buoys will be lit per USCG regulations.

Also on site will be two assist tugs, derrick barge, anchor barge and a survey vessel.

Dredge operations will be 24 hours a day, seven days per week. The dredge will monitor VHF Channels 13 and 16. Work will consist of dredging approximately one million cubic yards of material from the east side of Port Royal Sound, with placement along the northeast corner of Hilton Head Island. A submerged dredge pipeline will be installed on the bottom across Port Royal Sound.

Work began Dec. 21 and should be substantially complete sometime around Feb. 15.

FISHING TIP

Always use bait from the waters you plan to fish. Gamefish will often reject what is not natural to their environment. Store-bought bait (foreign imports) does not have the same appeal and will greatly reduce your success rate.

CLOSING THOUGHT

Someone once said: It is, in fact, nothing short of a miracle that the modern methods of instruction have not entirely strangled the holy curiosity of inquiry.

I believe that person was much like me at O-Dark Thirty in the morning attempting to wrap gifts for relatives not yet introduced, while trying to keep the cat out of the ribbon and putting together a bicycle for a grandchild.

Best wishes for a Happy Holiday Season

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