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STOKES: Lowcountry Estuarium provides look at ecosystem

I'm one of 30 million or so anglers who enjoy matching intellect with a creature that may or may not have one.

While the act of fishing itself may be physical, it's sharing the intellectual pursuit contained in the environs that intrigues me the most. And if one can derive a conclusion from a refreshingly clear commitment to the special and unique than Bob Bender has my vote.

New Word -- "Estumarine"

There are over a million words in the English language. But failing to find one that best describes the environs of a unique and complex world. Bob coined the word "Estumarine "to introduce readers to a species that spend parts of their life cycles in both estuarine and marine environs.

The Estuarium is working to establish a partnership with the SC Seafood Alliance to build a combo estuarine aquarium/watermen museum (Aquaruseum) as part of the port redevelopment.

The Lowcountry Estuarium is an aquarium-like learning center located on the corner of 14th St and Paris Ave. in the Old Village section of Port Royal. It's called an estuarium because it focuses on the creatures and habitats of the greater estuarine salt marsh eco system stretching from the marshes and creeks of Port Royal, Lady's Island and St. Helena to the Savannah River.

For a tour call 843-524-6600, email estuarium@islc.net or visit their website at http://lowcountryestuarium.org

The Estuarium will be seeking input from area fishing clubs and individuals.

If you would like to participate contact Bob at the center.

Rules and Regulations Update

It is unlawful to possess on any one day more than fifty of a combination of the following: spot, whiting, and Atlantic croaker.

Also, on July 1, the flounder daily catch limit will change to 15 fish per day. The boat limit will be 30 fish per day.

Red snapper recreational fishery to open for eight days in July. Weekends only July 11 - 13 and July 18 - 20. The weekend of July 25 - 26, will only be on Friday and Saturday. During the season the bag limit for red snapper is one fish per person per day, no minimum size limit.

Tackle Tip -- Shark Deterrent

If you find that small sharks are stealing your bait there is an answer to your dilemma, but be careful. Soak a biodegradable paper towel with blood from one of the sharks you have caught and drop the paper towel in the current. Sharks will follow the blood trail and soon you will not be bothered by the bait stealers. Be sure to use water-soluble paper towels; they are a bit more expensive, but it beats getting a ticket for littering.

Till then good fishin' and keep the slack out.

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