Monticello Clam harvesting concerns

Discussion in 'SOUTH CAROLINA LAKES / RESERVOIRS' started by flying_v_64, Nov 20, 2008.

  1. flying_v_64

    flying_v_64 New Member

    Messages:
    151
    State:
    NC
    My girlfriend and I fished Monticello during the 4th of July week. We spent 6 days camping near the boat ramp. During that time we caught many good cats ranging from 1 to 20 Lbs.
    One thing concearned me during that week of camping. Every morning of our camping stay a group of Asians pulled up in a van and unloaded a blow-up raft. There were 6 people. After blowing up the raft all 6 people go on and headed strait to the same point about 3/4 of a mile from the boat ramps across the lake to a point where they hung out until 6 or 7:00PM.
    At that time, every day, the raft would make 2 trips back to the van. On those 2 trips only 2 men came back with the raft, anchored at the small boat ramp in the cove and unloaded five 50 pound rice bags full of clams for each trip. That's TEN 50 Lb rice bags full of clams x 6 days = 60 bags of clams!
    On the 3rd trip back out to the point all the people got back on the raft and came back to the van. They were so close to our camp that we couldn't help chatting with them. They told us that they were selling the clams to people in New York.
    I'm worried that if this keeps up the clam population will suffer greatly. Are there any laws against this? I have no problems with harvesting some clams for your own personal consumption but sixety 50Lb. rice bags? Come on! :0a17:
    Thanks.
     
  2. zmany2k

    zmany2k New Member

    Messages:
    271
    State:
    APG, MD
    That might be something to talk to a DNR warden about. Normally though, clams breed in such extreme numbers that overfishing is almost never a problem.

    Definitely a good question though. Maybe the breed in monticello is different than the ones im used to. Ours is an introduced species though and complete eradication of it is DNR's goal, though it's likely impossible.
     

  3. Patmansc

    Patmansc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,538
    State:
    Greer, SC
    Name:
    Pat Chaney
    Victor - I have noticed that as well, each of the last 3 times that I have been to Monty. In fact, Pop Pop & I noticed the same group that you just described, with the same number of large rice bags just loaded! In addition, on my last trip I noticed 2 men out by the last island before the big water filling bags with mussels. By all means, I believe that this unlimited harvesting will undoubtedly impact ecological chain, and I'm curious as to what we might be able to do about it. Blackwaterkatz, you have any suggestions?
     
  4. flying_v_64

    flying_v_64 New Member

    Messages:
    151
    State:
    NC
    Thanks for the reply. There are definately lots of clams in that reservoir.
     
  5. pop pop

    pop pop New Member

    Messages:
    972
    State:
    Lake Green
    Yeap. Pat and I have seen'em. I tried to converse with the guy, but he was reluctant to talk much about the fresh water mussels/clams. I guess he was scared I'd sit on him or sumpin as I'm about 3 times his size:smile2:.
    Anyway, I don't think harvesting them will do any harm. No scientific proof of it, Just my opinion. If all the thousands of pounds of bait fish that get caught from a couple of lakes and sold across the state isn't hurting the food source. Then 6 people harvesting fresh water clams/mussels couldn't I think harm anything.

    If its against the law then they should be stopped. But If its not, then more power to'em. In todays economic disaster, hard times, messed up United States Economy, That 40 years of bad policies have created. Its tough on everyone. So Pop Pop can't blame a man for trying to make a living and support his family.
    I'll say this, What there doing is hard work. Ain't sumpin I'd ever do.

    Just thought from Pop Pop
     
  6. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Probably not going to impact the population in the lake, but if there is a concern about the impact, or legality, then I would suggest contacting DHEC, since the monitor the health aspect of selling shellfish. The local DNR warden may be able to offer his view, too.
     
  7. Sunbird

    Sunbird New Member

    Messages:
    781
    State:
    Sandy Run,
    Maybe there takin those "radioactive mussels" and feeding them to all them politicians that got us into this mess? :eek:oooh: Pay back is a B*^$#!!:smile2::smile2:
     
  8. pop pop

    pop pop New Member

    Messages:
    972
    State:
    Lake Green
    "Radioactive Mussels":smile2::smile2::smile2::smile2: You Da Man Sunbird. "Aint nothing like the power from a nuclear shower":smile2: Now I know why the cats are so big there.:big_smile:
     
  9. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
  10. flying_v_64

    flying_v_64 New Member

    Messages:
    151
    State:
    NC
    I want to thank everyone responding to this thread. You've given me better insight of the clam/mussle situation and a little bit of humor which made the reading worthwhile.
    To change the subject, what the heck are you guys catching these monster cats with? I'm a bank fisherman and have caught some nice cats on Monty using everything from chicken livers to marshmellows with dip bait but still haven't landed the "monster". Any suggestions?
     
  11. JDWILLIS39

    JDWILLIS39 New Member

    Messages:
    422
    State:
    NC
    Here at moultrie shad, herring or white perch but try some of those mussel/clams the blues love them.
     
  12. flatheadhunterx

    flatheadhunterx Active Member

    Messages:
    1,374
    State:
    South Carolina
    I have often seen asian guys wading through saluda river here in greenville and wondered what they were doing so one day while bream fishing I saw them and ask what they were looking for and one told me muscles then the other guy dumped his out and left, dont know what that was about.
     
  13. Sunbird

    Sunbird New Member

    Messages:
    781
    State:
    Sandy Run,
    HOOKS? :roll_eyes::smile2::smile2:
     
  14. Patmansc

    Patmansc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,538
    State:
    Greer, SC
    Name:
    Pat Chaney
    What kinda help is that :eek:oooh: He wantsa know what'cha puttin' onna hooks :big_smile: (please forgive our little brother, he ain't been right since the accident)
     
  15. flying_v_64

    flying_v_64 New Member

    Messages:
    151
    State:
    NC
    Hey Patman i've used everything but the kitchen sink on 'em. The best luck i've has has been with raw shrimp and the dead floating muscles.
    During our trip this past July my girlfriend and I caught a nice 20 pounder off the end of the boat dock the first night, plus quite a few other nice'ens. We put them on one of those steel stringers with the snap hooks and turned in for the night. When we woke the next morning we found that the big cat plus 3 others had managed to unsnap a few clips and got away:eek:oooh::confused2::angry:. I guess you live and learn. I bought a thick rope stringer for the next trip.
    We have set up camp on the corner there between the main boat ramp and the little side boat ramp on the point for the past 2 forth of Julys . We usually stay 5 or 6 days at a time. You may have noticed us there.
    Thanks Sunbird for that expert advice! :tounge_out:I'll try that next trip:big_smile:
     
  16. Patmansc

    Patmansc Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,538
    State:
    Greer, SC
    Name:
    Pat Chaney
    Victor: I've got a buddy that used to fish off of the pier on the other side of the lake, and mostly what he used was cut brim. He caught several nice fish (20# and over), but not on every trip. Seems like the fish would swing thru there on some kind of cycle that he never figured out. Then I've had one 'ole guy tell me to try those mussles dipped in stink bait :eek:oooh: When drifting, we mostly use cut perch, shad or whole/cut herring. And,of course - my very own favorite, the Magic Marinated Shrimp :big_smile:
     
  17. zmany2k

    zmany2k New Member

    Messages:
    271
    State:
    APG, MD
    I guess this might be a bit off subject by now, but while i was waiting on a bite that never came when i was fishing on post here at Ft Jackson, I dug through some of the SC Law and Regs and found out that clams and mussels are subject to a creel limit of 3bushels/person, 3 full creels/boat regardless of number of people on said boat. Also, it is illegal to have more than 2 full creels/7 day period.

    So yeah, the ol' boys you all are talking about here are running some illegal stuff there.

    Also, without a commercial license, it's illegal to sell them out of state.
     
  18. Sunbird

    Sunbird New Member

    Messages:
    781
    State:
    Sandy Run,
    I too have done some checking and found some unlawful activity. OK, that's a bit harsh but, rules and laws are made and if not followed then there may be consequences. Tommy and I talked about it while fishing and he pointed this out to me.

    The "rules" or "laws", are clearly written and posted at both public landings on Monticello and they both state "NO SWIMMING". That means you are not allowed to get in the water, not even ankle deep. Now that may be splitting hairs but it is the posted rule. I personally don't think this harvesting would harm the mussel populace but, it should probably be regulated so it doesn't get out of hand or damage the eco-system of the lake. I have written a letter to SCDNR concerning this matter and will post back what I find out. I hope they reply, last time they NEVER replied to my questions I sent them. I will send multiple times, if necessary, and call as well!
     
  19. flying_v_64

    flying_v_64 New Member

    Messages:
    151
    State:
    NC
    Hey guys thanks for the sweet tips on catching the monsters. Patman i'll try dipping the muscles next time. Still can't be as nasty as the 4-day old sun-baked shrimp we were putting on our hooks:eek:oooh: :confused2:That stuff be nasty!
    Hey Sunbird I know you didn't mean anything by the comment you left. I kinda got a kick out of it:wink:. Can't wait to hit Monty again this Summer. Hope I run into you guys while i'm there. I live up here in Hendersonville NC so I don't get down there as much as I want. I'll leave a post next time i'm that way. I'd like to meet you guys
    Also, thanks for all the researching you guys have done on the illegal muscle harvesting. And yea, as Sunbird mentioned there is a sign that says "No swimming" . . . although I did do some wade-fishing over the 4th :cool2::big_smile:
    I noticed that when people landed their boats they would dump the unused bait into the water at the ramp. I bet that draws alot of 'em in that area. I heard many fish breaking the water around the dock. In fact the biggest one I landed was just 10 or 15 yards from the end of the dock.:big_smile:
     
  20. flying_v_64

    flying_v_64 New Member

    Messages:
    151
    State:
    NC
    One question I forgot to ask you guys. What's the biggest blue caught in Monty? I've seen pictures of some big uns. The one Sunbird is holding in his profile picture is a brute:big_smile: