This just in

Discussion in 'LOCAL SOUTH CAROLINA TALK' started by Smuggo, Jul 15, 2007.

  1. Smuggo

    Smuggo New Member

    Messages:
    114
    State:
    sc
    From The Sumter Daily Item, my local newspaper.

    Arkansas Blue Catfish law passed

    The South carolina General Assembly and Gov. Mark Sanford have passed a law that will allow anglers to keep no more tham one Arkansas Blue Catfish over 36 inches per person per day, regardless of harvest method. This law applies to both recreational and commercial fishing.

    The new law will be effective only on Lake Marion, Lake Moultrie, The Diversion Canal, And the Re- Diversion Canal above the St. Stephen Dam.

    The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources encourages anglers to keep as many blue catfish under 36 inches as they can resonably use.

    According to DNR, "The new law was instituted to address catfish anglers' perception of fewer large blue catfish as the popularity of these large fish has grown over the past decade. The law is expected to shift more harvest of large blue catfish to recreational rod and reel anglers, whose tourisim dollars add considerably more to the local economy than do other harvest methods."


    I know this is not news and has been discussed often in the forum but what stuck out to me was that the DNR is encouraging fishermen to keep as many Blues that they can resonably use (no CPR?). It also implies, in a round about way, that commercial fishermen do not make nearly the economic impact that recreational anglers do. Sounds like the commercial fishery is taking one on the chin at the expense of tourist $$$$'s
     
  2. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    i think they are just saying there is still plenty of small fish in the lakes i also fish those areas and i think there is plenty of fish in those areas too but the big fish has been targeted so much to the point they are in low numbers. as for the commerical fisherman i think most of them are looking for smaller fish for the eating market but some are out there hunting numbers of large fish to sell to pay pond all over the usa. that needs to be stopped in my opinion and i think this law will stop some of this but there will always be those that will not follow the law. i hope they get caught.:smile2: i fish santee a fare amount in the summer months going into the falls months and catching fish is no problem for this tourist but finding fish over 36" is not easy. santee is a big tourist attraction for the serious fisherman willing to travel. i can catch bigger fish on my local lakes but i still like to take the chance at santee for the next world record:smile2: really i believe you add all the tour. money spent up it would double the commerical fisherman at santee only. most get motels and alot of them hire guides and all of us buy bait and those that get plenty of it do pretty good with the fishing. as for the fish i have kept 3 fish under 10lbs in the last two years from there. so i havent done my part in keeping the numbers down at all. i just like to catch them. i think in the long run santee could hold a new world record blue cat with this new law. only time will tell. just my opinion and i like the new law.
     

  3. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    State:
    South Caro
    Im all 4 it also. It has been told on here by the biologist over that area that the blues are so overpopuated it is actually stunting the growth rate or dramitically slowing it down. I never keep anyhting over 20lbs but I will keep the samller more desirable eaters. I very much support this bill.
     
  4. catch & release

    catch & release New Member

    Messages:
    178
    State:
    SC
    I don't know Rivercat, I caught 7 last night that definitely were not stunted in the growth department:big_smile:. And in response to another post above yours, the money commercial fishermen cough up is almost nonexistent compared to what fishermen from out of state bring in. Any fishery can get overpopulated, but in my humble opinion, Santee is a LONG way from having that problem. Overpopulated fish don't have guts as big as mine!
     
  5. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    I agree Santee is a long way from being over populated!IT IS WAY PAST THAT POINT.Every sampling done by the biologist point the same way the stripers went.When I talked to the chief biologist he agreed ,we would always have plenty of catfish in the lakes but if the trophys kept coming out the population would be stunted and mostly fish under 30 lbs.Just look at the stripers ,from world records to anything over 20 is a trophy.I have talked to the guides and they recall stories of how they hauled monster stripers out in wheel barrow loads.After all the big ones were gone then the little fish like the lakes are currently full of, filled up the biomass.Anybody can go out and catch some good 20lb+ catfish with a little luck and they will have full stomachs but the electro shocking results, fishermen surveys plus the opinions of the guides that fish it daily all indicate the average size of the fish is getting smaller and the trophys more rare.This law is the result of the guides and those of us concerned about the future of Santee petitioning the legislature,going up and testifying and persisting even when it looked like the bill would die in committee.Take all the sub 20lb blues you want and CPR the rest.:smile2::big_smile:
     
  6. sarSWAMPFOX

    sarSWAMPFOX New Member

    Messages:
    381
    State:
    Union, South Caroilna
    Get this guys the old man that runs the fish market here in Union told me that out of the four commercial fishermen that supply him, Three have no problem with the new law at Santee. Only one said he has, because now he can only take one fish at a time to the pay lakes. How bout them apples.
     
  7. catfishrus

    catfishrus New Member

    Messages:
    1,569
    State:
    north carolina
    from what i understand the warning period is over with. only those that are over the limit will get to participate in the penlties.:wink::big_smile: its the license holders job to read the rule book i think.
     
  8. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Here's a link to the new rules, Michael, and the complete online regs are there, too.
    http://www.dnr.sc.gov/regs/pdf/new.pdf
    Printed regs should be available by about Aug 10, I hear. They can't be printed until after the legislature is done for the year, ya know.
     
  9. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    To add to what Jim posted earlier, and as explained to me by one of the biologists who is very familiar with the catfish in Santee Cooper: When the Arkansas Blue Catfish was introduced to the lakes in 1964, they had almost no competition for food and so they grew at the maximum rate, the population exploded, and suddenly a new fishery developed. Now there are so many fish there that the growth rate has slowed way down, effectively reducing the numbers of large fish available to fishermen. It's hard to get the data to look right, but I think you can read this chart, which comes directly from SCDNR field surveys, and shows the age for fish of various sizes in the 2004 study vs. the previous 1976-1981 data.

    Arkansas Blue Catfish Age List
    ......................Age in Years
    Inches .Lbs 76-81 2004
    ...30 ...11.9 ...6.3 .... 9.5
    ...32 ...14.8 ...6.8 ...10.6
    ...34 ...18.2 ...7.3 ...11.8
    ...36 ...22.1 ...7.9 ...13.0
    ...38 ...26.5 ...8.4 ...14.2
    ...40 ...31.6 ...9.0 ...15.5
    ...42 ...37.3 ...9.5 ...16.9
    ...44 ...43.7 ..10.1 ...18.3
    ...46 ...50.8 ..10.7 ...19.7

    Oldest fish to date: 36.6”, 29.9 lbs., 25.0 years.
    Largest fish to date: 47.5”, 53.0 lbs., 23 years.

    The lakes are teeming with relatively smaller fish and this has an effect on the larger population. There is only so much grits in the pot, and the smaller ones take away from what the large ones get. The new 36” size limit on blues is based partly on this fact, as it applies to today’s conditions, with a review in 3 years to see what the fishery needs at that time. The DNR advocates taking as many of the smaller fish as you can reasonably use, in order to allow for more fish to grow larger in a shorter length of time, and hopefully allowing more fishermen the opportunity to catch a trophy fish.
    I’ve heard somewhere, also, that some efforts are under way to bring into control those who sell these fish out of state. This is only hearsay, and I’ve probably said more than I know already. :big_smile:
     
  10. catch & release

    catch & release New Member

    Messages:
    178
    State:
    SC
    You get this stuff from Lamprecht? Interesting info. Another way of looking at the numbers, is the data from the late 70's were from a somewhat "underpopulated" population of fish (that's my uneducated assumption). Early 80's are about the time the blue population boomed......ironically about the time stripers started going downhill and fishermen stopped targeting the stripers as heavily and started in on the blues. In my opinion 3 years is not alot of time to get good data, but then I don't know near as much as the guys that are crunching the numbers. I hope you are right about the selling of big fish issue....no matter which angle I look at it from it just ain't right. The best news out of all of this is our folks are starting to take a proactive approach to this fishery that you and I love so much. Have fun in the mountains.....I think I'll stay around here so I can get my constant dose of wind and waves.
     
  11. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    Thanks, Ed. I didn't get that stuff from Scott, but one of the others that are involved along with him. And I didn't hear that stuff about the selling of fish from them either, for that matter. I posted it just for additional information. There is a lot more that could be added. It's amazing to me just how much these folks put into their work. They don't just make an off-the-wall decision. Everything has to be based on factual information. My hat's off to them, for sure.
     
  12. catch & release

    catch & release New Member

    Messages:
    178
    State:
    SC
    Thanks Tommy, I agree that these guys do a great job for us. Unfortunately these guys hear more complaints than they desreve and get fewer pats on the back than they deserve! Any chance our beloved blue will ever garner "gamefish status"?
     
  13. rivercatsc

    rivercatsc New Member

    Messages:
    1,990
    State:
    South Caro
    Ed I think we are on the right track to make it happen but it is still many many years from even being considered. We as a whole need to work
    together for that goal and not just hope the other guy will take care of it. Im with you I am glad they are taking an early proactive step on this issue and not waiting for there total disappereance to do something.
     
  14. Foxhound

    Foxhound New Member

    Messages:
    403
    State:
    Georgia
    Id sure like to know where all those little ones are hanging out at.....we catch all the big ones we want 10 lbs and over. Leave it to my wife to always want to go catch some 1 to 2 pounders to eat and we pull a blank every time.
     
  15. catch & release

    catch & release New Member

    Messages:
    178
    State:
    SC
    I hear ya foxhound. I really don't like catching the little ones......except maybe one of those times I've gone about 4 hours without a bite. I fished one day this week and only caught 11 fish and 7 of them were over 20 pounds. I went another day and caught 14 fish and 7 were over 20 pounds. Any rule that helps me catch more big ones makes me happy!
     
  16. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    There's a lot of small ones out there, but I'm certain they have a little different diet than the larger ones, more insects and crustaceans, maybe, instead of fish, and it seems to me that where you catch numbers of large fish, you don't normally find many small ones, and vice versa. Lots of times when drifting I get a lot of small nibbling bites that I take to be small catfish (not perch). When (if) I bait one or two rods with nightcrawlers and a smaller hook, I'll start catching some of those smaller fish. I'm sure there's plenty out there, but that's where smaller baits/hooks, stink baits, etc, and fishing different habitat may come into play. I just don't really target those small fish very often.

    What do you guys think about it?
     
  17. jim

    jim New Member

    Messages:
    2,579
    State:
    Jacksonville NC
    If you want smaller ones go fish for white perch:smile2::big_smile:I had a 10lb blue just about spool me on my mini perch rig the other day.Thank goodness I had 10lb braid on.Eventually I think we will get to making the blues and channels gamefish.5 years ago even the one fish limit seemed beyond our reach.My heartfelt thanks to everyone that supported it but I think the real turning point was when the guides finally realized the were a big part of the problem and started to lobby for regulation,instead of pointing the finger elsewhere.Many had quietly practised conservation on their own for years but finally uniting in concert with concerned sportsman like us and the biologists got the job done.In any case we have now focused the light on Santee and the biologists now have a good management tool which may be modified in the future.:big_smile:
     
  18. sarSWAMPFOX

    sarSWAMPFOX New Member

    Messages:
    381
    State:
    Union, South Caroilna
    Tommy, correct me if I'm wrong. But it sounds like we need to do our part in removing our usable amount of smaller blues to help the trophy blues. About the way trophy deer hunters manage their deer populations by harvesting does. So do we as trophy blue cat hunters need to takes some time to target the smaller blues for the table?
     
  19. WylieCat

    WylieCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,160
    State:
    NC
    I have said it before and I will say it again; if you leave wildlife management of ANY wildlife up to the hunters/fishermen, they will ruin it in a short matter of time through greed and selfishness.

    The deer population in SC in the 30's-40's is a good example of how unattended "sportmen" can ruin things. The blue population in Santee is a more modern example. The average outdoorsman need someone to hold their hand and guide them when making harvest decidions.
     
  20. blackwaterkatz

    blackwaterkatz Active Member

    Messages:
    3,659
    State:
    Andrews, SC
    JD, you've got it right, according to the experts. The DNR seems to be encouraging us to keep all the smaller ones that we can reasonably use.
    It took a long time to convince some of the die-hard deer hunters to manage by taking more, but, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. We'll just have to wait a few years to see how it's going to work out, but I've got high hopes.