Red drum catch limit law passed to prevent overfishing in SC - FOX Carolina 21

Red drum catch limit law passed to prevent overfishing in SC

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The red drum (Source: SCDNR) The red drum (Source: SCDNR)

The South Carolina General Assembly passed a new law to reverse overfishing of South Carolina's most popular saltwater gamefish, the red drum. 

The new catch limit allows two fish per person per day and no more than six fish per boat per day, effective on July 1, 2018. 

This law was passed after state biologists documented a declining trend in South Carolina's red drum population.

Upon further investigation, the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources confirmed that the red drum population was experiencing overfishing. 

The SCDNR believes, "from three to two fish per person per day would be enough, in time, to improve the numbers of fish recruiting into the adult population," according to a study. 

In addition to the legislative changes, the SCDNR wanted to address the best handling practices for catch and release of the red drum, listed below: 

  • Use a rig that minimizes the chance of hook damage (short leader, fixed sinker weighing 3 oz. or more, and barbless, non-offset and non-stainless hook)
  • Use gear that shortens the fight time (20-lb and higher test line)
  • Keep the fish in the water (take photographs of the fish while during revival and release)

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