CCA SC applauds Senate sub-committee for taking first step toward recovering Red Drum stock
Columbia, S.C. – The subcommittee of the South Carolina Senate Fish, Game, and Forestry committee took a vital step yesterday in the recovery and the conservation of South Carolina’s most popular saltwater gamefish, red drum. The legislation, S. 933, would make several key adjustments to existing management measures, including a reduction in the daily creel limit from three fish to two fish per person. Additionally, it creates a new daily limit of six fish per boat. The current slot limit of 15-23 inches would be retained.
“We applaud the steps the subcommittee took concerning the stewardship of red drum and we look forward to working with the state to implement this essential piece of conservation-minded legislation,” said Mike Able, CCA SC Government Relations committee chairman. “We understand we are in the early stages of the legislative process, but we are optimistic that every management option will be considered for the sustainability of this immensely popular species.”
Red drum is regionally managed by a fishery management plan under the guidance of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC). The ASMFC plan calls for a regional spawning potential ratio of 40 percent for the species. That rate has fluctuated between 30 and 40 percent over the last 10 years, but currently in South Carolina waters the rate is estimated at approximately 20 percent. South Carolina has seen slightly lower numbers in the past, nearly two decades ago, but with the cooperation of decision makers, fisheries managers, and the angling public, measures put in place to reverse that ratio were productive and the current effort is fully expected to yield similar results to put red drum back on solid footing..
“Anglers are ready to do our part to get red drum numbers back up and we greatly appreciate the subcommittee taking this needed first step for the benefit of South Carolina’s red drum,” said Tombo Milliken, Jr, CCA SC Government Relations Committee chairman. “We look forward to working with the general assembly to explore any and all viable steps that work towards the recovery of this iconic recreational species.”