The state chapter has funded a research program on one of the state’s most popular recreational species, cobia. In collaboration with the Marine Division of the SCDNR, the tagging program will begin to monitor the patterns and movements of the popular fish as it makes its way across the middle coast of the state. At an estimated investment of $22,000, the program will use acoustic technology to better pinpoint just how cobia move along the Palmetto State coastline as well as improve our understanding of this important species.
“Our chapter now is committing the same kind of support to scientific research as we have given to our highly successful habitat program over the past 10 years,” said CCA SC Habitat Committee Chairman Gary Keisler.
Thorough receiver coverage in the study area is vital to successful acoustic telemetry studies and researchers have identified potentially important cobia habitat where no receivers currently exist. CCA SC and the SCDNR will partner to create a new array – the “CCA Triangle” – on three artificial reefs off the South Carolina coast (4KI, Edisto 60 and Edisto Offshore, Figure 4). A Vemco VR2Tx receiver would be added to each of the three reef locations. The VR2Tx possesses the ability to log bottom temperature as well as detect tagged animals and allows for high quality data collection.
“This project helps make CCA a complete marine conservation group,” said Executive Director Scott Whitaker. “There is no arena that CCA SC is not participating in when it comes to improving our coastal resources – from advocacy work with legislators, fisheries managers, habitat improvement, and now scientific research. Our organization is fully committed to each those areas and recognizes that each is important to the overall improvement of our marine resources and anglers’ access to them.”