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Record size blue catfish caught from Santee Coo...

Feb 24 2012 08:50 PM | Roaddog in Fishing News

from the SCDNR

The Santee Cooper reservoirs have long been known as an angler's paradise and the recent capture of the largest Lake Moultrie blue catfish ever observed only solidifies this reputation.

On Feb. 8, Leland Selph of Cross, SC ran a trotline on Lake Moultrie and caught a blue catfish that tipped the scales at 136 pounds, 6 ounces and 56 inches in length. The fish would have surpassed the current 21-year-old state record of 109 pounds, 4 ounces had it been angled with a rod and reel. Like most states, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources maintains records for fish caught on standard sport fishing equipment and for several bow fished species. Regardless of the harvest method, it demonstrates the potential for world record size blue catfish that exists in the Santee Cooper system.Posted Image

Native to the Mississippi River drainage, blue catfish were introduced in South Carolina in 1965 with an initial stocking of 180 sub-adults into Santee Cooper reservoir. They were first observed reproducing in 1967 and began to enter the sport fishery in the mid 1970s. Blue catfish have now become a major component of the reservoir’s annual fish production and have become one of the top sport fishing targets.

South Carolina classifies blue catfish as a non-game fish, which means they may taken by any legal method of harvest. This includes trotlines, fish traps, bush hooks, bow fishing, as well as rod and reel. There is no daily limit for blue catfish and this encourages the high harvest levels that help minimize competition with native species and maintains optimal blue catfish growth rates. In an effort to direct most of Santee Cooper’s large blue catfish resource to rod and reel anglers, a limit of one fish per day greater than 36 inches, regardless of harvest method was enacted in 2007.

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Harry Hampton Wildlife Fund donates $104,0...

Feb 24 2012 08:48 PM | Roaddog in Wildlife News

from the SCDNR

The S.C. Natural Resources Board, the policy-making body of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR), met in Charleston on Friday, Feb. 17th. During the meeting, the board formally accepted a monetary donation from the Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, Inc. This year’s Hampton Fund donation was $104,050. The total donated to DNR by the Hampton Fund over the years now totals $2,731,080.

The Harry Hampton Memorial Wildlife Fund, Inc. is a private, non-profit corporation which partners with the DNR for the promotion of natural resources and natural resource education which benefits the conservation of wildlife, marine and other resources in South Carolina. Funds are obtained solely through private donations and special promotional projects, fundraising events and publications. Although some of the funds are donated to special projects run by the DNR, they are not used to replace any department programs already supported by appropriated money.

"The Harry Hampton Fund and DNR have been natural resources partners here in the Palmetto State since 1982," said Hampton board chairman Frank Sistare of Spartanburg. "Our natural resources need our stewardship, not just for us today, but for future generations of South Carolinians." "The Hampton Fund is remains very cognizant of the acute budget crisis facing DNR, and we are grateful to all who’ve supported our fundraising efforts which made this donation possible," said the Fund’s executive director Jim Goller of Beaufort and a DNR retiree.

Public education in the principles of wildlife and marine resources management and conservation is a major thrust of the fund’s purpose. Three scholarships are annually awarded to South Carolina resident students to attend a South Carolina institution of higher learning majoring in wildlife, fisheries, forestry, biology, zoology, marine science, environmental science or related fields, one is awarded annually in the field of law enforcement/criminal justice and one annually in the field of journalism.

Projects supported and funded by the Harry Hampton Wildlife Fund include:
  • DNR Law Enforcement Program
  • Bruce Rush Artificial Reef
  • Striped Bass Research
  • Operation Game Thief
  • DNR Land, Water and Conservation Envirothon
  • Jocassee Gorges Visitors Center Educational Displays
  • Camp Wildwood

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