South Carolina Weekly Shallow Saltwater Report
South Carolina Weekly Shallow Saltwater Fishing Report Week of 04-22-01 through 04-28-01
Another windy week, but the fish seemed willing to bite when we could find them. We had one trip for 25 people that required 9 boats for an afternoon of fishing on Wednesday the 25th. And wouldn't you know it, the trip was to start at 12:00 noon and that is right when the biggest rain storm of the month chose to hit. No rain for a month before this, but it made up for it that afternoon. To all the guides credit, most of them still managed to catch a couple of fish in spite of the 20+ mph wind and driving rain. It surprised us that the clients would go in such weather, but they seemed to have a good time in spite of the crummy weather. Three more trips were run and two were pretty good with one guy catching 5 nice reds the largest of which was 11.5#. Another one had 3 reds that were from 3# to 5# and the last trip caught two that were around the 6# size. Once again, the wind forced us to anchor and to use live bait for most of the fish we caught. A couple were caught on jigs.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is planning to hold some public information meetings to let the public know the sad state of our reds. I attended a meeting of theirs on Friday the 27th when they were organizing the effort to notify the public. The CCA of SC is involved in this effort along with DNR. Their top marine scientists and other managers are committed to saving these fish from collapse. You'll be hearing more from DNR and CCA soon about when and where these meetings will be held.
Another thing that was brought up at this meeting was the fact that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) along with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a joint study in January of 2001 stating the dangers of eating fish because of the high content of methylmercury in many species.
In the report, the FDA and EPA are warning a major portion of Americans (women of child bearing age from 14 to 44) not to eat more than 12 ozs. of fish or 6 ozs of freshwater fish (2 ozs for young children) in a week and that NO KING MACKEREL, SWORDFISH, SHARK, or TILEFISH at all should be eaten!!! In July of 2000, the National Research Council published a report called the "Toxicological Effects of Methylmercury" in which it spells out the dangers of this deadly neurotoxin. Most people, me included, thought the FDA was monitoring the levels of mercury in seafood and would notify us if it was unsafe. NOT SO!!! The FDA in recent years has not been sampling the fish!! As I get more informed about this problem, I'll include some web links for you to go to so you can read for yourself. At this time, all I have is the two page summary that was produced by our South Carolina Office of Environmental Management.
This is a scary report and when you look at the places on the map of North America where Methylmercury is the most prevalent, you find that the Santee Delta between Georgetown and Charleston is one of the five worst places in North America!! The Santee River System is colored red on their charts all the way up into North Carolina and in their own terms, they found "...the Santee River Basin to be one of the five highest methylmercury contaminated basins in the U.S."
More later! Thanks, Gene Dickson Delta Guide Service http://www.deltaguideservice.com/