S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford has signed new striped bass regulations into effect for the Santee-Cooper Reservoir system. The regulations are a first step to combat the population decline of the striped bass fishery Lakes Marion and Moultrie by reducing the amount of fish an angler can harvest, as well as increasing the minimum size limits.New regulations include:
• Reduction in creel limits from five to three.
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• Increase in minimum size from 21 to 26 inches.
• Season restrictions for entire Santee Cooper system (lakes and rivers): no harvest/possession. Catch and release only from June 1-Sept.30.
• Points system: increase to 14 points for violation.
• Striped bass must be landed with head and tail intact enabling enforcement officers to measure complete fish.
The waters to which the new regulations will apply are limited to the Santee-Cooper system. This includes the waters of the Lower Santee River system, or all waters and tributaries seaward of the Lake Murray Dam, the Columbia Canal Diversion Dam, and the Lake Wateree Dam to the freshwater/saltwater dividing line on the North Santee River and the South Santee River. Additional waters affected by this bill include the Cooper River System, which includes all waters and tributaries of the Cooper River, including the Tailrace Canal, from its point of origin seaward to the freshwater/saltwater dividing line. -- OBSERVER NEWS SERVICE
Record catch by teen
A last-minute decision to go fishing with his mother has netted a 13-year-old from Rocky Mount a freshwater state fosjomg record.
Travis Jackson reeled in a 4-pound, 15-ounce redear sunfish from a private pond in Edgecombe County on May 19, using a worm as bait. The fish measured 151/16 inches in length and 181/8 inches in girth.
According to Arlene Jackson, Travis' mother, Jackson was playing with his Sony PlayStation when she talked him into going fishing with her and a friend. Within an hour, he was reeling in "one really big bream" from a pond right down the road from his house.
"We thought it might be a bluegill or a shellcracker," she said. "Travis was really excited when he found out it was a state record."
A nearly 5-pound redear is a rare catch, as indicated by the fact that the redear record has been standing since 1994, when Scott Miller from Rutherfordton caught a 4-pound, 9-ounce shellcracker from a farm pond in Union County. Miller's catch tied the previous record-holder, Rondal Sweet, an Alexander County angler who caught his fish from Lookout Shoals Lake in 1988. -- OBSERVER NEWS SERVICE
Statesville angler wins
The winner of last week's Friday Night Fishin' Friends bass tournament on Lake Norman was Michael Fox of Statesville with a weight of 13.94 pounds. Second was the team of James Adkins of Claremont and Todd Carpenter of Conover with 13.80 pounds. Third was the team of Greg Eller and Dale Sanford, both of Newton, with 13.71 pounds.