South Carolina Sees Spot-Tail Surge

The designation of red drum as a game fish, coupled with a ban on gillnets and strict recreational limits, has helped to restore the species from overfishing in South Carolina. Biologists for the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Marine Resources Research Institute point to creel-clerk surveys and DNR trammel-net surveys as evidence of increased abundance among red drum, locally known as spot-tail bass. Anglers are now limited to two fish per person per day within a 15- to 24-inch slot, instead of the 20-fish daily bag limit of the 1980s. While the gear restrictions and regulations seem to be working to bring the spot-tail populations back, state biologists recommend a conservative approach to restoring a stock that most agree has been overfished for 20 years. For more information, visit www.dnr.state.sc.us.