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Old 04-18-2005, 01:27 PM
Mr Ed Mr Ed is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 20
Default Southern stripers

I would like to add some information for your home page. This is concerning striper migrations and seasonal travel.
I don't think you will find any offshore migration during the seasons below (or South of) Nags Head, NC. True there stripers caught in the rivers in South Carolina, Georgia, and Northern Florida. These fish are called riverine stripers. They live their entire lives in the river systems that are unobstructed by dams. They range from the tidal waters in the upper ends of the estuaries in fall and winter to the shoals of the "fall Line" and the tailraces of upstream dams in spring and summer. Some of the populations in Georgia are supplemented by stocking programs but South Carolina's approach is to let the population naturally reproduce.

There are several studies available that were done by Clemson University graduate students that tracked the fish with radio telemetry. One of these studies was done in the ACE ( Ashepoo, Combahee, Edisto ) Basin in South Carolina. None of these rivers is dammed and none of them reach out of the coastal plain to the fall line. The fish were found to spawn in late winter and early spring DOWNSTREAM in the strong tidal currents near the Intracoastal Waterway and to spend their summers in the deep, cool, spring fed holes in the upper reaches of the rivers. Biologists can now tell a genetic difference in thes fish from river system to river system.

This has been an eye-opener to many of us long time striper fishermen that have fished for the river stripers for years. We read about the Outer Banks stripers, the Chesapeake Bay, The Roanoke River, and Long Island Sound. We just naturally thought for years that our stripers came in out of the ocean. Maybe they did thousands of years ago. But the piece of the puzzle that we now realize is that nobody ever sees huge schools of stripers off the South Carolina or Georgia coasts. They aren't caught offshore at any time during the year.

We are now struggling with the issue of creel limits and size/slot limits for riverine fish. A restoration of the population in the Savannah River after the ill fated installation of a tide gate near the I-95 bridge is almost a reality. The gate is now permanently open and the moratorium on stripers is set to lift in June of this year. Currently the creel limit is 10 fish with no size limit. Hopefully South Carolina and Georgia will settle on a more restrictive situation before the moratorium is lifted.

You are welcome to research any and all of this information. Much of it was written about in articles in South Carolina Wildlife Magazine. The Clemson Studies are available on-line. I just thought that you may want to update your home page. Anyone is welcome to fire back any questions and I'll do my best to answer them. I am not a biologist or do I have anything to do with policy on this, but I am a devoted striper fisherman of over 50 years and I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once.
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