Guy Harvey Magazine

SPR 2017

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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www.GuyHarveyMagazine.com | 39 the Santee River and Cooper River were impounded to form lakes Moultrie and Marion. Connected by the seven-mile-long Diversion Canal, the lakes have a combined area of about 170,000 acres and shoreline of over 760 miles. "As far as habitat enhancement efforts, we are currently concentrating on augmenting our existing brush attractors with harder, more durable materials," says Lamprecht. Fish attractors are a big part of the program on the lakes, with cedar trees and Christmas trees the common natural materials. "We maintain over 35 such sites, and they have been very successful," says Lamprecht. To improve these sites, DNR entered into a cooperative effort with the Santee Cooper Country tourism board and the South Carolina Public Service Authority (Santee Cooper). Through this effort, hard materials including concrete culverts and junction boxes are being added to existing fish attractors. " This combination of brush and hard structure will provide more long-lasting and diverse habitat than brush alone. "There are more 'angler-friendly' lakes in South Carolina," says Lamprecht, who notes the submerged timber can be a hazard for boaters, but he says economically, this lake system is the most significant in the state. "We have the biggest largemouth bass in the state, a naturally occurring Florida-strain bass. One section of the waterway, the Diversion Canal that connects lakes Marion and Moultrie, sees the most fishing pressure day and night by anglers fishing for the catfish and striped bass that prefer to feed in the current in that canal." Management of non-native aquatic vegetation is also a major part in habitat work ongoing in the Santee Cooper lake system. "We work with Santee Cooper to control water hyacinth, hydrilla and a more recent infestation, the crested floating heart, which first got a foothold in Florida in the mid-90s." Lamprecht says the invasive floating heart requires herbicide control, though triploid carp have been introduced to keep a check on hydrilla, as is done in other Southeastern states. " The carp are extremely effective, and create a limited, no-take fishery as a plus," says Lamprecht. "We also plant vegetation, such as water willow, that is 'carp-resistant' to establish good cover and also forage for gamefish. The submerged portion provides the cover, and it also helps to control shoreline erosion." Fish-stocking efforts are also ongoing, and Lamprecht reports that several million juvenile stripers are stocked annually. Managers are now introducing larger, Phase 2 fish that are six to eight inches long (70,000) and the larger fish have better survival rates. On the saltwater side, artificial reefs nearshore and offshore, and inshore oyster reef creation are central to the state's habitat restoration strategy. Bob Martore, coordinator of the state's artificial reef program, says reef- building is essential due to the lack of natural hard bottom on the state's continental shelf, which is 90% sand. "At present, we have 47 reef sites and most are about a half-nautical-mile- square in size," said Martore. "We place multiple and varied structures on each site, to create complexity, from the North Carolina to Georgia state line. We have

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