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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40 | www.GuyHarveyMagazine.com two types of reef sites, public fishing reefs and Type 2 MPAs (Marine Preserve Areas). The fishing reefs are placed in waters up to 120 ft., and the MPAs range out to 50 miles offshore, in about 300 ft." Two years ago, the Charleston Deep Reef was deployed, and is comprised of what Martore calls "big stuff." "We built two barges to sink, and added truck chassis, a derrick crane and steel container boxes to extend relief up to 100 ft. off the bottom. That's pretty impressive relief, and it is a great fish attractor. NOAA monitors this one, and in short order, the reef has attracted warsaw and misty groupers, which are protected from harvest. We plan to add a 180-ft. drawbridge to add to the site's productivity." Closer to shore there are 47 sub-tidal reefs, the shallowest of which is in 10 ft. of water just a couple miles from the beach. There are also estuarine reefs inshore, such as the Stono River site, which is comprised of 300, two-foot-tall concrete habitat modules encrusted in oyster shell. It will simulate a natural intertidal oyster reef. Anglers can expect the structure to draw croaker, spot, spotted seatrout and red drum. Even at low tide, the reef is low profile enough to not pose a navigational hazard. All state water reefs are marked with buoys, and locations are listed at www.dnr.sc.gov/artificialreefs. "All funding for our reef program comes from recreational fishing monies," said Martore. " There is also some private funding, and CCA South Carolina donates funds as well." Whether you savor "raw ones" on the half shell, or one of dozens of cooked preparations, oysters are a mainstay in South Carolina eateries and oyster roasts are a social tradition in the state. Oysters, of course, are also the backbone of inshore estuarine habitat and recreational fishing productivity. The state's prolific salt marshes and creeks are full of the intertidal (exposed at low tide) local Eastern oyster. They provide food and shelter for game fish and battle erosion. Suffice to say, there is a vested and multi-dimensional interest in ensuring a bountiful oyster population. But, as is the case along much of the U.S. coastline, the abundance of oysters in South Carolina has fallen off due to human activities. According to Nancy Hadley, manager of the Shellfish Program in the

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