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 | 41 S.C. Department of Natural Resources, the number one threat to the state's intertidal oyster reefs is coastal development. "Boat wakes are a leading cause of oyster habitat destruction, along with declining water quality and harvesting," said Hadley. "Storm runoff carries sediment, nutrients from agriculture and residential lawns, pesticides, and pet waste, and all of these things impact oysters. In addition to providing valuable fishery habitat, oyster reefs are also natural barriers protecting salt marsh from erosion. When oyster reefs are damaged, a line of defense for the salt marsh and its inhabitants is weakened." Oyster shell recycling and restoration in state waters is growing every year, as the community becomes more educated about the importance of oyster habitat. In 2000, Hadley helped establish the South Carolina Oyster Restoration and Enhancement program (SCORE). The popular, community-based restoration program involves residents and students in hands-on habitat restoration. Volunteers bag recycled shells in spring and summer and then place them in carefully chosen shoreline sites that are off limits to commercial harvest. " Through hands-on activities, these students and community volunteers gain a vested interest in the habitat. It becomes theirs," said Hadley. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR) also operates a statewide shell recycling program. Citizens or restaurant owners are encouraged to drop off shells at one of several shell recycling centers along the coast, and a pickup service is also available for bigger loads. All donated shells are quarantined for months to ensure they can't introduce invasive species, or introduce other contaminants to the water before being used in restoration projects. "The thing about oyster harvesting is that you are removing habitat at the same time," said Hadley. "Juvenile oysters, or spat, need oyster shells for attachment and growth. It is important to return those shells to the water to provide habitat for the next generation of oysters." More information can be found at www.saltwaterfishing.sc.gov/oyster.html. It's not hard to understand that great fishing requires great habitat, and South Carolina continues to dig deep in its efforts to put the right structures in the right places. From Christmas trees to oyster shells to truck chassis, it's all being put to effective use. For both the fish and the fishermen, if you build it, they will come. Top Left: A wide range of materials are suitable for freshwater fish habitat. The Santee Cooper Power Authority placed a decommissioned steel boat lock door in 55 ft. of water to create a fish attractor with nearly 20 ft. of relief, and (bottom left) culvert pipes have been used at other sites. Top: Volunteers pose with a newly completed oyster reef at the Memorial Waterfront Park in Mount Pleasant. Photos: SCDNR.

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