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October 14, 2010

Governor's Cup Billfishing series sets 2011 tournament schedule

The S.C. Department of Natural Resources announces the 2011 schedule and tournament information for the 23rd annual S. C. Governor's Cup Billfishing Series. Mark your calendars today for these events!

Before the S.C. Governor's Cup Billfishing Series began in 1989, virtually all billfish caught by anglers were killed and brought back to the docks. The Series was established to promote the state's billfishing opportunities and encourage conservation of the ocean's limited natural resources. The Series continues to actively encourage the conservation of marine resources by promoting catch and release of billfish and other game fish. The partnership between the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Governor's Cup Billfishing Series has provided an important link to the sportfishing community, and has allowed for an extremely efficient and cost-effective means of gathering important scientific data useful for managing the fishery. The 2010 Series was very successful, with 107 individual boats participating throughout the season.

The overall release rate was 99.5 percent, with 1 blue marlin landed, and 193 billfish caught and released, including 28 blue marlin, 9 white marlin and 156 sailfish. The high release rate achieved during Series tournaments significantly contributes to the future of billfish populations. By maintaining close relationships with the sportfishing community, data are also acquired for trips conducted not only at sanctioned tournaments, but from those taking place in the state throughout the year.

Private sponsorships are the lifeblood of the S.C. Governor's Cup Series. The DNR greatly appreciates the generous support of our 2010 Sponsors. They include corporate sponsors, Jarrett Bay Boatworks and Morris Nissan; major sponsors, LEHI Baits, Southern Lumber and Millwork, and The Charleston Angler; contributions from the Advisory Board of Directors; and our newsletter sponsors Bergen and Bergen PC, Blanchard Power Systems, CCA of SC, Haddrell's Point Tackle and Supply, Palmetto Props, Artisans Millwork, and others. The funds collected each year support DNR's oversight of the annual series. If you or your company would like to help support the S.C. Governor's Cup Billfishing Series, please contact Wallace Jenkins at jenkinsw@dnr.sc.gov for more information.

Tournament dates and contacts for the 2011 S.C. Governor's Cup Billfishing Series are:

Learn more about the South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series by contacting DNR's, Jenkins at (843) 953-9835, or Amy Dukes at dukesa@dnr.sc.gov or (843) 953-9365.

By encouraging live release, the Series has focused attention on the population status of Atlantic billfish and encouraged conservation and proper management of all marine resources.

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