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** Archived Article - please check for current information. **

Oct. 7, 2011

Future management of sheepshead fishery to be discussed at public meeting series

The Marine Resources Division of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will host four regional public meetings with stakeholders to discuss future management of the sheepshead fishery in South Carolina. The meetings will include discussion of the biology and life history of the species, population status, and potential management actions designed to insure the sustainability of the fishery.

DNR staff will be on hand to take stakeholder input on sheepshead management, in particular, but will also address any other topics of interest to the public. The meetings are scheduled to take place during the month of October in Horry, Georgetown, Charleston and Beaufort counties to allow interested parties an opportunity to provide input without having to travel a great distance. Interested individuals may also participate in an online survey available beginning Oct. 11 through the DNR website.

The public meetings will take place between 7 and 9 pm on the following dates and locations:

Individuals may inquire further or send comments to DNR biologist, Wallace Jenkins by phone at (843) 953-9835 or via email at Jenkinsw@dnr.sc.gov. Your input is valued so please plan to attend a meeting in your area particularly if you target sheepshead recreationally or commercially.

Recent action by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will likely remove sheepshead from federal management by Jan. 1, 2012, and turn management over to the respective states. South Carolina's sheepshead fishery takes place predominantly within state waters. Since 1983, sheepshead have been managed as part of the federal Snapper Grouper complex and were included in the aggregate 20 fish/day bag limit for the numerous species in this complex.

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