Marine - Species - Sheepshead
Recreational Fishery in SC
The long-term trend in the recreational catch of sheepshead in SC has generally reflected their trend in abundance. Catches declined during the 1990s, but have undergone cyclic increases since then. Most of the sheepshead caught by anglers are harvested, probably because they provide good quality flesh and currently have no size restrictions.
Although sheepshead have been reported as a commercial species in South Carolina, they are not targeted and historically have been by-catch from either commercial shrimp trawlers or offshore longliners (NMFS, 2006). The total reported commercial landings of sheepshead in South Carolina from 1981 through 2009 was 18,940 lbs, which made up 0.23% of the commercial landings reported for the entire south Atlantic coast (NC, SC, GA, FL) during this time period.
The recreational catch data is provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which conducts phone and angler-intercept surveys to monitor angler activities and catches. For more information, see www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/recreational.
Commercial fisheries data is provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which compiles commercial information provided by state organizations. For more information, see www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/st1/commercial.
Additional Graph Information
Commercial and recreational catches are measured in number of individuals or pounds of fish caught. Changes in catch among years may be the result of changes in abundance, changes in fishing effort, or both.
On each graph, the horizontal dotted lines above or below the "10 year average" represent one "standard deviation" unit, which is a measure of how variable the annual data are around the 10-year average. In general, the area between one standard deviation above the mean and one standard deviation below the average includes approximately 68% of the values. Approximately 95% percent of observations in the data set are found within two standard deviations of the average.