Marine - Species - Weakfish

Recreational Fishery in SC

Weakfish Recreational Fishery Graph

Recreational catches of weakfish in South Carolina have been higher in the last ten years than in the twenty years before that. South Carolina is at the southern end of the range for weakfish on the Atlantic coast and most weakfish landings in South Carolina occur along the northern portion of the coast in Long Bay. The higher annual catches from 2002-2012 account for the 10 year average catch being higher than all previous years (except 1986). There was also an increase in the proportion of weakfish being caught and released alive in recent years which is most likely due to the imposition of a 1 fish per person bag limit.

Where there have been episodic periods of commercial weakfish landings in South Carolina, they are typically very low annually (< 100 lbs). The only year with any appreciable landings of weakfish commercially occurred in 1980 (12,907 lbs). The low numbers of commercially caught weakfish are mostly by-catch from the shrimp trawl fishery.

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: http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/.

The commercial fisheries data is provided by the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), which compiles commercial information provided by state agencies. For more information, see: http://www.st.nmfs.noaa.gov/.

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, fishing effort, or a combination of the two.

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 mean includes approximately 68% of all values. Approximately 95% of observations in the data set are found within two standard deviation units of the average and is referred to as the prediction interval.