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

July 7, 2016Public meetings scheduled to discuss legislation affecting shad, herring and eel fisheries

The S.C Department of Natural Resources has scheduled a series of public meetings at locations around the state to discuss proposed changes for state laws governing the harvest of “diadromous” fisheries (shad, herring, and eel).

“This is an effort to inform the public of proposed changes to the laws that govern these fisheries, and at the same time receive feedback and suggestions for how we might do things better,” said DNR fisheries biologist and Diadromous Finfish Research Section Manager Bill Post. "We encourage input from the public are willing to incorporate any suggestions into the proposed changes, provided that such changes can be justified biologically and that they fall within current guidelines set forth by federal mandates."

Because these species occur in both fresh and salt waters at various life stages, laws regarding diadromous species are currently located in either Chapter 5 (saltwater) or Chapter 13 (freshwater) of Title 50 of the S.C. Code of Law. The proposed changes are designed to simplify and consolidate laws for shad, herring, and eel by creating a new chapter in Title 50 (Chapter 7) that will cover all aspects of these fisheries in one place.

A working group made up of senior staff from the DNR’s Law Enforcement, Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and Marine Resources divisions, and the agency's Licensing, Permitting and Legal Affairs offices, will consider all comments and suggestions received during the public comment period as they consider drafting a proposal for legislative changes to the current laws. The proposal will also have to meet with DNR Board approval and be sponsored by a state legislator before it can be debated or approved by the S.C. General Assembly.

All interested parties are encouraged to attend and participate in one of the upcoming meetings. Information regarding proposed changes to the law will be presented, and DNR staff will listen to all constituent concerns regarding the proposed changes. All meetings are scheduled from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm (list below). For those unable to attend a meeting, comments can be made/received electronically by visiting the Chapter 7 - Shad, Herring, Eel Legislation Public Meetings page on the DNR website.

Meeting dates/locations: (All meetings are scheduled from 6-8 p.m.)

Date Location Address City
July 20 The Technical College of the Lowcountry Lowcountry Bldg. 6, Room 108 Beaufort
July 21

Santee Cooper Auditorium 1 Riverwood Drive Moncks Corner
July 22 Beck Recreation Center 2030 Church St. Georgetown
July 25 Anderson Civic Center 3027 MLK Jr. Blvd. (formerly Mall Road) Anderson
July 26 Styx Classroom 2762 Wildlife Lane West Columbia
July 27 SCDNR Florence Office 295 S. Evander Drive Florence

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