The S.C. Department of Natural Resources Freshwater Fisheries Section is holding a series of meetings around the state in January and February regarding striped bass management in the Santee Cooper system. Each meeting will begin at 6 p.m., and the public is encouraged to attend.
The remaining meetings will be held in Columbia, Santee and Manning. For more information on these meetings, contact Scott Lamprecht, S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) regional fisheries biologist, at (843) 825-3387 or via e-mail at LamprechtS@dnr.sc.gov.
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Despite management efforts, the number of harvestable-size striped bass in Santee Cooper has not increased as hoped, and trophy fish are rare. The number of fish produced also varies widely between years, and this, combined with the high mortality rate, causes wide annual fluctuations in the population. Poor spawning success and poor survival of stocked fish have lead to a sharp decline in the population over the last four years. Additional harvest restrictions and refinements in stocking procedures are essential to overcoming this decline.
The Santee Cooper system includes lakes Marion and Moultrie and the headwater rivers: Congaree, Wateree, Lower Broad, and Lower Saluda. Santee Cooper striped bass are essentially landlocked and most live their entire lives in the lakes and tributary rivers; with some utilization of the Cooper and lower Santee Rivers.
The meeting sites are as follows: