Inshore Fisheries Research Section

Freezer Fish Program
Fisherman showing catch

The Freezer Fish Program is a cooperative effort between recreational fishermen and the Inshore Fisheries Research Section. As with Fishing Tournaments, the Freezer Fish Program allows us to supplement our own sampling of recreationally important inshore finfish with the catch of recreational anglers.

This program enables us to obtain fish from areas and habitats which are not always included in our monthly field sampling. Cooperating recreational anglers who chose to donate their fish racks (carcasses) to our project are presented with a reward (a custom-designed T-shirt). To make it convenient for anglers to donate their fish racks, our project has placed several freezers in popular marinas, public landings and private fishing clubs along the South Carolina coast. Anglers need only place the fish rack(s) in plastic bags found inside each freezer and fill out the information card provided. Freezers are checked periodically by our staff and fish remains are brought back to the laboratory for processing.

This "recycling" of fish makes it possible for us to obtain length, age, sex, and maturity information for each fish rack that is donated while it provides recreational anglers the opportunity to actively participate in the management and conservation of South Carolina's finfish resources.