Inshore Fisheries Research Section

Red Drum - Survey Results

Red Drum Fish

Thank you to all those who took the time to fill out a survey. Your input is very important!

Surveys were collected from:

Out of the 1,408 surveys that were filled out and returned:

Now for what it all means:

We now know that nearly all South Carolina anglers encounter fish which they release alive. Red drum is the most targeted fish species in the estuary, and is one of the most popular recreational fish species in the entire southeast. SC red drum anglers overwhelmingly choose to use natural or live baits, using J-hooks more often than any other type.

In previous studies comparing hook and bait types, the combination of J-hooks and natural bait produced the highest catch-and-release mortality rate of any combination studied. This study has revealed a similar phenomenon.

Future Directions:

These data will be combined with our fishing studies to help us to estimate catch and release mortality for red drum in South Carolina's estuaries. Are more fish surviving the catch and release encounter than we had thought? Or are fewer fish surviving to grow and reproduce?

A random drawing was conducted on 10/31/04 to award cash prizes to survey participants.

Winners were:

This project was funded by a grant from the Cooperative Research Program of the National Marine Fisheries Service Southeast Regional Office.