Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Edisto Land Trust Continues Conservation Outreach

Dr. Richard Porcher and John Girault
The Back to Nature program of the Edisto Island Open LadTrust (EIOLT) brought Dr. Richard Porcher to Edisto on July 15 for a Saturday morning lecture. The meeting was held at the Edisto Island State Park Environmental Learning Center, providing an air-conditioned setting for the capacity crowd. EILOT Director John Girault welcomed both members and guests, including a contingent of volunteers from nearby Botany Bay WMA, to hear Porcher speak about the changing landscape on the sea islands of the Lowcountry.

Dr. Porcher's subject matter includes rice trunks and wetlands
Dr. Porcher is a botanist, retiring after a 30-year teaching career at the The Citadel, to focus on conservation in the field and to publish two books on Wildflowers and Sea Island Cotton. “Today’s lecture is in support of another book I am working on to document how the landscape is continuously evolving since the arrival of mankind and large scale agriculture practices,” said Porcher. “While Indigo production was significant in the Lowcountry, it was Sea Island Cotton that became so valuable that the wealth it brought to planters and their families essentially funded the building of the city of Charleston.”
“In 1852 the entire island of Edisto was planted in Sea Island cotton,” said Porcher. “It is said that one could stand on the back side of Edisto Island and look toward the beach and see the ocean, because the landscape was flat for ag practices.” Another part of Edisto Island’s history is that the planters used to live at a beachfront colony called Edingsville Beach, which was located near Frampton’s Inlet, but was wiped off the map and left underwater after a major hurricane.

To view the entire feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Flounder regulations change reflects concern for flatfish

Flounder caught on a DOA shrimp!
The three species of flounder that can be caught in local waters have shown declines in their numbers via marine research. The southern, summer and Gulf flounder are now under new regulations in South Carolina designed to protect their stocks for the future of recreational fishing. The changes are designed to be a long-term fix to the issue of increased fishing pressure that is in direct correlation to the increase in saltwater fishing license sales. The legal length for keeping a flounder increases from 14-inches to 15-inches as of July 1, 2017.
In addition, the daily bag limit and the daily boat limit for keeping flounder have been reduced. Anglers can only claim 10 flounder per day now, down from the 15 flounder limit that was in place since 2007. The maximum daily boat limit is now set at 20 flounder per day, a limit which addresses fishing trips for larger parties or charters. The hope for flounder recovery relies on their own ability to reproduce, with the new regulations giving smaller fish a greater chance to reach spawning age.

Judging the health of any specific stock of saltwater fish can be tricky, especially considering that flounder can swim from inshore to offshore, and they can migrate across state lines, exposing them to different regulations. However, the S.C. Department of Natural Resources has solid data sets for many species thanks to the dedication of the Marine Resources Division. Their trammel net surveys over the past twenty years in waters such as those of the ACE Basin reveal a decline in the catch and release of flounder. It would be hard to imagine a mixed bag of saltwater fish without any flounder among them. If the 2017 changes produce the desired effect, we can expect to see more flounder than ever, keeping this fishery sustainable and preserving part of our outdoor heritage.

To view the feature article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries about coastal flatfish click here.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Inaugural Edisto Music Festival Rocks Holiday Crowd

Two Days of Music!!
With an extra-long holiday weekend for the Fourth of July to work with, two Edisto entrepeneurs founded the Edisto Music Festival, a two-day celebration of live music. The festival grounds are located on Edisto Island along Highway 174, in a prime location to welcome visitors from the steady traffic going the holiday weekend hotspot at Edisto beach. The outdoor venue for the concerts promised that rain or shine the music would play on, and lots of summer sunshine kept the jam band crowd warm and dry.

“Mossy Oaks Farm is a 28-acre equestrian facility and my residence,” said event co-founder Dean Hyatt. “I have some experience as an event space because we have hosted many weddings here, and the Edisto Music Festival seemed like a good way to expand. I’ve always been a music guy and a fan of classic rock, and I’m comfortable with this live music format and I hope people enjoy visiting. We have 25 volunteers on site to handle ticket sales and parking, and the Charleston County Sheriff department is here too. “

Bernie McGahee and the Hyatt crew
The grounds at Mossy Oaks Farm are complimentary to the sounds of the Edisto Music Fest. Located along Russell Creek the well-spaced pecan orchard shades horse paddocks, while old and weathered live oaks tell the story of long a maritime history. Resurrection fern and Spanish moss adorn the tree limbs that seem to connect the horse stables to the pastures where the horses are stationed. The music adds another layer of sensation for those lucky enough to be present, and here’s hoping for more live music coming soon.
Day One bracelet

To view the entire article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past blog entries from 2017 at Edisto click on Lions Club BingoBusiness of the Year - I Love Edisto Auction - Tomato Open - Jim Bost Tourney - Summer Activities

To view past blog entries from 2016 at Edisto click on Jim Bost Memorial - Dolphin Slam - Cobia Tourney - Spring Shorebird Synergy - Bovine Bones on Beach - Edisto River book - 2016 Edisto Billfish Tourney

Cotton Blue Band from Edisto Island