Thursday, May 16, 2019

Tracking Cobia Migration Via Satellite

Anglers looking at a net full of cobia need to
check closely for any tracking tags
Cobia populations remain in focus by those who steward marine natural resources because their migration patterns are still a mystery. Cobia can be long-lived and large, swimming up and down both the Gulf and Atlantic coastlines. Recreational anglers and those with an interest in commercial harvest commonly target cobia. Four states are now working together to deploy pop-up satellite tags in 27 cobia, hoping to learn more about their life history, and S.C. anglers are being asked to report any cobia caught with a tag.
            
Satellite tags are expensive, but they can record data such as distance of travel, and depth of water, that might reveal spawning behavior. Biologists from Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina will be working together to record all the data from these tracking devices. Satellite tagged cobia do not need to be reeled in to gather the data, because the pop-off tags will detach and float to the surface, where a satellite can receive all the data it transmits.

            
Funding for this project comes from a cooperative research program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Staff from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Kennedy Space Center Ecological Program represent the sunshine state. An additional 20 cobia will be tagged with acoustic transmitters to compliment the satellite tag program, and all other past cobia tagging efforts. Acoustic tags emit a ping that can be detected by a scientific network of underwater listening devices along the Atlantic coast.

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

For past blog entries on cocoa click on South Lowcountry Management Zone - Fly and Light Tackle - Gamefish status - state record

To view past blog entries on Migratory dolphin off S.C. click 2016 20152014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2007 

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

2019 Edisto Dolphin Slam - Marlynn Hunter / Lady Angler Wins

Marlynn Richardson with her
winning 50.-3 pound mahi
Jake Tyner in second place
with 35.4-pounder from Tina's Trippin' 
The offshore fishing season was already off to a hot start by the beginning of May, and the Fifth Annual Dolphin Slam at Edisto on May 4 went off as scheduled. The weather forecast for high winds sliced a projected field of 30 boats down to just six fishing teams, the ones with the bigger boats. The newly expanded Marina at Edisto added more boat slips for tournament days, including 16 spots off the fuel dock for transient boaters. The weigh in from 5 to 7 brought lots of folks to the docks, and the winning mahi tipped the scales at 50.3-pounds for the Marlynn Hunter.
            
The Marlynn Hunter fishing team is based out of Meggett, and is named partly for female angler Marlynn Richardson. “Today was a banner day on the ocean for our team and I had a dream day,” said Richardson. “The seas were a little rough on the ride out but we were fishing by 8 a.m. and the bite was already on. The big dolphin came first and it took 30-minutes to land it, and it jumped about a dozen times. The mahi ate a ballyhoo on a green, yellow and red lure we call the Rastaman.” First Place at the Edisto Dolphin Slam brought her a $1200 payday.

            
Youth angler Neal Cooksey with third place
17.4-pound dolphin from Monkey Wrench
“But that wasn’t the whole story, because around nine o’clock we had a blue marlin strike the same rod and reel,” said Richardson. “I grabbed the rod and soon had my first ever blue marlin release!” The Marlynn Hunter was flying a flag on the outrigger to designate the release, but billfish were not a part of this tourney. Husband William Richardson shared that both fish were caught on the same Shimano TLD 30 reel and Billfisher stand-up rod, and how ironic it was that the two big fish hit the smallest combo they had out. Captain and owner Greg Mixson said the bite switched off at 10 a.m. for them, when the seas calmed a bit.

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

NEW Fuel Dock Expansion at the Marina at Edisto
To view past blog entries from the Edisto Dolphin Slam click on 2018 - 2016 

To view past blog entries on Migratory dolphin off S.C. click 2016 20152014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - 2009 - 2007 

To view past blog entries from 2018 at Edisto click - I Love Edisto Auction - Coastal Geology - Grits Cook Off - Thirsty Whale Tours -Edisto Billfish Tourney

To view past blog entries from 2017 at Edisto click on Edisto Music Festival - Lions Club Bingo - Business of the Year Jim Bost Tourney - Edisto Billfish Tourney - Tomato OpenSummer 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 

Monday, May 6, 2019

2019 Wells Fargo Championship - Max Homa Wins

2019 Wells Fargo Champion
The PGA Tour calendar shift in 2019 brought the Wells Fargo Championship to early May. The Quail Hollow Club in downtown Charlotte draws some of the top talent in professional golf each year. Great weather on Thursday's round gave way to clouds on Friday, and three rain delays during weekend play. Ultimately it was Max Homa winning the tournament, marking his first ever win on the PGA Tour.

Quail Hollow was home to the 2017 PGA Championship and Max Homa won his first pro golf title in nearby Greenville, during the 2014 BMW Charity Web.com Tour event. Homa was the collegiate NCAA Division I golf champion in 2013. Home won one other Web.com Tour event at the 2016 Rust-Oleum Championship. He bounced back and forth from the PGA Tour to the Web.com Tour, struggling to find continuity in his golf game, but he never quit and his perseverance paid off.

To view past blog entries about the RBC Heritage click 20192018 - 2017 - 2016 20152014 - 2013

To view past blog entries from The Masters click on 20192015 - 2014 - 2013 - 2012 - 2009

To view past blog entries about the PGA Championship click on 2017 - 2012

To view past blog entries from the BMW Charity Web.com click on 2018 - 2016 - 2015 - 2014

To view past blog entries from the Champions Tour click on 2014 2013

To view past blog entries about golf click on S.C. Golf Association - Forest Hills - Augusta National - Barnsley Resort 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Sassafras Mountain Observation Tower Dedication

S.C. state logo atop the Observation Tower
looking towards the Blue Ridge Parkway
The highest point in South Carolina can be found in Pickens County, just north of Greenville. The peak at Sassafras Mountain is 3,553-feet above sea level, and offers a spectacular view of three states, but that viewing opportunity was limited to winter when the leaves were off the trees. Now a brand new observation tower sits atop that same peak offering year-round viewing, and the grand opening on April 22 (Earth Day) included conservationists, politicians and the public masses it will welcome in the future.
            
SCDNR's Emily Cope welcomes the public on Earth Day
The weather during the 11 a.m. ceremony was nothing short of spectacular, and the event organizers gushed about the great viewing conditions. Rain in the area two days prior, kept the normal haze that hangs over the mountains to a minimum and the high temperature of 63-degrees kept the air crisp. Barns swallows circling overhead in the clear blue skies hint that the bird life found at this peak should be comprehensive and impressive. Watching hawks float by on updrafts reveal why this is a Hawk Watch Site for the Hawk Migration Association of North America.
            
The observation tower actually sits right along the border of South Carolina and North Carolina, with the only mountain access road located in Pickens County. Hiking access to this place is available via the 76-mile Foothills Trail, and now the S.C. Heritage Trail connects here too. Sassafras Mountain is a part of the Appalachian Mountains and when looking towards North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway summits are visible. Mountain peaks in Toccoa, Georgia are also visible, and when peering back into S.C. one can see Lake Jocassee, Lake Keowee and Lake Hartwell.

            
U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan and
SCDNR Executive Director Alvin Taylor
Architect Gil Stewart designed the observation tower, but it is God’s creation that is on display here. Locals in Pickens County have long cherished this summit as a special place to visit, and recount stories about their first visits here and the grand impressions it left on them. Now the observation tower will be listed as one of the premiere tourist attractions in South Carolina, and U.S. Congressman Jeff Duncan remarked that Pickens County will welcome visitors from neighboring states and anyone else that appreciates a unique mountain vista.

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


 To view past blog entries about S.C. State Parks click Cheraw State ParkHickory Knob State Park - Edisto Beach - Huntington Beach - Myrtle Beach - Hampton Plantation - Barnwell / Tornado - Hunting Island

To view past blog entries about managed properties click on Congaree National Park - Great Smoky Mountains National Park - Botany Bay WMA / Coastal Geology - Donnelly WMA / Night Sounds - Belfast WMA / Benefit - Bear Island WMA / Birding
Standing with Mark Hall, Jocassee Gorges Project Manager