Wednesday, May 11, 2016

New South Lowcountry Cobia Management Zone

New Cobia Management Zone delineation
Saltwater anglers targeting cobia in the waters of the South Lowcountry have not one, but two new cobia restrictions to digest. Cobia are prized not only for their fighting ability, but also for their flesh which is thick, white and tasty. These cobia return each and every year to the South Lowcountry waters in order to spawn during early summer. A new state regulation limits the cobia inshore fishery from Jeremy Inlet at Edisto down to the Savannah River, to catch and release only during May, in order to provide protection for these fish that future stocks depend on.

SCDNR 2016 Cobia Regulations
Fishing to harvest cobia in S.C. inshore waters north of Jeremy Inlet is legal in May, but with a reduction in angler and boat limits. Fishing to harvest cobia in offshore waters of S.C. is legal in May, but the new limits will apply. A cobia must be a minimum of 33-inches in length, measuring from the head to the fork of the tail. The current harvest limits in S.C. are one cobia per angler per day, and the current boat limit is three cobia per day. Previously there was no boat limit for cobia, so a vessel with a large number of anglers could possibly overfish a location where the cobia were stacked up or staging.

Additionally, NOAA Fisheries announced a total closure of recreational cobia harvest in federal waters from Georgia northward from June 20 until the end of 2016. These federal waters are defined as being three nautical miles from the coast and out. The Atlantic migratory group of cobia were subject to recreational over-fishing in 2015, with states like Virginia and New York reporting an overage in coastal quotas. So remember, its catch and release only for inshore cobia in May from Edisto on South. Then starting on June 20 there is no recreational cobia harvest allowed in federal waters. For cobia anglers, the phrase ‘Catch Them While You Can’ is ringing true!

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

For past blog entries on S.C. cobia click on Fly and Light Tackle - Gamefish status - state record

To view the latest Lowcountry Saltwater Fishing Report click here.

To read about migratory dolphin off the S.C. coast click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.