Outdoors news

Tarpon tourney

 

set for Aug. 11-12

The fourth annual John A. Peters Jr. Memorial Tarpon Tournament — this year expanded to two days with the addition of a fly division — will be held Aug. 11-12.

Dana Whitfield, director of the event, stated in a news release that this year’s format has been expanded to allow participants to fish either of the two scheduled days.

A captain’s meeting is slated for Aug. 9 at Tubby’s Tank House in Thunderbolt, with an awards ceremony to be held at conclusion of the tournament on Aug. 12 at the Savannah Yacht Club.

Sponsored by the Peters family in partnership with Release Marine and Savannah Distributing, the event is being held in memory of their father who was a legendary sports fisherman in Savannah. Sam Peters, president of Release Marina and Tables, is chairman.

A charity fundraiser, the event hosted a record number of anglers and donated $5,000 back to the Savannah community.

The tournament is open to the public, with registration accepted until completion of the captain’s meeting. For more information on the

event, call 912-351-2013 or email jap@releasemarine.com.

Paddle races July 22

at Butterbean Beach

Water recreation enthusiasts are encouraged to show off their paddle skills and help raise money for Ogeechee Riverkeeper at the nonprofit organization’s inaugural Moon River Race the morning of July 22 at the Rodney J. Hall Boat Ramp (Butterbean Beach), 25 Diamond Causeway.

Contestants in kayaks and on stand-up paddle boards are welcome. Race check-in begins at 6:30 a.m. with the 4-mile Moon River race starting at 8 a.m. and the 1-mile Butterbean Beach race kicking off at 8:15 a.m. Competitors in the four-mile paddle start at Butterbean Beach and will travel up and back down the Moon River, making their way through a well-marked course to cross under the Moon River bridge. The 1-mile Butterbean Beach fun race is for beginners and those eager to try their hand at kayak and SUP racing.

An awards ceremony is at 11 a.m. There also will be a fun, special award for the best-dressed racer from either race, who will receive a gift certificate to the vintage clothing store, House of Strut.

Ogeechee Riverkeeper is in need of volunteers to help make this race a success. Volunteer duties include helping time races, aiding racers with loading and unloading equipment, and helping keep racers hydrated. Those interested can contact Ogeechee Riverkeeper at info@ogeecheeriverkeeper.org or 866-942-6222.

This race is limited to competitors age 16 and up. Race entry costs $40 per person. Race entry includes an event T-shirt. Registration closes July 21. To register, go to www.paddleguru.com/races/2017MoonRiverRacetoBenefittheOgeecheeRiverkeeper.

For more information about this inaugural race or Ogeechee Riverkeeper, go to www.ogeecheeriverkeeper.org.

Size, bag limits for flounder begin

On July 1, legislation recently passed by the South Carolina General Assembly increased the size limit and lowered the bag and boat limits for southern, summer and Gulf flounder in state waters.

Flounder rank among South Carolina’s top three most popular fish for recreational anglers, and South Carolina Department of Natural Resources research has shown declines in their numbers over the past two decades. The new measures are intended to help rebuild flounder populations by giving more fish a chance to reproduce before they reach a harvestable size.

The regulations that took effect July 1 change the minimum legal size for flounder from 14 inches (total length) to 15 inches (total length

). Additionally, changes to the bag limit reduce the number of fish an individual can keep from 15 flounder per day to 10 flounder per day, with a maximum boat limit of 20 flounder per day.

“The Coastal Conservation Association came to SCDNR a couple of years ago with concerns about the state’s flounder population – just as SCDNR scientists were examining survey data that indicated the flounder population was in decline,” said David Whitaker, assistant deputy director of the agency’s Marine Resources Division. “We’ve been working since then to develop recommendations for the legislature to address the decline in the state’s flounder population.”

The changes passed in the 2017 legislative season mark the first adjustments to flounder regulations since 2007.

Fishing authorities propose a moratorium on cod fishing

CONCORD, N.H. — New Hampshire fishing officials have proposed a moratorium on recreational cod fishing in state waters.

WEVO-FM reported fish stock assessments show the population of cod is still at historic lows in New England waters. As a response, the New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game is proposing all cod be caught and released.

It is also proposing to limit haddock fishing — as fishermen going for haddock usually end up catching cod as well. A Fish and Game spokesman says the proposed changes may be controversial with the fishing industry.

The department says it is hosting a public hearing on the issue July 25 in Portsmouth.

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