The American shad commercial fishing season will open Jan. 15, 2013 in the Georgetown area. This is two weeks earlier than the traditional opening in early February. This change keeps the commercial shad season in compliance with the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) American shad sustainable fishing plan for South Carolina and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) mandate to reduce by-catch of Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon.
These changes were recommended by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and approved by the General Assembly in January of 2012. As a result, shad fisheries in the Winyah Bay and Waccamaw and Santee Rivers will open on Jan. 15, 2013 instead of Feb. 1, 2013.
This change in season may potentially cause conflicts between shad fishermen and waterfowl hunters. Both are encouraged to navigate waters in these regions carefully and be aware of decoys and commercial fishing gear in the water from January 15-27, 2013. Shad fishermen in this area are strongly encouraged to mark their buoys with reflective tape.
If you experience problems during this time, contact DNR at 803-955-4000.