of Atlantic and Shortnose Sturgeon in the South Carolina
Collins, M.R. and Smith, Theodore I. J.
National Marine Fisheries Service, NOAA, Southeast Region,
9721 Executive Center Drive, North Koger Building, St.
Petersburg, FL 33702. PHONE: (813) 570-5324
bycatch of the commercial American shad set gill net fishery
in Winyah Bay, South Carolinas was documented during the
1994 season. Examination of the bycatch from 2,561 net-hr
of effort resulted in examination of 23 Atlantic (57-132
cm TL, nominal ages 2-7 years from pectoral spine sections)
and 4 shortnose (57-90 cm TL) sturgeons, for a CPUE of
0.011 sturgeon/net-hr. Three Atlantic sturgeon were dead
and four were lightly to severely injured. Total fishing
effort in the study area during the 1994 season was estimated
(using overflights) as 10,536 net-hr, permitting an expansion
of the bycatch to an estimated 115 sturgeon (85% Atlantic),
of which it was estimated that 12 died in the nets and
17 were released with varying injuries. All fish released
alive were tagged, and two Atlantic sturgeon were recaptured.
It was experimentally documented for Atlantic sturgeon
that clipped barbels (for genetic samples) regenerate
and wounds from pectoral spine removal (for ageing) heal
readily. Substantial progress was made in establishing
a computer data base of all available information on the
distribution and occurrence of sturgeons in South Carolina
waters; more than 3,000 individuals are now on record.