A Comparison of Sportfishing in the Santee and Cooper Rivers, South Carolina, Before Rediversion

A I-year sport fishing creel census, designed by North Carolina State University statisticians, was conducted on the Santee and Cooper rivers, South Carolina, from 26 February 1981 through 25 February 1982. Estimates of fishing effort, harvest, and success were obtained. The Santee River received more effort per unit area (81.0 hours/ha) but less total hours (96,215) than the Cooper River (50.9 hours/ha, 173,005 hours). Santee River fishermen expended most fishing effort (37.1 %) seeking black crappie, while largemouth bass was the species most sought (29.4%) by Cooper River fishermen. Fishermen creeled 65.6 fish/ha weighing 33.7 kg/ha from Cooper River and 103.1 fish/ha weighing 29.3 kg/ha from the Santee. Fishing success was nearly equal for the 2 rivers. Cooper and Santee River fishermen caught 1.29 and 1.26 fish/hour, respectively. Most fishermen were local residents, and still fishing (which included cane pole fishing) was the preferred fishing method on both rivers. Bait casting and the use of artificial baits were more popular on the Cooper River than the Santee.

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