The Georgia Power Foundation, Inc. recently made its fifth contribution to support the Marine Sportfish Carcass Recovery Project with a $10,000 donation to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. This latest donation makes a total of $55,000 provided to support the project.
Also funded by Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration and Georgia fishing license fees, the carcass recovery project gives saltwater anglers a chance to directly participate in the management of popular saltwater fish species such as spotted seatrout and red drum. DNR staff place chest freezers, supplied with plastic bags and data cards, at public marinas, fish camps and resorts from Chatham to Camden counties. Anglers simply drop their filleted carcasses in a bag along with a completed data card. Active participants earn awards such as fishing caps and T-shirts.
“Every day, Georgia’s citizens recycle cans, bottles, and other items, and it only makes sense that anglers recycle their catch so that DNR biologists can gather better data on our saltwater fishing populations. We’re proud to be an on-going sponsor of this partnership between DNR and the saltwater fishing and business community,” said Ben Harris of Georgia Power.
Since the project’s start in 1997, more than 28,000 fish carcasses have been processed for biological information such as age, gender and size. This information is an important complement to the saltwater angler survey during which fish are identified, counted and measured.
“It is impractical for DNR staff to be at every boat ramp or marina asking anglers to let us dissect their fish. Yet, we need information on the age and gender of the fish harvested by recreational anglers. The carcass project gives anglers a chance to be citizen scientists and to support fishery management by giving us fish carcasses they’d normally throw away,” said Spud Woodward, director of the Coastal Resources Division.