The S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ marine division stocked approximately 100,000 red drum into the Chechessee River near Beaufort on Dec. 10 as part of an ongoing effort to supplement the natural production of this popular gamefish.

"Stocking is a powerful, scientific tool helping us to understand and offset poor natural production" said Dr. Mike Denson, who directs saltwater research programs at SCDNR. "Insights gained through stocking advance our understanding of the condition and habits of South Carolina's red drum. This foundation of knowledge is essential for wise management of the fishery."

Stocked fish are the offspring of wild-caught South Carolina fish that are genetically "finger-printed" before release. Twenty years of stocking red drum has shown that the stocked fish contribute significantly to the population. Dr. Denson reports that approximately seven percent of adult red drum caught near Charleston Harbor were originally stocked by SCDNR, which has research showing that red drum can live as long as 37 years in South Carolina waters.