With its headquarters in Ladson, S.C., just a few miles from the saltwater fishing mecca of Charleston, folks at Z-Man Fishing Products understood what the cold-stun kill of speckled trout this past January could mean to local fisheries.
Z-Man immediately announced support of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources’ request for voluntary catch-and-release of all South Carolina specks through September, but they went a step further, creating a window decal bearing the image of a speckled trout against the backdrop of a Lowcountry marsh to encourage anglers to release any trout caught this spring and summer.
“It was just our way to step up and educate the public on recovery efforts,” said Daniel Nussbaum, president of Z-Man president. “The Lowcountry has seen these types of cold-stun kills several times in the last 20 years, and the fish will recover, but what has changed is the angler population and the fishing pressure. With more people fishing, nature is unable to rebound as quickly.
“Trout will spawn five to six times between April and September, and having all of our remaining stocks available to spawn will help replenish the population.”
Also, guide Joel LeVine of Charleston’s Redfin Charters, a member of Z-Man’s pro staff, created Project ReSpeck, a campaign to raise $25,000 to donate to the Waddell Mariculture Center in Beaufort, S.C., to fund a new spawning tank for inshore saltwater species. Spawning tanks are capable of rearing up to 700,000 seatrout, with the goal of replenishing stocks in areas hit hardest by the winter fish kills.