2012 Shad Season Opens January 1st in Georga

Waycross, Ga. (12/21/2011) Commercial shad fishermen will head
out to the water beginning at 6 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 1, 2012
through midnight on Thursday, Mar. 31, 2012 to take advantage of
the shad season, according to the Georgia Department of Natural
Resources, Wildlife Resources Division (WRD).

The 2012 shad season will be structured similar to last year,
including the following specific river and net regulations:

The Altamaha River downstream from the Seaboard Coastline
Railroad bridge will be open for commercial shad fishing Monday –
Friday each week. While waters of the Altamaha River system,
including the Ohoopee River, upstream of Seaboard Coastline
Railroad bridge and below the US Highway 1 bridge will be open for
commercial fishing Tuesday – Saturday each week. All waters of the
Altamaha River system above the US Highway 1 bridge, including the
Ocmulgee and Oconee rivers will remain closed to commercial
fishing.

The Ogeechee River downstream of the GA Highway 204 bridge will be
open for commercial shad fishing on Fridays only each week during
the shad season. All waters of the Ogeechee River above the GA
Highway 204 bridge will remain closed to commercial fishing. Only
drift nets may be used in the Ogeechee River.

The Savannah River will be open for commercial shad fishing
downstream from the I-95 bridge Tuesday – Friday. While waters
upstream of the I-95 bridge and below the US Highway 301 bridge
will be open for commercial fishing Wednesday – Saturday each week.
All waters of the Savannah River above the US Highway 301 bridge
will remain closed to commercial fishing. Only drift nets may be
used downstream of a line between the mouth of Knoxboro Creek and
McCoys Cut at Deadman’s Point.

The Satilla and the St. Marys rivers are no longer open to
commercial shad fishing.

License and Net Requirements

Individuals fishing commercially for shad must have a valid
Georgia commercial fishing license (available at
www.georgiawildlife.com/commercial-licenses). Boats used below the
saltwater demarcation line for commercial fishing also must be
licensed (www.georgiawildlife.com/boating/registration).

Commercial shad fishermen must make sure their nets are
legal:

The minimum mesh size for legal set or drift shad nets is 4 ½
inches stretched.

Set nets must be placed at least 600 feet apart and should be
limited to 100 feet in length.

Set nets must clearly display the owner’s name and commercial
fishing license number.

Drift nets shall not be fished closer that 300 feet apart and are
limited to a maximum of 1,000 feet in length in saltwater.

Set nets and drift nets must be situated so as to allow one-half
the stream width to be open and free for the passage of fish.

All set nets must have one end secured to the stream bank and must
be buoyed at the outer (seaward) end so they will be clearly
visible to other boaters.

Sturgeon, game fish other than American shad or hickory shad, and
all species of catfish taken in set or drift nets must be released
unharmed into the waters where they were taken.

Reporting of American shad harvest to the Coastal Resources
Division is a requirement under Georgia’s commercial fishing
regulations. If your fish are not sold to a licensed fish dealer,
please remember to report your catch. Contact Julie Califf at
912-264-7218 if you need harvest reporting forms. Other regulations
apply.

For a complete set of commercial fishing regulations or for more
information, contact a WRD law enforcement office at (912) 264-7237
(Brunswick); (706) 595-4211 (Thomson) or (912) 685-2145
(Metter).

 

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