Mid-Atlantic
via LEWES HARBOUR MARINA

DE - Red Drum and Speckled Trout Showing up in Delaware

Just as we were getting used to sheepshead, triggerfish and pompano, red drum and speckled trout begin to show up in Delaware.

While not in great numbers yet, their presence is just another example of the rising water temperatures in the ocean and bays.

The red drum, or channel bass, are also the result of a very successful conservation program that has increased their biomass to the extent that they are expanding their range. Some may remember the craze for blackened redfish that swept the country and resulted in a concerted effort by commercial fishermen to fill the orders they had for all the red drum they could catch.

This led to a crash in the red drum population, and a move on both state and federal levels to regulate the fishery. On the federal level, they made it against the law to possess a red drum in federal waters. The states developed laws that put bag limits of no more than five or six fish in slots that varied between 20 and 27 inches.

How well did this work? Just ask any surf fisherman who works the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Or a shallow-water angler who works the marshes of Louisiana. They and thousands of other fishermen from Virginia to Texas are reaping the benefits of this conservation.

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