Saluda River Stocked with Trout

More than 18,000 trout are being released today (December 1, 2009) into the lower Saluda River by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. 

SCDNR will use a helicopter and a specialized bucket to release the fish into the river as it provides a more uniform distribution of fish along the river.  The brown trout being released are 6 inches long while the rainbow trout are 11 inches long.  Officials from the DNR say these trout can reach up to 16 inches in length if anglers practice catch and release fishing during the winter and early spring. 

Although practicing catch and release of trout will allow them time to grow larger, it is important that SCE&G mantain state Dissolved Oxygen standards to give the trout a chance to survive.  SCE&G's recent violation of state Dissolved Oxygen standards likely damaged the holdover trout population already thriving in the lower Saluda River, as well as their food supply.  Tailwater rivers (those located immediately downstream from a hydraulic structure such as a dam) are capable of becoming highly productive cold-water fisheries.  If SCE&G properly manages the Dissolved Oxygen levels in water being drawn from Lake Murray, the lower Saluda River has the potential to provide year-round fishing for trout well above the 16 inch mark.