Hurricane Florence flooding could mean improved saltwater fishing

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The floodwaters from Hurricane Florence have started to recede in parts of Horry County and make their way into the ocean, and experts say this could mean some fish will move closer to shore, improving saltwater fishing in some areas.

Cecil Terry, a Myrtle Beach local, has been fishing his whole life- frequently off of the 2nd Ave. Pier in Myrtle Beach. Once flooding from Hurricane Florence began to impact Horry County, Terry says he thought his fishing hobby might be negatively affected.

“A lot of times when you get all of that water, like in Wilmington, all that water down in Cape Fear dumped out here, a lot of times it turns (the fish) off for a while,” Terry said.

However, on Tuesday, Terry found himself catching 10 flounder off of the 2nd Ave. Pier.

“The water looked like the color of tea, but they bit really good,” Terry said. “It’s the most I’ve ever caught off this pier in one day.”

According to the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the flooding from Hurricane Florence will likely have a much larger negative impact on the freshwater fish populations compared to  saltwater fish.

Mel Bell, The Director of Office of Fisheries Management at SCDNR says when the floodwater starts to enter the ocean during a flooding event, many of the saltwater fish who can move will travel closer to the shore to find saltier water.

“There can be movement of animals; it kind of disrupts the norm. You’ll find freshwater species where normally you’d find saltwater species, and then the saltwater species may move a little further down in the system,” Bell said.

SCDNR says they won’t find out the exact impact the flooding will have on the marine life population until later on.

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