Excited local fisherman gathered at the State House last night after the South Carolina General Assembly finally approved a fishing tournament at the SC Aquarium in Charleston. Anglers from all over the region have been pushing for this event since the Lowcountry attraction opened in May of 2000.
Intended to inspire conservation and to be used as an educational tool, the Aquarium is home to a variety of fish species, exotic plants, rare birds, reptiles, mammals, insects, and other wildlife creatures.
Aquarium spokesman Walter Capps hopes the event will bring an awareness of our delicate ecosystem and regional fish habitat. Charleston resident and fishing enthusiast Jamie Catoe hopes the event will bring him a freezer full of tasty fish. “We have a 70 million dollar fishing tank and they expect me to pay them money to walk around and just look at the fish? Yeah . . . . that ain’t gonna happen. But I will pay them $20 to fish. Hell, I’ll pay em $50 for a shot at that albino alligator” said Mr. Catoe. Aquarium officials claim they have no plans to have any organized hunts since many of the animals are rare and very popular with visitors.
Organizers of the fishing tournament hope to have the event scheduled by the end of the month. Aquarium officials plan to limit the fishing to just the Great Ocean Tank, a two story, 385,000 gallon saltwater “fishing hole”. Proceeds of the tournament will benefit local conservation organizations, specifically ones that preserve nature so that people can kill more animals. Further details will be available very soon.