DNR licensing now at farmers market
COLUMBIA -- Boating titling/registration and all license sales by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources are no longer located at the Dennis Building in Columbia.
As of May 13, all services will be available at SCDNR at the State Farmers Market instead of at the Downtown Columbia office. The move comes as an effort to provide better customer service, ample parking and easier accessibility.
The address is 326 Little Brooke Lane, West Columbia, SC 29172
Gator hunting applications available
COLUMBIA — The S.C. Department of Natural Resources is accepting online applications for the 2019 Public Alligator Hunting season at www.dnr.sc.gov/wildlife/alligator/index.html.
It is estimated that more than 100,000 alligators live from the Midlands to the coast of South Carolina and the population is not threatened by the regulated removal of a relatively small number of alligators. Last year, hunters took 337 alligators during the public alligator hunting season, with the average size being just under nine feet in length.
A $10 nonrefundable application fee is required to apply for the Public Lands Hunt. A randomized computer drawing based on a preference point system will determine the selection of hunters. Applicants can only apply and pay fees online or at one of the walk-up counters at an SCDNR Regional Office in Clemson, Florence, Columbia or Charleston. No paper applications will be accepted.
This year’s season will begin at noon Sept. 14 and run until noon Oct. 12. The deadline to apply is 5 p.m. June 15.
Shellfish harvesting closes May 31
CHARLESTON — South Carolina’s 2018-19 season for the harvest of oysters, mussels, clams and all other bivalves from State Shellfish Grounds and Public Shellfish Grounds will close on Friday, May 31, at one half hour after official sunset, according to South Carolina Department of Natural Resources officials.
Because higher bacterial levels occur when water temperatures exceed 80 degrees Fahrenheit, shellfish harvesting during the summer months is limited to commercial harvesters who can meet rigorous handling requirements. Coastal waters will remain closed to recreational shellfish harvesting until the fall, when water temperatures begin to cool and ensure that shellfish are once again safe for harvesting and consumption. Shellfish harvesting is expected to reopen Oct. 1.
Although shellfish harvesting is closed to the public during the summer, the South Carolina Oyster Recycling and Enhancement (SCORE) program accepts recycled oyster shells year-round. Shell recycling drop-off locations are located throughout coastal counties and at a few inland locations. Collection sites can be found online or by calling SCDNR at 843-953-9397.
During the summer months, SCDNR biologists return the recycled shell to shorelines, where it provides an ideal base for juvenile oysters to attach and grow, thereby replenishing harvested beds.