Fisheries and Aquatic
Center of Excellence

at Clemson University

Enhance the management and conservation of South Carolina's aquatic ecosystems and fisheries by provide science-based knowledge and solutions to management and conservation challenges.
  • Establish partner funding support for management of South Carolina's fisheries and associated resources.
  • Establish graduate research assistantships to support students working with faculty to address existing knowledge gaps in fish conservation and fisheries management.
  • Establish an endowed excellence in research program in fish conservation and fisheries management.
Provide the highest quality training and education to the next generation of fisheries biologists, managers, scientists and professionals.
  • Establish undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships to recruit the best and brightest students.
  • Establish an endowed excellence in teaching program in fish and fisheries resource management and conservation.
Enhance the delivery and dissemination of fisheries management and conservation information to private landowners, professionals, policy makers, and the general public.
  • Establish partner funding support for SCDNR and Clemson Cooperative Extension outreach efforts in fisheries management, conservation, and education.
Recognize private partners' support through all Clemson media and PR efforts.

Economic Impact

South Carolina’s natural resources are a major contributor to the quality of life and economy of the state. These resources have an estimated annual impact of $33.4 billion, the largest economic impact of any industry in the state (Willis and Straka 2016). Fish- and wildlife-related recreation adds $1.7 billion annually to the state’s economy with $686 million spent annually on fishing-related activities (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2014). Additionally, fish- and wildlife-related activities support over 31,000 jobs in South Carolina, many of which are provided by local outdoor recreation companies based in South Carolina.

Quality of Life

Quality of life in South Carolina is tied to the beauty and life-sustaining services of our natural resources, a key reason our state is a draw for visitors and industry alike. Our waters are a vital part of that appeal. From headwater streams in the blue ridge and piedmont, to expansive reservoirs in the sandhills, to the meandering rivers and estuaries of the low country, South Carolina waters provide for clean and abundant drinking water while also supporting a wide variety of outdoor activities such as fishing and boating. These diverse aquatic habitats provide for a multitude of angling opportunities across the state including world-class striped bass and black bass fisheries in rivers and reservoirs, trout fishing in the upstate, and inshore and offshore angling opportunities in coastal waters. South Carolina waters also support some of highest numbers of freshwater fish species in the U.S., including numerous endemic species, such as Bartram’s Redeye Bass, which are found only in our state. The condition of South Carolina’s aquatic and fisheries resources directly affects the quality of life in South Carolina.  This includes the viability of popular recreation activities like fishing and boating and the ability to sustain the high biological diversity of our state.