For Capt. Joel LeVine, founder of Charleston, South Carolina-based RedFin Charters, inshore fishing is more than a business — it’s a passion and a way of life. He grew up fishing the South Carolina Lowcountry’s tidal waters for redfish, spotted seatrout, flounder, ladyfish, black drum and various other inshore species, and he takes the health of the coastal waters and their inhabitants personally.
This personal connection to the Carolina coastal waters drove LeVine to set an early goal with RedFin Charters — rather than keeping the roughly 10,000 redfish per year that his charter company is legally allowed, he strives to not only keep none, but to actually contribute 10,000 redfish each year to the rivers RedFin Charters fishes, serving to boost the environment rather than to put a strain on it.
When a cold snap in early 2018 caused a plunge in the water temperatures around Charleston harbor, resulting in the fifth-largest fish kill since the 1950s, LeVine hatched a plan to help the heavily affected spotted seatrout, affectionately known as the speckled trout among area anglers. His Project Respeck, launched with the help of Z-Man Fishing and Eye Strike Fishing, aims to speed speckled trout recovery in the area by raising $25,000 for a spawning tank at the Waddell Mariculture Center in Bluffton, South Carolina. Once complete, the custom-built tank could produce up to 700,000 speckled trout a year, and plans call for using these to restock fish populations in some of the area waters hardest hit by the freeze.
To lend your support to the initiative with a donation to affiliated nonprofit Community Foundation of the Lowcountry, visit projectrespeck.com and donate to the CPR Fund.