Nov 20 2010

Edisto’s Dolphins

The autumn season is one of the best times to view the abundant dolphin off the coast of Edisto Beach.

This time of year, the dolphin can be seen strand feeding. Strand feeding is a method of feeding where dolphins drive fish and other marine life onto the marsh beds and hurl themselves onto the shore to feed. Local Edisto biologist Meg Hoyle said watching the dolphins participate in this form of feeding is one of her favorite things.

“It doesn’t get much better than that,” Hoyle said.

One of the best places to view this activity on Edisto Beach is to go to the marina on Big Bay Creek and look out over water near the marsh. This area is generally rife with dolphin, sea turtles, jellyfish, and other forms of marine life as well.

In addition to strand feeding, it is a regular occurrence to see dolphin activity any time of year in the waters of Edisto. Some of the best areas include front beach, the St. Helena Sound side of the beach, and off of the boat ramp at Steamboat Landing.

Often times, the dorsal fins of the dolphin pop up amidst the rolling ocean swells right off of the beach. The dolphin travel together in pods, so it is commonplace to see many fins at once. Lucky beachgoers and boaters might also get a chance to see the dolphin as they jump, dive, and play in the water.

Swimmers at the beach will find themselves just a few yards away from the dolphins and boaters that anchor over what is known as “shark hole” – which is the area right at the mouth of Big Bay Creek where the water is up to 50 ft. deep and a prime area for sharks to feed – will also find themselves almost eye-to-eye with the mammals as they feed in the area.

One of the most important things to remember about the dolphin in the waters surrounding Edisto is that they are to be admired and respected so that future generations of Edisto-lovers can experience the beauty of the sea creatures.

For a dolphin encounter you will not soon forget, consider Botany Bay Ecotours.

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