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Fish Size and Possession Limits

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Nongame Fish Size & Possession Limits

Water Body

Fish

Size Limit

Possession Limit

per person per day

Statewide

American Eel

6 inches

50

Effective through March 31, 2015: Lakes Marion & Moultrie and the upper reach of the Santee River, Congaree and Wateree Rivers

Blue Catfish

Only 1 fish larger than 36 inches may be taken

No limit

Effective April 1, 2015: Lakes Marion & Moultrie and the upper reach of the Santee River

Blue Catfish

Only 2 fish larger than 32 inches may be taken

25

Effective April 1, 2015: Congaree & Wateree Rivers

Blue Catfish

Only 2 fish larger than 32 inches may be taken

No limit

Game Fish Size & Possession Limits

bream, redbreast sunfish, crappie, yellow perch, pickerel, walleye & sauger

• A total of 40 game fish may be kept in any one day. This total shall not exceed more than the limits or exceptions listed below. Any game fish or species with a size limit listed must be landed with head and tail fin intact. All freshwater fish species in the state of South Carolina are measured using total length. Special limits and regulations apply to SCDNR managed lakes.

• Check with state parks, city reservoirs or county parks for special limits and regulations that apply to those areas.

Water Body

Fish

Size Limit

Possession Limit

per person per day

Statewide

Bream (includes bluegill, flier, warmouth, pumpkinseed, green sunfish, redear (shellcracker) and spotted sunfish)

None

30

Statewide

Redbreast Sunfish

None

15

Statewide

Crappie

8 inches

20

Statewide

Walleye & Sauger

None

No more than 8 combined total of walleye or sauger

Statewide

Chain Pickerel

None

30

Statewide

Redfin Pickerel

None

30

Statewide

Yellow Perch

None

30

Game Fish Size & Possession Limits

largemouth, smallmouth, redeye & spotted bass

• A total of 40 game fish may be kept in any one day. This total shall not exceed more than the limits or exceptions listed below. Any game fish or species with a size limit listed must be landed with head and tail fin intact. All freshwater fish species in the state of South Carolina are measured using total length. Special limits and regulations apply to SCDNR managed lakes.

• Check with state parks, city reservoirs or county parks for special limits and regulations that apply to those areas.

Water Body

Fish

Size Limit

Possession Limit

per person per day

Statewide except the water bodies listed below:

Smallmouth Bass

12 inches

No more than 5 combined total of smallmouth, largemouth, redeye bass or their hybrids

Lakes Hartwell, Russell (including the Lake Hartwell tailwater), Thurmond, Tugaloo, Yonah; Stevens Creek Reservoir; the Chattooga and Savannah Rivers

Smallmouth Bass

None

No more than 10 combined total of smallmouth, largemouth, redeye, spotted bass or their hybrids

Lake Keowee

Smallmouth Bass

12 inches

No more than 10 combined total of smallmouth, largemouth, redeye, spotted bass or their hybrids.

Statewide except the water bodies listed below:

Redeye Bass

None

No more than 5 combined total of smallmouth, largemouth, redeye bass or their hybrids.

Lakes Hartwell, Keowee, Russell (including the Lake Hartwell tailwater), Thurmond, Tugaloo, Yonah; Stevens Creek Reservoir; the Chattooga and Savannah Rivers

Redeye Bass

None

No more than 10 combined total of smallmouth, largemouth, redeye, spotted bass or their hybrids

Statewide except the water bodies listed below:

Largemouth Bass

None

No more than 5 combined total of smallmouth, largemouth, redeye bass or their hybrids

Lakes Blalock, Greenwood, Jocassee, Marion, Monticello, Moultrie, Murray, Secession, Wateree, Wylie and the middle reach of the Saluda River and the upper reach of the Santee River

Largemouth Bass

14 inches

No more than 5 combined total of smallmouth, largemouth, redeye bass or their hybrids

Lakes Hartwell, Keowee, Russell (including the Lake Hartwell tailwater), Thurmond, Tugaloo, Yonah; Stevens Creek Reservoir; the Chattooga and Savannah Rivers

Largemouth Bass

12 inches

No more than 10 combined total of smallmouth, largemouth, redeye, spotted bass or their hybrids

Lake Robinson (Greenville County)

Largemouth Bass

12 inches

No more than 5 combined total of smallmouth, largemouth, redeye bass or their hybrids

Statewide except the water bodies listed below:

Spotted Bass

None

15

Lakes Hartwell, Keowee, Russell (including the Lake Hartwell tailwater), Thurmond, Tugaloo, Yonah; Stevens Creek Reservoir; the Chattooga and Savannah Rivers

Spotted Bass

None

No more than 10 combined total of smallmouth, largemouth, redeye, spotted bass or their hybrids

Slade’s Lake

Largemouth, Redeye, Smallmouth & Spotted Bass

12 inches

No more than 2 bass per person per day

State Fishing Records

Check out state record catches at
www.dnr.sc.gov/fish/freshrecs/records

Report potential record breaking catches at your nearest regional SCDNR office.

Measuring a Fish

How to Properly Measure a Freshwater Fish

TL=total length measure; Tip of snout with mouth closed to tip of tail (excluding filaments). Tail should be pinched. All freshwater fish species in the state of South Carolina are measured using total length. Some saltwater species are measured with fork length.

Game Fish Size & Possession Limits

striped, white & hybrid bass

• A total of 40 game fish may be kept in any one day. This total shall not exceed more than the limits or exceptions listed below. Any game fish or species with a size limit listed must be landed with head and tail fin intact. All freshwater fish species in the state of South Carolina are measured using total length. Special limits and regulations apply to SCDNR managed lakes.

• Check with state parks, city reservoirs or county parks for special limits and regulations that apply to those areas.

Water Body

Fish

Size Limit

Possession Limit

per person per day

Statewide except the Savannah River

White Bass

None

10

Statewide except the water bodies list below:

Striped Bass

None

10

Ashepoo River; Ashley River; Back River in Jasper County and the Back River in Berkeley County; Black River; Black Mingo Creek; Bull Creek and Little Bull Creek; Combahee River; Cooper River system (see map of Santee Cooper River System); Coosawhatchie River; Cuckholds Creek; Edisto River; Horseshoe Creek; Lumber River; Lynches River; Great Pee Dee and Little Pee Dee Rivers; Pocotaligo in Beaufort, Jasper, and Hampton Counties; Salkehatchie and Little Salkehatchie Rivers; Sampit River; Santee River system (see map of Santee Cooper River System); Tulifinny River; Thoroughfare Creek; and Waccamaw

Striped Bass

Oct. 1 – May 31:
26 inches

3

Jun. 1 – Sept. 30: closed except catch
and release on the Lower Saluda River

Lake Murray

Striped Bass

Oct. 1 – May 31:
21 inches

5

Jun. 1- Sept. 30:
any length

Unlawful to take, attempt to take, or possess more than 5

Saluda River (Middle Reach)
All waters of Saluda River from backwaters of Lake Murray at SC Hwy 395 upstream to Lake Greenwood Dam

Striped Bass

Oct. 1 – May 31:
21 inches

5

Jun. 1- Sept. 30:
any length

Unlawful to take, attempt to take, or possess more than 5

Saluda River (Lower Reach)
All waters of Saluda River from confluence with Broad River upstream to Lake Murray Dam

Striped Bass

Oct. 1 – May 31:
26 inches

3

Jun. 1 – Sept. 30: any length

Catch and release only

Lake Russell

Striped & Hybrid Bass or a combination

Only 1 fish larger than 34 inches

2

Savannah River (Lower)
All waters of Savannah River from its confluence with the Atlantic Ocean upstream to the Lake J. Strom Thurmond Dam

Striped, Hybrid & White Bass or a combination

27 inches

2

Lake Hartwell & Lake Thurmond

Striped & Hybrid Bass or a combination

Only 3 fish over
26 inches

10

Lake Hartwell tailwater

Striped & Hybrid Bass or a combination

Only 1 fish over
34 inches

2

Game Fish Size & Possession Limits

brook, brown & rainbow trout

• A total of 40 game fish may be kept in any one day. This total shall not exceed more than the limits or exceptions listed below. Any game fish or species with a size limit listed must be landed with head and tail fin intact. All freshwater fish species in the state of South Carolina are measured using total length. Special limits and regulations apply to SCDNR managed lakes.

• Check with state parks, city reservoirs or county parks for special limits and regulations that apply to those areas.

Water Body

Size Limit

Possession Limit

Bait & Tackle Restrictions

Statewide except the water bodies listed below:

None

5

None

Waters on Georgia Border

None

5

None

Chauga River (SC Hwy 290 [Cassidy Bridge Road] upstream to Bone Camp Creek)

None

Nov. 1 – May 14: Catch and Release only

Unlawful to use or possess any lure or bait except single hook artificial lures.

May 15 – Oct. 31: 5

None

Chattooga River (Hwy 28 to Reed Creek)

None

Nov. 1 – May 14: Catch and Release only

Unlawful to use or possess any lure or bait except single hook artificial lures.

May 15 – Oct. 31: 5

None

Cheohee Creek

None

5

None

Cheohee Creek (portion that runs through the Piedmont Forestry Center) Open Mon, Wed, Sat or as posted

None

Nov. 1 – May 14: Catch and Release only

Unlawful to use or possess any lure or bait except single hook artificial lures

May 15 – Oct. 31: 5

None

Corbin Creek (from confluence with Howard Creek upstream to SC Hwy 130)

None

Nov. 1 – May 14: Catch and Release only

Unlawful to use or possess any lure or bait except single hook artificial lures.

May 15 – Oct. 31: 5

None

Devils Fork Creek

None

Nov. 1 – May 14: Catch and Release only

Unlawful to use or possess any lure or bait except single hook artificial lures.

May 15 – Oct. 31: 5

None

Eastatoe Creek (Keowee to Roy Jones Road)

None

Nov. 1 – May 14: Catch and Release only

Unlawful to use or possess any lure or bait except single hook artificial lures.

May 15 – Oct. 31: 5

None

Eastatoe Creek (portion on Eastatoe River Heritage Preserve)

None

5

Unlawful to use or possess any lure or bait except artificial lures.

Howard Creek (from confluence with Corbin Creek upstream to confluence with Limberpole Creek)

None

Nov. 1 – May 14: Catch and Release only

Unlawful to use or possess any lure or bait except single hook artificial lures.

May 15 – Oct. 31: 5

None

Lower Saluda River

Only 1 fish may be more than 16 inches

5

None

Matthews Creek (from Asbury Drive Bridge at Asbury Methodist Camp upstream including all tributaries and headwaters)

None

5

Unlawful to use or possess any lure or bait except artificial lures.

Matthews Creek (downstream from Asbury Drive Bridge at Asbury Methodist Camp downstream to the confluence with South Saluda River )

None

5

None

Middle Saluda (from the foot bridge at Jones Gap State Park Office upstream to US Hwy 176 in Greenville County)

None

5

Unlawful to use or possess any lure or bait except artificial lures.

Middle Saluda (from Hugh Smith Road Bridge upstream to the foot-bridge at Jones Gap State Park) Open Mon, Wed, Sat

None

Catch and Release only

Lawful to use or possess only artificial lures with single hooks.

Whitewater River (Oconee County)

None

5

Unlawful to use or possess any lure or bait except artificial lures.

Lake Jocassee

Oct. 1-May 31:
15 inches, but only 1 fish more than 20 inches

3

Unlawful to use or possess corn, cheese, fish eggs or imitations of them.

Jun. 1 – Sept. 30: none

Unlawful to take, attempt to take, or possess more than 3

Lake Russell

None

5

None

What is an Artificial Lure?

Artificial lure: means manufactured or handmade flies, spinners, plugs, spoons, and reproductions of live animals, which are made completely of natural or colored wood, cork, feathers, hair, rubber, metal, plastic, tinsel, styrofoam, sponge, or string, or any combination of these materials, in imitation of or as substitute for natural bait. Lures or fish eggs enhanced with scents or salts are not artificial lures. Artificially produced organic baits are not artificial lures.

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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