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Freshwater Fish Size & Possession Limits

Hunting Regulations Icon South Carolina Hunting & Fishing

Nongame Fish Size & Possession Limits

Water Body

Fish

Size Limit

Possession Limit

per person per day

Statewide American Eel 9 inches 25
Lakes Marion & Moultrie and the upper reach of the Santee River Blue Catfish Only 1 fish larger than 36 inches may be taken No limit
Congaree & Wateree Rivers Blue Catfish Only 1 fish larger than 36 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) Any length 30
Statewide Redbreast Sunfish Any length 15
Statewide Crappie 8 inches 20
Statewide Walleye & Sauger Any length No more than 8 combined total of walleye or sauger
Statewide Chain Pickerel Any length 30
Statewide Redfin Pickerel Any length 30
Statewide Yellow Perch Any length 30

Sunfishes of South Carolina

Bluegill

Redbreast Sunfish

Flier

Redear Sunfish

Pumpkinseed

Green Sunfish

Warmouth

Spotted Sunfish

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 Any length 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 Any length 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 Any length No more than 10 combined total of smallmouth, largemouth, redeye, spotted bass or their hybrids
Statewide except the water bodies listed below: Largemouth Bass Any length 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 Any length 15
Lakes Hartwell, Keowee, Russell (including the Lake Hartwell tailwater), Thurmond, Tugaloo, Yonah; Stevens Creek Reservoir; the Chattooga and Savannah Rivers Spotted Bass Any length 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. 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 Any length 10
Statewide except on the Savannah River and Lakes Hartwell, Russell and Thurmond see below. Hybrid Bass None 10
Statewide except the water bodies list below: Striped Bass Any length 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, State Lakes); Coosawhatchie River; Cuckholds Creek; Edisto River; Horseshoe Creek; Intracoastal Waterway (Horry County); 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; Tulifinny River; Thoroughfare Creek; and Waccamaw River Striped Bass Oct. 1 – June 15:
26 inches
3
Santee River system (see map, State Lakes) Striped Bass Oct. 1-June 15 striped bass between 23 and 25 inches bay be harvested except that one fish may be greater than 26 inches 3
June 16-Sept. 30 closed except for Lower Saluda River where catch and release is allowed
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 – Jun. 15:
26 inches
3
June 16 – Sept. 30: any length Catch and Release only
Lake Russell Striped or Hybrid Bass or a combination Only 1 fish larger than 34 inches 2
Lake Hartwell Tailwater Striped or Hybrid Bass or a combination Only 1 fish over 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 or White Bass or a combination 27 inches 2
Lake Hartwell & Lake Thurmond Striped or Hybrid Bass or a combination Only 3 fish over
26 inches
10