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Shad & Herring Fishing Regulations

Hunting Regulations Icon South Carolina Hunting & Fishing

Applies to American and hickory shad and blueback herring only

Shad Gill Net

A gill net used for taking or attempting to take shad in the inshore saltwaters must have a stretched mesh size of no smaller than 5-1/2 inches and a length not exceeding 900 feet. A gill net used for shad in the freshwaters must have a stretched mesh size of no smaller than 5-1/2 inches and be no longer than 600 hundred feet. Gill nets for taking shad may be freely drift fished or set.

Herring Gill Net

A gill net used for taking or attempting to take herring in the salt waters of this State must have mesh size of 2-1/2 inches stretched and a length no greater than 900 hundred feet. Gill net used for taking or attempting to take herring in freshwaters must have a stretched mesh of 2-1/2 inches stretched and a length no greater than 600 hundred feet.

For more information on recreational or commercial blueback herring, American shad or hickory shad fishing requirements, contact the Office of Fisheries Management at 843-953-9311 or visit http://www.dnr.sc.gov/marine/shad.

Recreational
(unlawful to sell catch)

Limits

Shad

Ten shad per person per day except in Santee River and Rediversion Canal (where it is
20 per person per day)

Herring

One US bushel of herring per person per day.
Herring Fishery closed in the Savannah River and in all rivers in the Winyah Bay River System (which means all waters of Winyah Bay east of a line running south from the southern tip of North Island to the eastern tip of Sand Island, and extending to the mouths of the Sampit, Great Pee Dee, and Waccamaw Rivers) except for the Great Pee Dee River.

Gear Type:

  • It is unlawful to take American shad and herring using the following nongame fishing devices: archery equipment, crayfish trap, eel pot, elver fyke net, gig, hand grabbing, hoop net, jug fishing device, minnow seine, minnow trap, pump net, seine, set hook, spear, trap or trotline.

Hook and Line, Cast Nets or Skimbow Nets

  • To take shad or herring for recreational purposes by hook and line, cast net (for bait), or skimbow net in freshwaters a person MUST have a recreational freshwater fishing license.

Shad Gill Net or Herring Gill Net

  • To take shad or herring for recreational purposes using a shad or herring gill net, a person MUST have a recreational fishing license, gear license, and related permits.
  • Only one shad or herring gill net may be fished by occupants of a boat, and if drifted, it must be attended at all times when deployed. Additional boats in tow may not be used to increase the number of authorized nets. Must adhere to legal commercial fishing areas and the recreational limit.

Recreational License Requirements

  • If fishing recreationally in the freshwaters of the state, a person needs a recreational freshwater fishing license. If fishing recreationally in the saltwaters of the state, a person needs a recreational saltwater fishing license. If fishing in both fresh and saltwaters, a person MUST have both a recreational freshwater fishing license and a recreational saltwater fishing license.
  • MUST have a shad gill net or herring gill net license (not the same as a gill net license).
  • MUST have the required permit from the Office of Fisheries Management 843-953-0453.

Commercial
(selling your catch)

Gear Type:

Cast Net

  • To use a cast net to take herring for commercial purposes, a person MUST have a commercial license, a gear license, and related permits.

Shad Gill Net or Herring Gill Net

  • To take shad or herring for commercial purposes using a shad or herring gill net, a person MUST have a commercial fishing license, gear license, and related permits.

Commercial License Requirements

  • If fishing commercially in the freshwaters of the state, a person needs a commercial freshwater fishing license. If fishing commercially in the saltwaters of the state, a person needs a commercial saltwater fishing license. If fishing in both fresh and saltwaters, a person MUST have both a commercial freshwater fishing and a commercial saltwater fishing license.
  • MUST have a shad gill net, herring gill net or herring cast net license (not the same as a gill net license).
  • MUST have the required permit from the Office of Fisheries Management 843-953-0453.

American Shad

Blueback Herring

Hickory Shad