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South Carolina

Fishing

Freshwater Fish Size & Possession Limits

Nongame Fish Size & Possession Limits

Water Body

Fish

Size Limit

Possession Limit

per person per day

Statewide

American Eel

9 inches min

25

Statewide

Blue Catfish

Only 2 fish larger than 32 inches per person may be taken

25

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 min

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

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 min

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 min

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 min

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 min

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

Lake Robinson (Greenville County)

Largemouth Bass

12 inches min

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 min

No more than 2 bass per person per day

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, Temperate Bass Identification); 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 min

3

June 16 - Sept. 30 closed

Santee River system (see map, Temperate Bass Identification); includes Saluda River (Lower Reach)

Striped Bass

Oct. 1 - June 15 striped bass between 23 and 25 inches may 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 min

5

June 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

June 1 - Sept. 30:
any length

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

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 min

2

Lake Hartwell & Lake Thurmond

Striped or Hybrid Bass or a combination

Only 3 fish over
26 inches

10

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.

How to measure a freshwater fish