What’s New for 2020–2021

Hunting Regulations Icon South Carolina Hunting & Fishing

What’s New—Hunting

Act 51 (S.575)

Wild Turkey Season and Limits

Sponsors: Sen. Campsen, Sen. McElveen,

and Sen. Martin

Portions of Act 51 of 2019 will go into effect for the 2021 spring wild turkey season and will require persons harvesting a wild turkey to report the harvest by midnight of the day of harvest. Methods of reporting will include smart phone application, internet, and telephone. Turkey hunters will receive details on reporting with their 2021 tags.

What’s New – Saltwater Fishing

Act 118 (S.474)

Spadefish Creel and Size Limits

Sponsor: Sen. Campsen

Revises existing regulations to a limit of 10 spadefish per person per day and no more than 30 spadefish per boat per day in state waters. It additionally establishes a minimum size of 14 inches total length.

Effective 03/24/20

Act 119 (S.475)

Tripletail Creel and Size Limits

Sponsor: Sen. Campsen

Establishes a limit of 3 tripletail per person per day and no more than 9 tripletail per boat per day. It additionally establishes a minimum size of 18 inches total length.

Effective 03/24/20

Changes to Bluefish Creel Limit

The National Marine Fisheries Service announced a change in bluefish limits from 15 per person to 3 per person per day or 5 per person in the for-hire fishery in federal waters. South Carolina has adopted those changes in state waters.

Changes to Federal Regulations for Snapper-Grouper

Commercial, for-hire, and recreational anglers fishing for or possessing snapper-grouper species are now required to have a descending device on board and ready for use when fishing off South Carolina. The use of non-stainless, non-offset circle hooks are required for anglers using natural bait. The list of snapper-grouper complex species can be found on Snapper Grouper Complex Size & Catch Limits in this guide.

Boat Registration

Act 223 of 2018 took effect on January 1, 2020. This Act changes the registration period for boats from every three years to annually. The provisions of the Act will be phased in over a three-year period as your current three-year registrations expire. Additional details about these changes and how they will be implemented will be distributed via email, social media, the SCDNR website, news media, and other sources.

Operation Coast Watch

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources Coast Watch is a program under Operation Game Thief designed to focus attention on coastal fisheries and resource violations.

The coastal resources of South Carolina are an important part of our natural heritage. Our coastal resource laws are designed to protect our fish and shellfish from being wiped out by overfishing. We must reserve a healthy population that is large enough to ensure good harvests in the future.

You can help protect our coastal resources by watching for and reporting violations to the Coast Watch Program. You may earn a reward up to $500 for information leading to the conviction of coastal law violators. In addition, you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you are doing your part to defend our natural resources.

More information and a brochure may be obtained by calling 803-734-4002.