The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Freshwater Fisheries Section recently announced a series of changes to South Carolina state statutes (Chapter 13) regulating freshwater fishing.
The goals of these changes, which came into effect July 1, are to promote consistency and modernize the laws to ensure proper freshwater fisheries management. As a result of South Carolina’s recently revised fishing laws, development of a new reciprocal agreement with Georgia was necessary and will also go into effect July 1.
Georgia and South Carolina’s reciprocal freshwater fishing license agreement allows anglers to fish on the border waters of the Savannah River System from the North Carolina border down to the mouth of the Savannah River with a valid fishing license from either state.
Border waters include the Chattooga River to Lake Hartwell and downstream waters such as lakes Russell and Thurmond, and the Savannah River.
Anglers as well as state officials on both sides wanted to continue the fishing license agreement and keep fishing regulations as similar as possible on border waters. To minimize confusion, Georgia sport fishing regulations will largely mirror South Carolina laws on border waters.
Notable changes to fishing regulations covering border waters include:
- A limit of 10 striped bass or hybrid bass or combination on Lakes Hartwell and Thurmond, only three may be over 26 inches
- The limit for trout is 5
- The limit for white bass is 10
Anglers should note that South Carolina’s new fishing laws differ for crappie and bream than Georgia’s regulations.