Striped bass

Changes to South Carolina law affect regulations on fishing for striped bass.

Anglers planning to fish for striped bass anywhere in the Santee River system between now and June 15 should be aware of recent changes enacted by South Carolina lawmakers that will affect both the size of legal striped bass they can keep, and the time period during which legal-sized fish can be kept.

The changes to state law, signed by Gov. McMaster on May 3 and now in effect, stipulate that within the boundaries of the Santee River system -- including lakes Marion and Moultrie -- from Oct. 1 through June 15, it is “unlawful to take or possess a striped bass less than 23 inches or greater than 25 inches, provided that one striped bass taken or possessed may be greater than 26 inches.”

The change means anglers fishing the Santee system from now until June 15 can still keep three fish, but they must be between 23 and 25 inches, or one of the three may be greater than 26 inches.

Previously, the limit for striped bass in the Santee River system during the open period was three fish, all of which had to be at least 26 inches. The law also extends the legal period for keeping fish for two additional weeks – through June 15.

Previously, the waters of the Santee system were closed to striped bass fishing between June 1 and Sept. 30.