Recent changes to state law will extend the period during which striped bass caught in the Santee River system can be kept. The law changes also include additional size/slot requirements for keeper fish.
Anglers planning to fish for striped bass anywhere in the Santee River system between now and June 15 need to 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, 2018 and effective immediately) stipulate that within the boundaries of the Santee River system (including lakes Marion and Moultrie), from October 1st through June 15th, it is “unlawful to take or possess a striped bass less than twenty-three inches or greater than twenty-five inches, provided that one striped bass taken or possessed may be greater than twenty-six inches.”
Practically speaking, what this change in law means is that anglers fishing the Santee system from now until June 15 can still keep three (3) 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 (3) 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 September 30.