Blueback Herring, American & Hickory Shad
2015 - 2016 Fishing Regulations

Shad and Herring species in SC

To take shad for recreational purposes by hook and line, cast net, or skimbow net in waters of the state, a person must have the appropriate freshwater or saltwater recreational fishing license.

American shad and herring may be harvested by skimbow net from February through April. Only 10 shad per person per day or 1 US bushel of herring per person per day, except in the Santee River and Rediversion Canal (which is 20 shad per person per day), can be harvested. Gill nets are allowed to harvest American shad and herring for commercial use. If fishing gill nets recreationally, one must adhere to the recreational limits.

It is unlawful to possess saltwater or freshwater game fish or fishing tackle capable of taking saltwater or freshwater game fish while taking or attempting to take shad or herring with gillnets.

Commercial fishing for shad and herring in freshwaters, including for sale as bait and by use of gill nets, is regulated under saltwater fisheries laws regardless of location within the state. Contact the Charleston License office at 843-953-9311 or 843-953-9821 for commercial and gill net information.

It is unlawful to take shad by hook and line or by skimbow net while operating or possessing any commercial fishing equipment for taking shad or herring.

Herring fishery area closures: Herring fishery closed in the Savannah River seaward of the Augusta Diversion Dam and in all rivers in the Winyah Bay River System (means all waters of Winyah Bay east of a line running south from the southern tip of North Island to the eastern tip of Sand Island, and extending to the mouths of the Sampit, Great Pee Dee, and Waccamaw Rivers) except for the Great Pee Dee River.

Herring fishing is prohibited within one hundred feet of the fish lift exit channel at St. Stephens Powerhouse.

Methods and Devices

Shad Gill Net

A gill net used for taking or attempting to take shad in the inshore saltwaters must have a stretched mesh size of no smaller than 5-1/2 inches and a length not exceeding 900 feet. A gill net used for shad in the freshwaters must have a stretched mesh size of no smaller than 5-1/2 inches and be no longer than 600 hundred feet. Gill nets for taking shad may be freely drift fished or set.

Herring Gill Net

A gill net used for taking or attempting to take herring in the salt waters of this State must have mesh size of 2-1/2 inches stretched and a length no greater than 900 hundred feet. Gill net used for taking or attempting to take herring in freshwaters must have a stretched mesh of 2-1/2 inches stretched and a length no greater than 600 hundred feet.

For more information on recreational or commercial blueback herring, American shad, or hickory shad fishing requirements, contact the Office of Fisheries Management at 843-953-9311.

Recreational (unlawful to sell catch)

Limits

Shad

Ten (10) shad per person per day except in Santee River and Rediversion Canal (where it is 20 per person per day).

Herring

One US bushel of herring per person per day. Herring Fishery closed in the Savannah River and in all rivers in the Winyah Bay River System (which means all waters of Winyah Bay east of a line running south from the southern tip of North Island to the eastern tip of Sand Island, and extending to the mouths of the Sampit, Great Pee Dee, and Waccamaw Rivers) except for the Great Pee Dee River.

Gear Type:

Hook and Line, Cast Nets or Skimbow Nets
Shad Gill Net or Herring Gill Net

To take shad or herring for recreational purposes using a shad or herring gill net, a person MUST have a recreational fishing license, gear license, and related permits.

Only one shad or herring gill net may be fished by occupants of a boat, and if drifted, it must be attended at all times when deployed. Additional boats in tow may not be used to increase the number of authorized nets. Must adhere to legal commercial fishing areas and the recreational limit.

Recreational License Requirements

Commercial (selling your catch) Limits

Fishermen using a Gill Net

Gear Type:

Cast Net
Shad Gill Net or Herring Gill Net

Commercial License Requirements

Additional Information