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#07-185 July 9, 2007

New laws regulate Santee Cooper Arkansas Blue Catfish

Governor Mark Sanford and the General Assembly have approved a new law limiting the harvest of Arkansas Blue Catfish. The law applies to only the waters of Lake Marion, the Diversion Canal, the Rediversion Canal above St. Stephen Dam, and Lake Moultrie.

The law limits the catch of Arkansas Blue Catfish to one fish 36 inches and larger per person per day, regardless of harvest method.  This includes bow fishing and applies to both recreational and commercial anglers. The new law was instituted to address catfish anglers’ perception of fewer large blue catfish as the popularity of these large fish has grown over the past decade. The law is expected to shift more of the harvest of large blue catfish to recreational rod and reel anglers, whose tourism dollars add considerably more to the local economy than do other harvest methods.

There continues to be no harvest restrictions on blue catfish less than 36 inches and anglers are encouraged to harvest as many as they can reasonably use. 

The law will be considered for renewal in 2010.
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