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June 2, 2009

Santee Cooper striped bass harvest prohibition regulations in effect

Season restrictions, signed into law last year, for the entire Santee Cooper system (lakes and rivers) for striped bass went into effect June 1. Anglers must not harvest or possess striped bass and must immediately release any striped bass caught from June 1 - September 30.

This is considered a first step to combat the population decline of the striped bass fishery in the Santee Cooper system by reducing the amount of fish an angler can harvest, as well as increasing the minimum size limits. 

The regulations also include (when applicable):

The waters to which the new regulations will apply are limited to the Santee Cooper system only. This includes the waters of the Lower Santee River system, or all waters and tributaries seaward of the Lake Murray Dam, the Columbia Canal Diversion Dam, and the Lake Wateree Dam to the freshwater/saltwater dividing line on the North Santee River and the South Santee River. Additional waters affected by this bill include the Cooper River System, which includes all waters and tributaries of the Cooper River, including the Tailrace Canal, from its point of origin seaward to the freshwater/saltwater dividing line.

The regulations, adopted by the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Mark Sanford in 2008, were based on recommendations from the Striped Bass Stakeholders Group.

DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.

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