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July 7, 2010

Changes to striped bass size, possession limits effective July 1

Regulations effecting striped bass angling were signed into law by the Governor on May 28, 2010. Under the new regulations, the size and possession limits have changed for Lake Russell, the inshore waters and territorial sea, and the Santee and Cooper River systems.

Beginning July 1, 2010 it is unlawful to take or possess more than two striped bass per day on Lake Russell. Of the two taken striped bass, only one may exceed 34 inches in length. These regulations seek to promote and enhance the existing trophy striped bass fishery in Lake Russell including all waters from the Lake Russell Dam upstream to the Lake Hartwell Dam and Lake Secession Dam. This includes all tributaries and the Hartwell Tailwater. In recent years Lake Russell has consistently produced trophy class striped bass, including the current state record 63 pound fish caught just last year. The regulation does not extend to the striped bass x white bass hybrid.

Regulation changes affecting coastal river and estuaries striped bass (inshore and territorial sea) include a new size and possession limit that applies from October 1st through May 31st and makes it unlawful to:

Between June 1st and September 30th in the inshore waters and territorial sea it is unlawful to take or possess any striped bass.

Between June 1st and September 30th it is unlawful to take, attempt to take, or possess any striped bass in certain coastal rivers.

The new limits apply to the following coastal rivers: the Ashepoo River, Ashley River, Back River in Jasper and Berkeley counties, Black River, Black Mingo Creek, Bull Creek, Little Bull Creek, Combahee River, Cooper River system, Cossawhatchie River, Cuckholds Creek, Edisto River, Horseshoe Creek, Lumber River, Lynches River, Great Pee Dee and Little Pee Dee rivers, Pocotaligo River (Beaufort, Jasper, and Hampton counties), Salkehatchie and Little Salkehatchie rivers, Sampit River, Lower Santee River system, Tullifinny, Thoroughfare Creek, Waccamaw River, and Wando River.

The inshore waters and territorial sea are defined as those waters seaward of the saltwater-freshwater dividing line out to 3 miles offshore.

The new law also affects the Santee and Cooper River systems. In addition to the harvest closure between June 1st and September 30th, it is now unlawful to take or attempt to take any striped bass in the Santee and Cooper River systems during the closed season. The Santee Cooper System is bordered upstream by the Lake Murray Dam on the Saluda, the Columbia Diversion Dam on the Broad River, and the Lake Wateree Dam on the Wateree River. The downstream boarders are the freshwater-saltwater dividing lines on the Santee and Cooper Rivers. This includes the Santee Cooper Lakes, all of their tributaries and outfall rivers or everything in between the ocean and first dams above the Santee Cooper Lakes.

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