Nongame Device - Eel Pots


Pots no larger than 24 inches by 48 inches and constructed of wire with a mesh size no smaller than ½ inch by ½ inch, except for the throat or muzzle and the end opposite the throat or muzzle. The throat opening shall not exceed 2 inches measured in any direction. Eel pots may be suspended in water at a depth which does not create a hazard to watercraft. No eel pot shall be placed within 100 feet of the mouth of any tributary stream. No eel pots shall be placed within 200 yards of any permanent man-made structure on Lake Marion and Moultrie nor placed anywhere in the Diversion Canal connecting Lakes Marion and Moultrie, the Tailrace Canal nor the area known as the Borrow Pit (also called the Bar Pit) in Clarendon County. No crab pot or trap of like design may be used in the freshwater of the state.

Photograph of Eel Pot

Where can the device be used:

Only in designated areas.

License Requirement:

Additional tags and permits required:

A tag is required for each trap or eel pot. A special permit is required for the harvest of eels in both fresh and saltwater, call Angel Brown at 843-953-9311 or Bill Post at 843-953-9821 for details.

Hours / Seasons:

There is no closed season for fishing with an eel pot in the freshwaters of this State in which the use of a eel pot is permitted except temporary closure by DNR.

Marking required:

Eel pot must be marked with a white floating marker with a minimum capacity of one quart and a maximum capacity of one gallon and must be made of solid, buoyant material which does not sink if punctured or cracked. The floating markers must be constructed of plastic, PVC Spongex, plastic foam or cork. No hollow buoys or floats including plastic, metal or glass bottles or jugs may be used except manufactured buoys or floats specifically designed for use with nongame fishing devices; these may be hollow if constructed of heavy duty plastic material and approved by the SCDNR. The owner's name and department customer identification number must be legible on each of the white floating marker. Both commercial and recreational fishermen shall comply with provisions of this title pertaining to the marking and use of a nongame fishing device.


There are no restrictions on the type of bait permissible in traps or eel pots, except that no game fish or parts thereof shall be used as bait.

Except for bait lost while fishing, it is unlawful to intentionally release any aquatic species, including bait, regardless of the stage of its life cycle, into the waters of this State without a permit from the SCDNR. It is unlawful to use any nonindigenous fish as bait that is not already established in the water body being fished except the following minnows: fathead minnows, golden shiners, and goldfish, including 'black salties'.

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