Nongame Device - Gill Nets (Not for shad and herring)


A net designated to hang vertically and capture fish by entanglement usually of the head, gill covers, or preopercles. A gill net used in freshwaters must have a mesh size not less than 4 ½ inch stretch mesh. A gill net measuring more than 100 yard in length must not be used in the freshwaters and a gill net, cable, line or other device used for support of a gill net may not extend more than halfway across any stream or body of water. A gill net may be placed in the freshwaters on a first come first served basis but a gill net must not be placed within 200 yards of another gill net. However, notwithstanding another provision of law, along the Little Pee Dee River upstream of Punch Bowl Landing, no net may be set within seventy-five feet of a gill net previously set, or drifted within seventy-five feet of another drifting net. Use or possession of a gill net at any place or time other than those prescribed in this subsection is unlawful. Nongame fish taken in shad nets lawfully fished during the open season for taking shad may be kept. A sturgeon caught must be returned immediately to the waters from where it was taken.

Photograph of Gill Nets

Where can the device be used:

Only allowed in designated areas during set seasons.

License Requirements:

Additional tags and permits required:

A gill net tag is required. Nongame Fish Tag & Permit Application (Adobe PDF file)

Hours / Seasons:

The season for taking nongame fish, other than American shad, hickory shad and blueback herring, in the freshwaters of this State with a gill net is from November 1st to March 1st. A gill net may be used or possessed in the freshwaters in which their use is authorized on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays only.

Marking required:

Gill nets 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.

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