Nongame Device - Traps

Traps must not be placed within 600 feet of a public boat launching area. They may not be set so as to leave any part of the trap exposed at low water. Traps cannot be left unattended for more than 3 days. Traps inspected and found to be in violation or contains only dead catch or excessive dead catch will be seized and disposed of according to law. All traps may be suspended in water at a depth which does not create a hazard to watercraft. No trap shall be placed within 100 feet of the mouth of any tributary stream. No traps 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 at the Borrow Pit (also called the Bar Pit) in Clarendon County. No crab pot or trap of like design may be used in the freshwaters of this state.

Description - Trap Type 1:

The trap may be made of wire or textile material and be cylindrical in shape of a length not more than 6 feet and a width of not more than 3 feet. The mesh shall not be smaller than 1 inch by 1 inch, and there shall be only one application of exterior wire to the trap. The muzzle shall have one of the following designs: A trap door on the second muzzle or catch muzzle which remains in a closed position and which only opens for the entry of fish into the trap; or constructed of netting so that the opening of the small end of the second muzzle or catch muzzle is held in the shape of a slit and the trap configuration constructed such that as the trap rests on the bottom, the slit shall be oriented horizontally with the greatest vertical opening being no greater than 1 inch.

Photograph of Traps

Description - Trap Type 2

The trap may be made of wood strips or slats and be cylindrical or rectangular in shape. The length shall not exceed 6 feet, and the width or diameter shall not exceed 2 feet. The throat opening of the catch muzzle in a resting position shall not exceed 3 inches measured in any direction. The sides, top and rear of the trap shall have a minimum of one inch opening between the slats to allow for the escape of small catfish. This shall apply only to the last 12 inches of the trap.

Fish Trap - Type 2 wooden

Where can the device be used:

Only allowed in designated areas.

License Requirements:

Additional tags and permits required:

A fish trap tag is required for each trap. Nongame Fish Tag & Permit Application (Adobe - PDF)

Hours / Seasons:

No closed season.

Marking required:

Traps 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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