Nongame Methods and Devices

Updated regulations and information are provided when nongame fish tags or permits are issued. Tags, permits and commercial freshwater fishing licenses are available by visiting any regional SCDNR Office, through the internet or by writing to: SCDNR-License Section, PO Box 167, Columbia, SC 29202-0167 or calling 803-734-3833. Nongame fish tags are issued at each Regional SCDNR office. Tags purchased through the internet or by mail are mailed from the Columbia office and the privilege is not valid until the tag is received by the licensee.

A fishing license is required of all persons who fish nongame fishing devices.

Some devices are not permitted on certain waters. The maximum number of devices allowed per area is shown in the Nongame Device Limits by Location Recreational and Nongame Device Limits by Location Commercial.

Nongame fishing devices are used to catch any freshwater fish species that is not classified as a game fish.

Commonly targeted SC nongame fish species includes: American eel, blue catfish, American shad, hickory shad, blueback herring, longnose gar, bowfin (mudfish), common carp and white perch.

Lawful Nongame Devices

The following are the only lawful nongame fishing devices and methods that may be used for taking nongame fish in the freshwaters of this State and only in those waters in which these devices and methods are authorized: archery equipment, cast net, crayfish trap, eel pot, elver fyke net, gig, gill net, hand grabbing, hoop net, jug fishing device, minnow seine, minnow trap, pump net, seine, set hook, skimbow net, spear, trap and trotline. Section 50-13-615

A recreational fisherman may use the following fishing devices and methods for taking nongame fish but only in those waters in which the type and quantity are allowed: archery equipment, cast net, not more than five crayfish traps, not more than two eel pots, gig, one gill net not more than one hundred yards in length or not more than three gill nets, none of which exceeds thirty yards in length; hand grabbing, not more than one hoop net, not more than fifty jugs, minnow seine, not more than five minnow traps, not more than one pump net, not more than one seine, not more than fifty set hooks, not more than one skimbow net, spear, not more than two traps, not more than one trotline with fifty hooks maximum, any lawful game fishing device. Section 50-13-635

Nongame Device Limits

Nongame fish may be taken with any lawful game fishing device. A fisherman may use only four game fishing devices. A fisherman fishing from a boat may use an unlimited number of game fishing devices if all persons in the boat older than sixteen years have valid fishing licenses. Section 50-13-625

A fishing device authorized by this article must not be used, placed, set, or fished so as to constitute a hazard to boating or public safety. Section 50-13-630

It is unlawful for a person to have in possession game fish, except live bream on those water bodies where permitted as live bait, or game fish devices while possessing or using nongame devices. The provisions of this section do not apply to a person using a cast net. Section 50-13-670

Marking of Nongame Devices
(trotlines, traps, eel pots, gill nets and hoop nets) Section 50-13-620

Trotlines, traps, eel pots, gill nets, and hoop nets must be marked with a white floating marker not less than a capacity of one quart and not more than a capacity of one gallon and must be made of solid, buoyant material that does not sink if punctured or cracked. A floating marker must be constructed of plastic, PVC spongex, plastic foam, or cork. A hollow buoy or float, including plastic, metal, or glass bottles or jugs, must not be used, except that a manufactured buoy or float specifically designed for use with nongame fishing devices may be hollow if constructed of heavy duty plastic material and approved by the department. 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. A trotline must be marked on both ends.

A commercial trotline must be marked at intervals of every fifty hooks. A commercial trotline which uses fifty or fewer hooks must be marked at intervals of twenty-five hooks. A recreational trotline must be marked at intervals of every twenty-five hooks. Each interval float must be 'International Orange' in color.

A tag issued for a nongame device must be attached to the device at all times. A permit and tag receipt must be kept on the person to whom issued while possessing or using a nongame fishing device.

Each set hook must have an identification tag attached to it bearing the owner's name and department customer identification number.

A device or part of it improperly marked, tagged, or identified is in violation and is contraband.

A violation of this section is a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, is punishable as prescribed in this chapter.

Nongame Fishing Devices

*Please Note: A crab pot or trap of like design must not be used in the freshwaters of this State unless permitted by regulation. Section 50-13-320