New fisheries laws adding or changing catch limits and retention sizes on a number of recreationally important saltwater finfish species in South Carolina have been passed by the SC General Assembly and are now in place.

 The new laws, effective June 15, concern the harvest of black drum, weakfish, hardhead and gafftopsail saltwater catfish, red drum, spotted seatrout, flounder, black seabass, and dolphin.

These new state fisheries laws were adopted primarily to support a proactive and precautionary approach in natural resources management to help deal with increasing fishing pressures and environmental stresses placed on South Carolina's marine finfish resources associated with coastal growth and development. 

Details of the new laws are as follows:

BLACK DRUM
Bag Limit: 5 per person per day
Size Limit:  Must be 14 inches Total Length or greater and equal to or less than 27 inches Total Length

WEAKFISH (summer trout; gray trout)
Bag Limit: 10 per person per day
Size Limit: 12 inch Total Length minimum
 
HARDHEAD AND GAFFTOPSAIL SALTWATER CATFISH
Possession is prohibited

RED DRUM (spot tailed bass; redfish)
Bag Limit: 3 per person per day
Size Limit: Must be 15 inches Total Length or greater, and  equal to or less than  23 inches Total Length maximum

SPOTTED SEATROUT (winter trout; speckled trout)
Bag Limit: 10 per person per day
Size Limit: 14 inch Total Length minimum

FLOUNDER (southern flounder; summer flounder; gulf flounder)
Bag Limit: 20 per person per day, not to exceed 40 per BOAT per day
Size Limit: 14 inch Total Length minimum
 
BLACK SEABASS (blackfish)
State regulations now follow federal regulations:
Bag Limit: 15 per person per day
Size Limit: 12 inch Total Length minimum
 
DOLPHIN (mahi)
State regulations now follow federal regulations:
Bag Limit: 10 per person per day, 60 per boat per day (headboats excluded from boat limit)
Size Limit: No size limit