New largemouth bass regulations for Lakes Marion and Moultrie, along with the upper Santee River, have been signed into law by Gov. Mark Sanford and became effective Wednesday (March 31).

The newly adopted statute changes the largemouth bass length limit to 14 inches. All largemouth must be landed with head and tail intact. The possession limit has been decreased to five (5) largemouth bass per angler.

The statute defines Lake Marion as all waters impounded by the Lake Marion dam, including flooded backwater areas of Calhoun and Sumter counties. Lake Moultrie has been defined as all waters between the Pinopolis Dam and St. Stephen Dam. This includes the diversion canal and rediversion canal upstream of the St. Stephen Dam. Waters of the Santee River from the upstream confluence of the Congaree and Wateree Rivers to the backwaters of Lake Marion at the railroad trestle bridge near Rimini are also covered under this statute

The changes to the possession and size limits will promote the long term health of the largemouth bass population and allow for equitable allocation of the fishery resource to recreational anglers in the region.

Check the S.C. Department of Natural Resources website at for more information on freshwater fishing regulations and where to purchase your South Carolina Fishing License.