30,000 trout stocked in Lower Saluda River

SCDNR stocked 30,000 trout into the Lower Saluda River.

SCDNR stocked 30,000 trout in the Lower Salude River

This month, the SCDNR is finishing up its yearly stocking efforts on the Lower Saluda River in South Carolina’s midlands. Since December, the agency has been introducing rainbow and brown trout fingerlings to the river.

These stockings allow anglers from the midlands to catch trout without having to head to the mountains. And even though SCDNR has been performing these same stockings for years, many anglers in the area continue to be surprised when they realize they can catch trout in their own community.

The trout being stocked were raised in the Walhalla State Fish Hatchery in the Upstate region of South Carolina.

This unique fishery is possible thanks to the cold waters released from the bottom of Lake Murray into the river. Along with abundant food sources, the cold water helps the trout thrive. They can grow to 20+ inches in length after a year or two. This is considered trophy status for these waters.

The Lower Saluda is separated into two sections for the purpose of creel limits. From the Lake Murray Dam to the confluence with the Broad River, anglers can keep five trout per day (only one can exceed 16 inches). The section from the east bound I-20 bridge downstream to Stacey’s Ledge is catch and release only. Neither section has any bait/lure restrictions.

Anglers have luck with a variety of lures in the Lower Saluda River. Inline spinners like Mepp’s Aglia and Black Fury are good choices. Small crankbaits like the Rebel Teeny Wee Frog and Teeny Wee Crawfish are also good bets.

Live bait anglers can’t go wrong with red wigglers, nightcrawlers, or waxworms fished on the bottom. Live crickets are also good choices, especially when fished under a small cork.

About Brian Cope 2762 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of Carolina Sportsman. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina. You can reach him at brianc@sportsmannetwork.com.

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