Yearly fishing license will increase by $5 for residents if flounder bill passes
South Carolina’s Senate Fish and Wildlife Committee recently passed an amended bill concerning the state’s flounder fishery that will include an increase in fishing license fees. The amendments to the original bill include deleting a slot limit and establishing a stocking program.
The original bill, introduced by Rep. Lee Hewitt (R-Murrells Inlet) and William Bailey (R-Little River), included a slot limit of 16 – 20 inches for flounder, allowing one fish of more than 20 inches per person (maximum of two more than 20 inches per boat) per day.
That slot limit was dropped in the revised bill. Instead, a 16-inch minimum size limit was called for, with no maximum size limit.
Sen. Stephen Goldfinch (R-Murrells Inlet) added the provision to require SCDNR to begin a stocking program for the species. He suggested anglers will fund the stocking program through an increase in fishing license fees.
“I think if we’re going to ask anglers to come back to the table and reduce the catch again, we need the state to step up to the table and add some fish to the system,” said Goldfinch.
Daily angler limit will drop to five if bill passes
The fishing license fee would increase by $5 per year for South Carolina residents. The saltwater license for residents is currently $10 per year, and would increase to $15 per year if the new flounder bill passes. A three-year saltwater fishing license will go from $30 to $45 for residents.
For non-residents, a yearly S.C. saltwater fishing license would increase from $35 to $50 ($105 to $150 for a three-year non-resident license).
Goldfinch is hopeful the bill passes in its new, revised form. But he said it isn’t a done deal just yet.
“I’m glad we’ve all come together and decided to put this stocking program into reality in South Carolina. It’s going to be a big deal for us. Of course, it’s still got to pass the full Senate and conference committee. But I feel confident we’ll get it done,” he said.
If passed, the new flounder bill will establish the following changes:
- The daily bag limit will be five flounder per person, with a boat maximum of 10, per day.
- The minimum size limit will be 16 inches.
- The saltwater fishing license fees will increase, with the increased amount earmarked to fund the flounder stocking program.
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