How Much Is a Fishing License in South Carolina?

Fishing is a popular recreational activity in South Carolina, with abundant freshwater lakes, rivers, and coastal waters offering anglers plenty of opportunities to catch fish. However, in order to legally fish these waters, most anglers need to purchase a fishing license. Here is a comprehensive overview of the fishing license requirements and costs in South Carolina.

Who Needs a Fishing License in South Carolina?

In South Carolina, a fishing license is required for anyone over the age of 16 to fish recreationally in public fresh or salt waters. Licenses are managed by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). There are a few exceptions – children under 16, residents over 64, and disabled residents can qualify for free or discounted licenses.

Types of Fishing Licenses Available

South Carolina offers several types of fishing licenses for both residents and non-residents:

Resident Licenses

  • Freshwater
    • 3-Year License: $30
    • Annual License: $10
    • 14-Day License: $5
  • Saltwater
    • 3-Year License: $45
    • Annual License: $15
    • 14-Day License: $10
  • Combination Hunting & Freshwater Fishing
    • 3-Year License: $75
    • Annual License: $25

Additional permits required for special gear like trotlines, jugs, eel pots etc. Permit fees range from $2.50 to $50.

Non-Resident Licenses

  • Freshwater
    • 3-Year License: $105
    • Annual License: $35
    • 14-Day License: $11
  • Saltwater
    • Annual License: $75
    • 7-Day License: $35
    • 1-Day License: $10

Additional permits required for non-residents using special devices – $50

Where to Get a Fishing License

Fishing licenses can be easily obtained:

Applicants need to provide a valid ID and social security number. Proof of residency is required to get discounted resident license rates.

Eligibility Criteria for Discounts

  • Youth under 16 can fish without a license. They only need a permit if using special gear.
  • Seniors over 65 get free lifetime freshwater fishing licenses. Small fees still apply for saltwater.
  • Disabled residents can also obtain fishing licenses for free or at discounted rates depending on eligibility criteria.

In summary, fishing license costs in South Carolina vary based on residency status, age, license duration, and fishing location. With licenses starting at just $5 for two weeks of freshwater fishing, it is an affordable way for anglers to access the state’s high-quality fisheries.

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