South Carolina “Delayed Harvest” Waters

“Delayed Harvest” (DH) streams in South Carolina are briefly described below. Delayed Harvest means that for certain times each year, certain streams are catch-and-release only (no trout can be kept or be in your possession) and you must use single-hook artificial lures only, i.e., one single hook per lure (no live bait is allowed).  Multiple “droppers” are OK, but each must conform to the single-hook artificial lure regulations. At other times on the DH streams, general regulations (no tackle restrictions) apply on DH streams.

The SCDNR’s “South Carolina Trout Fishing” guide is a valuable information source and is available on-line at The “Maps” indicated in the descriptions below refer to maps in this guide. Also, there are other information sources in the “Web Links” provided on this web site.

SOUTH CAROLINA: DH is from November 1 through May 14 of each year. The SCDNR Rules and Regulations Guide outlines the DH areas. See Briefly, the DH streams in SC are:

  1. Chattooga River: From the Hwy 28 Bridge upstream to the confluence with Reed Creek, GA (about 2.1 miles) - Access area is Hwy 28 Bridge pull-out on either side of bridge. See Map #4 of the "South Carolina Trout Fishing Guide" described above.
  2. Chauga River: From Cassidy Bridge Road upstream about 3 river miles to the confluence with Bone Camp Creek. Accessible from Cassidy Bridge parking lot on lower end, or Hell Hole Road (USFS Road) on upper end. See Maps #3 & #4 of the guide.
  3. Jocassee area creeks: Devils Fork Creek (all); Howard Creek from the confluence with Corbin Creek (also known as the formation of Devils Fork) upstream to the confluence with Limberpole Creek; and Corbin Creek from the confluence with Howard Creek upstream to Hwy 130. (Note - only the lower reaches of Corbin Creek are stocked). Accessible by boat in Lake Jocassee or by a long, strenuous hike in from the Lower Corbin Creek Road.) See Maps #6 & #7 of the guide.
  4. Eastatoe Creek: From Lake Keowee upstream to Dug Mtn. Bridge (Roy F. Jones Road). Accessible on the lower end from Hemlock Hollow Access off State Hwy 11 on the lower end, and the Dug Mtn. Angler Access on upper end off Roy F. Jones Road about 1 mile from SR-11. See Map #8 of the guide.
  5. Cheohee Creek within the boundary of the Piedmont Forestry Center (open on Monday, Wed, and Sat only from Nov. 1 - June 15). See Map #6 of the guide.

Special Note: The Middle Saluda River (from Hugh Smith Bridge upstream to the foot bridge at Jones Gap State Park) has the same regulations as Delayed Harvest (single hook artificial and catch-and-release only) but the regulations are in effect year around. The difference being this fishery is supported by wild trout and not stocked as are DH streams.

NORTH CAROLINA: DH for 2015-16 is from October 1, 2015 through June 3, 2016Click Here for more information from the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

GEORGIA: DH is from November 1 through May 14 of each year (same as South Carolina). Click here for more information from the Georgia DNR - Wildlife Resources Division.