Man fishes in the lake at Santee NWR

Fishing is permitted on all four refuge units and includes the open waters of Lake Marion and ponds, shallow impoundments, canals and inland ditches. Lake Marion is world famous for excellent striped bass fishing and trophy-sized catfish. Other common species of fish are largemouth and white bass, black and white crappie, sunfish and bluegill. 

Open waters of Lake Marion within refuge boundaries are open for fishing 24 hours a day, except in posted "Closed Areas" or closed for migratory bird management. Fishing on inland ponds is allowed when refuge units are open for general public access or as posted. Cantey Bay, Black Bottom, Savannah Branch, ponds and impoundments are open to access from March 1 through October 31. Access for many areas is limited to only foot or bicycle travel. 

Fishing or boating within 100 feet of nesting birds or bird rookeries within refuge boundaries is prohibited. 

See the refuge Fishing Regulations and Permit brochure for detailed information and map. We encourage visitors to stop by the Visitor Center for current information on access and closed areas. The free refuge permit is required and must be in your possession while fishing on the refuge. All Federal and state regulations are in effect. 

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