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Sampling locations in upstate South Carolina?

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#1 BrianW

  • NANFA Guest
  • Cincinnati OH

Posted 04 February 2016 - 10:41 AM

Greetings all, I will be in Anderson, SC during president's day weekend, and was wondering if there was anyone in that area that would be willing to share some good native fish locations. I'm not interested in collecting anything, I just want to observe and take some photos. I'm from SW Ohio, so a lot of species will be new to me, but specifics I'd like to see are endemics like Christmas, Turquoise, Seagreen, Piedmont, Carolina, and Carolina Fantail Darters, as well as stuff like Longnose Dace, Warpaint Shiner, Saffron Shiner, and Yellowfin Shiner. I probably won't have time to get everything, but knowing of a couple spots where most of those would be present would be very helpful. Also, are there any seining or fish related regulations I should be aware of? Feel free to PM me if you don't want to post publicly. Thanks!

#2 Michael Wolfe

Michael Wolfe
  • Board of Directors
  • North Georgia, Oconee River Drainage

Posted 04 February 2016 - 12:24 PM

Robert and Matt will likely chime in and be the most help to you.  


About and hour south and you can get to some Christmas darters (Matt's local favorite).  He has Seagreens too I think... Turquoise are more over in Georgia I think. Lots of the others will also be pretty easy to run into.


In SC you will be good to go with just an out of state fishing license.

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. - Benjamin Franklin

#3 sbtgrfan

  • NANFA Member
  • Charleston, SC

Posted 04 February 2016 - 01:20 PM

Warpaints can only be found in the Chattooga river in SC, which my guess is going to be too high to get in this time of year with all the rain we've had. It got up above floodstage in some parts yesterday. 

I've never seen a Saffron in SC. I don't think...

Yellowfins you will basically find anywhere you go. 


You can find turquoise plentiful in the SC side of the savannah. At least up in the Clemson area you can. 

Christmas darters, Matt will definitely be the contact for those. 

Seagreens are like turquoise except in the Saluda drainage. They are really common in the saluda drainage.


The middle saluda river would be a good place to go as long as the water level isn't too high. It can get dangerous if its high. You'll be able to find Seagreens and yellowfins there, along with possibly some bonus fish like the Fieryblack shiner. Might can pick up a fantail in there as well. I can't remember off the top of my head if piedmont darters are in there or not. I don't recall them being there. You'll have to travel a couple hours from Anderson to get to the middle saluda. Anywhere in the Anderson area should get you yellowfins and turquoise easily. 

Stephen Beaman
Freshwater Aquarist
South Carolina Aquarium
Charleston, SC

#4 mattknepley

  • NANFA Member
  • Smack-dab between the Savannah and the Saluda.

Posted 05 February 2016 - 06:21 AM

Hello, Brian!

Warpaints and Saffrons and Piedmonts are the only things on your list that I think you might have a difficult time finding. Like Stephen, I've never seen a Saffron in SC (or anywhere, for that matter) and the Warpaints have always been no-shows. I have only caught one or two Piedmonts. But the others are pretty easy to come by in the right spots.

I have done very little sampling in the immediate Anderson area, so I'm not the best help there. But within 1.5 hours in any direction you can find most all those fishes you list.

As a general rule; Christmas Darters, Carolina Darters, and Yellowfin Shiners are more south of Anderson while Carolina Fantails, Longnose Dace, Greenhead Shiners are more to the north and east. Turquoise and Seagreens are sprinkled in there two. Actually, I only know one spot in the Upstate with Carolina Fantails. Sometimes they aren't there, sometimes you can't swing a dead gambusia and not hit one...

I am off work 15 February and would be happy to show you around that day, and/or the previous Sunday afternoon, assuming family obligations don't come up. (My sis is in town from Cal. or Kansas or wherever it is she is living now :) sometime around then and I don't want to miss her.)

If meeting up doesn't work out, I will be happy to give you some specific spots for those fishes, and you can pick and choose!

Hopefully the water levels are back down by the time you get here. We haven't had much of a winter, but we have made up for it with it in rain!
Matt Knepley
"No thanks, a third of a gopher would merely arouse my appetite..."

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