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Wild turkeys art

If you requested turkey tags when you purchased your Big Game Permit, Sportsman's or Combination License, "Seasonal Wild Turkey Tags" should appear on your annual hunting license and you should have already received your tags by mail from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources. If you don’t have your tags yet, make sure you take the necessary steps to get them soon.

All hunters, including youth, are required to have turkey tags in possession while hunting for wild turkey.

Youth, Lifetime and Senior/Gratis/Disability Licensees or individuals that did not request turkey tags at the time they purchased their license must request these free tags annually.

You can order turkey tags by visiting http://dnr.sc.gov/purchase.html or by completing and mailing in an application or calling 803-734-3833. Please allow 5-7 days for the tags to arrive by mail.

Tags are also available over the counter at SCDNR offices in Charleston, Clemson, Columbia (downtown and Farmer’s Market), Florence and York.

Tags are not available at point-of-sale license vendors (Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, etc.) or SCDNR field offices not listed above.

Turkey season opens March 20 on private lands statewide and April 1 on WMA lands. Youth Turkey Hunting Days are March 16-17 on private lands and March 30 on WMA lands. The season runs through May 5 statewide.

If “Seasonal Wild Turkey Tags” appears in your list of privileges on your hunting license and you have not yet received them in the mail, you should contact the SCDNR license office at 803-734-3833.

Thousands of trout stocked into lower Saluda River

COLUMBIA — The S.C. Department of Natural Resources is stocking thousands of catchable-sized rainbow trout (8 to 11 inches) and smaller brown trout (4 to 6 inches) from the Walhalla State Fish Hatchery in Oconee County into the lower Saluda River near Columbia.

This process is done by trucking the trout to four locations in the upper two thirds of the river. The cold waters released from the bottom of Lake Murray provide suitable habitat for the trout, creating a unique and very popular fishery in the Midlands.

SCDNR stocks nearly 30,000 trout each year in the lower Saluda from December through February in what’s called a "put, grow and take" fishery that relies on stocking to maintain populations. Trout grow rapidly after stocking and can exceed 20 inches in one to two years after stocking, which is considered trophy size for this type of fishery.

Be advised, as of July 1, 2018, ”the lower reach of the Saluda River, from the eastbound I-20 bridge downstream to Stacey's Ledge, is year-round catch-and-release fishing only for all species of coldwater trout.” It will be “unlawful to take and retain trout at any time” in this section of the river.

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