South Carolina Paddlesports Industry Association
South Carolina Paddling Rules & Regulations
All Paddlers must either wear or have within arms reach- approved TYPE I, II, III, IV, or V PFD's according to the water types and vessels they are paddling.
A whistle must accompany each paddler.
At the very minimum we suggest having a waterproof case with a charged cell phone attached to your person at all times and make sure you tell someone your estimated time of departure and arrival and what landings and waterways you plan to access.
We highly suggest taking an ACA course from an ACA accredited instructor or school to paddle safely in SC waters.
(Water) Rules of the Road apply to all paddlers.
Coast Guard PFD Regulations
Concerning Rice Canals & Sandbars
1. Rice Fields. Are paddlers able to paddle up into rice fields from an open river access? It has come into question with some plantation owners. Points taken: They own the land and pay taxes on the fields. Can we paddle up into those fields from a navigable water (river) if there is an open venue to do so? I know there have been some issues with other duck hunters going up into their fields as well, so that does make a good point. Although paddlers are generally recreational, some do fish from their kayaks as well.
>Public Trust Doctrine specifically allows access. It applies to all water influenced by the ocean's tide, regardless of whether it was navigable or part of a navigable body of water.
>Public Trust Doctrine also apples here also. OCRM could not issue a permit that would allow the owners to close off the rice field canals if they are tidally influenced.
In kayak guide language, yes, we can kayak in rice canals as long as they are tidal (and they're just about all tidal, otherwise it would be a pretty ineffective rice canal).
2. Sand bars: What is the legal access for paddlers to camp out on sand bars? It was my understanding that the mean water level delineates this. Can you clarify?
>We suggest you contact SCDNR before doing this to determine if a permit is required. Camping on sandbars is considered a primitive form of camping and that campers are taking all risk in their own hands to check water levels. Camping during periods of low water where the sand bars are located below the high water mark is legal in South Carolina.
Rules and Regulations for collection of artifacts and fossils
SECTION 54-7-670. Hobby licenses; reports of hobby divers as to finds; restrictions.
(A) A person desiring to conduct temporary, intermittent, recreational, small scale, noncommercial search and recovery of submerged archaeological historic property or submerged paleontological property shall apply for a hobby license from the institute. Any person collecting from state property such as river banks or beaches below the mean low watermark shall apply for a license.
(B) A person desiring to apply for a hobby license shall submit a completed application on a standard form prescribed by the institute together with a license fee. A license fee of five dollars for residents of this State and ten dollars for nonresidents must be charged for a six-month hobby license. A license fee of eighteen dollars for residents of this State and thirty-six dollars for nonresidents must be charged for a two-year hobby license.
(C) This nonexclusive statewide license may be granted optionally for a six-month or two-year period.
(D) Licenses may be granted to individuals or members of an immediate family.
(E) Hobby license holders may not exercise the privileges of their licenses in waters for which any type of exclusive license has been granted and is in effect or in waters for which such exclusive licenses become effective during the life of that exclusive license.
(F) This section limits the recovery of objects or materials from submerged archaeological historic property and submerged paleontological property under a hobby license to a limited number of objects which can be recovered by hand. All powered mechanical dredging and lifting devices and buoyancy equipment except a personal flotation device of any sort are prohibited including, but not limited to, prop wash, air lift, water dredge, and pneumatically-operated lift bags under the license.
(1) A person with a hobby license may collect from submerged lands of this State a reasonable number of artifactual items and/or complete and fragmented fossil specimens a day that:
(a) are exposed or resting on the bottom sediments of submerged lands; and
(b) do not require excavation to recover.
(2) No artifactual or paleontological materials may be recovered from submerged lands of this State unless they can be obtained by hand.
(3) No specimen may be recovered from a fossil specimen with joined or interrelated elements before contacting the museum.
(G)(1) All persons who have collected objects in accordance with Section 54-7-670 shall furnish the institute with a report which is to include a list of the objects and a description of the places from which the objects were recovered. Hobby divers are also encouraged, but not required, to include photographs or drawings of artifacts recovered and rough sketch plans of the site or map of the location with the exception of shipwreck sites covered under item (2) of this subsection. Reports submitted under a two-year hobby license must be filed within ten days following the end of the calendar quarter in which the activities took place. All reports under this license must be filed with the institute prior to submitting application for renewal of a hobby license. The institute will not consider applications for renewal until all outstanding reports have been received.
(2) No more than ten artifacts a day may be recovered from a shipwreck site. Divers may not destroy the integrity of the ship's structure by removing or moving timbers, fittings, fastenings, or machinery. Hobby divers who have recovered any artifacts from a shipwreck site must include in the report both a locational reference to the shipwreck site by locating the site on a topographic or hydrographic chart and a sketch map of the wreck site showing the location from where the artifacts were recovered in relation to the wreck.
(3)(a) The institute shall review each list of objects and within sixty days from the receipt of the quarterly report release title to all artifacts reported.
(b) Objects recovered that are not considered by the institute to be artifactual items may be retained by the persons who collected the objects.
(c) If the institute has not acted by the end of the sixty days, title to the artifactual material recovered and listed on the hobby diver's report is automatically conveyed to the licensee.
(d) If the institute has determined that the licensee has violated any of the terms of this article, the institute may require that the artifacts be turned over to the institute and revoke the license.
(H)(1) All persons who have collected fossil specimens in accordance with Section 54-7-670 shall furnish the museum commission with a report, which must include a list of the fossils and a description of the places from which the fossils were recovered. Hobby divers are also encouraged, but not required, to include photographs or drawings of fossils and rough sketch plans of the site or map of the location. All reports submitted under a two-year hobby license must be filed within ten days following the end of the calendar quarter in which the activities took place. All reports under this license must be filed with the institute prior to submitting application for renewal of a hobby license. The institute will not consider applications for renewal until all outstanding reports have been received.
(2)(a) The museum shall review each list of specimens and within sixty days from receipt of the quarterly report release title to all specimens reported.
(b) Specimens recovered that are not considered by the museum to be paleontological material may be retained by the persons who collected the fossils.
(c) If the museum has not acted by the end of the sixty days, title to the paleontological material recovered and listed on the quarterly report is automatically conveyed to the licensee.
HISTORY: 1991 Act No. 169, Section 1; 1992 Act No. 503, Section 2, eff July 1, 1993; 2002 Act No. 364, Sections 4-6, eff September 26, 2002.