The Savannah River stretches hundreds of miles while dividing the states of South Carolina and Georgia. The river is fed from Lake Hartwell through the Hartwell Dam constructed to control flooding and generate electricity. To the southeast, the water dumps into the Atlantic Ocean near Tybee Island. Along its path, the river offers excellent fishing opportunities. The Savannah River offers anglers the chance to catch freshwater and saltwater species, depending on the location. What kind of fish are in the Savannah River?

How Long Is The Savannah River

The Savannah River extends for over 300 miles. Savannah, Georgia, is a robust seaport welcoming ships from all over the world. 

As a result of dredging, deep hulled vessels transit the river. Savannahs seaport is positioned in the lower portion of the river extending into the open Atlantic waters. 

While the vast majority of the river is freshwater, the lower 30 miles is salt or brackish. Roughly 270 miles contain freshwater species, while the remainder holds saltwater fishes. 

Can I Use A SC Fishing License In Ga

When fishing the Savannah River or lakes, including Lake Hartwell, a Georgia or South Carolina fishing license is allowable by law. 

Licenses are required for anglers 16 and up. Licenses are available for purchase online. 

Can I Use A Ga Fishing License In SC

The same rules apply to using a South Carolina fishing license in Georgia. Bodies of water positioned on territorial divides, including state lines, allow anglers the opportunity to use either a South Carolina or Georgia license. 

However, determine whether you are fishing in saltwater or freshwater. Purchase a South Carolina or Georgia fishing license specific to the water. The options are saltwater or freshwater. 

What Kind Of Freshwater Fish Are In The Savannah River

The Savannah River is home to a wide variety of freshwater species. The species include the largemouth bass, chain pickerel, sunfish varieties, bluegill, channel catfish, striped bass, white bass, and more. 

Depending on the species, anglers utilize various methods to catch fish. Catfish specifically are bottom dwellers requiring fishers to focus on the river’s floor compared to bass and panfish, which remain suspended. 

What Kind Of Saltwater Fish Are In The Savannah River

In the lower salt portion of the river, anglers catch sea trout, redfish, mullet, flounder, whiting, sheepshead, black drum, and blue crabs.  

The saltwater species make excellent table fare. The most notable are the redfish, flounder, and sea trout. 

Anglers utilize live baits, including shrimp, in addition to artificials around structures and marsh grass. 

Area Savannah River Fish Safe To Eat

Unfortunately, the Savannah River is contaminated by mercury. Mercury is contained in the fillets of fish and, when consumed, poses a risk to human health.

The level of contamination varies by location. Two of the most highly restricted fish are the bowfin and largemouth bass. Health officials recommend avoiding eating these species because of the high levels of mercury. 

Panfish and catfish face the lowest restrictions. Georgia recommends limiting the intake to one fish per week.

The lower saltwater section faces the least amount of restrictions. Sheepsheads fall under the once per week category as a result of mercury. Tidal changes influence the salt section of the river because tides continuously move the water allowing fresh seawater to enter and exit the river. 

Know You Know What Kind Of Fish Are In The Savannah River

The Savannah River offers both saltwater and freshwater fishing opportunities for anglers. The river is home to a vast range of species. When eating the fish from the river, check-in with the Georgia Department Of Public Health. The department of health provides annual updates. No matter what, enjoy catching fish on the river from South Carolina or Georgia.