The 2015 South Carolina shrimp-baiting season is expected to be a productive one. After a strong spring spawn and a season of good environmental conditions, DNR biologists are optimistic about the fall shrimp season.
“Our crustacean monitoring trips this summer have indicated good numbers of white shrimp in estuarine waters,” said Mel Bell, director of DNR’s Office of Fisheries Management.
South Carolina's 2015 shrimp-baiting season opened on Friday, Sept. 11 and will remain open until noon Tuesday, Nov. 10 in South Carolina waters.
Recreational shrimpers who purchase a shrimp-baiting license can legally cast their nets for shrimp over bait during this season.
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) opens the shrimp-baiting season annually on the last Friday on or before Sept. 15 each year. The shrimp-baiting season lasts 60 days.
Post-season mail surveys conducted every year since 1988 indicate that recent total catches have been less than 1 million pounds per season (heads on) after peaking at more than 3.6 million pounds in 1997. Despite the decline in total catch, catch per trip has remained relatively stable, averaging about 20-22 quarts per trip since 2001.
The stable catch-per-trip suggests that shrimp abundance has remained relatively good, but fewer licenses and shrimping trips are resulting in a lower overall harvest. DNR biologists recommend that in general, shrimpers should target areas closer to the ocean to avoid smaller shrimp.
Recreational and commercial shrimpers are encouraged to report catches of tiger shrimp in South Carolina to DNR at email@example.com. If possible, reports should include a photograph of the animal along with location and date of capture. Specimens less than 5 inches in length are of particular interest and should be kept frozen prior to donation.
source: South Carolina Department of Natural Resources