The S.C. Department of Natural Resources reminds the public that the 2006 shrimp-baiting season closes at noon on Monday, Nov. 13. The season has been open since Sept. 15.
Shrimp-baiting season is the 60-day period each year when recreational shrimpers who purchase a shrimp-baiting license can cast for shrimp over bait.
The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will obtain specific information from a post-season survey that will be mailed to a random number of shrimp baiting permit holders shortly following the end of the season. This survey collects basic information that the DNR will use to estimate the catch, effort and participation for the 2006 season.
“We won’t know for sure the outcome of the season until we get the surveys back and analyzed,” said DNR biologist Larry DeLancey.
As of Nov. 7, 10,088 shrimp baiting licenses had been purchased—nine of those by non-residents. In 2005, 9,001 shrimp baiting licenses were purchased, and seven of those were by non-residents. In 2004, 10,614 shrimp baiting licenses were purchased, and eight of those were by non-residents.
DNR law enforcement officers will continue monitoring after Nov. 13 to make sure that no one is baiting out of season. The penalty for shrimping over bait out of season is $465, and the shrimp, boat, motor and trailer are all seized as contraband, and the violator may face imprisonment for not more than 30 days. In addition, the person’s privilege to catch shrimp over bait is suspended for two years from the date of conviction. From Dec. 16 through April 30, it is unlawful for a person to have in their immediate control or possession more than a total of 12 dozen dead or live shrimp per boat while upon South Carolina waterways.
The public is reminded of Coast Watch, which was developed to better help citizens report violations of saltwater recreational and commercial fishing laws, as well as marine environmental laws. The Coast Watch hotline number (1-800-922-5431) is toll-free and available 24 hours a day.