The S.C. Department of Natural Resources will close the South Carolina commercial shrimping season in state waters on January 15th at 7:00 p.m.
Provisional trawling areas along the seaward state water line will close January 20th at 7:00 p.m. The state’s waters opened to commercial shrimp trawling May 18th in 2006. The S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has various measures to determine season opening and closing dates. Typically these measures indicate the commercial shrimp trawl season’s closure about the middle of January each year.
According to Mel Bell, Director of the DNR’s Office of Fisheries Management, “The season closure is based on numerous factors including water temperature, trawl survey information, economics of the fishery and discussions we have had with trawl operators.”
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DNR Biologists performing periodic sampling of the shrimp population throughout the year have observed that the spring white roe shrimp crop was above average, most likely due to mild winter temperatures in early 2006. The summer brown shrimp catches were the lowest recorded over the course of the season since 1979. DNR biologist Larry DeLancey noted that young brown shrimp may have come into the estuaries too early this season and did not survive the cool spring temperatures. Other than the good catches of fall white shrimp in the Ashepoo, Combahee and Edisto (ACE) Basin recorded in August, according to DeLancey, the fall sampling indicated that numbers of shrimp were below average from previous years.