|A large white shrimp typical of S.C. coastal waters|
Recreational shrimpers who purchase a shrimp-baiting license can legally cast their nets for shrimp over bait during this season. Shrimp-baiting season lasts 60 days and will remain open until noon Tuesday, Nov. 8. 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.
DNR biologists reported especially high shrimp numbers in spring 2016 following a warm winter, and a similarly strong fall crop of white shrimp, the offspring of the spring season, is expected.
"Given the relatively mild water temperatures we experienced this past winter, the high abundance of white roe shrimp we started the season with, and the very encouraging results of our ongoing inshore crustacean monitoring efforts, the shrimp fishery this fall has all the makings of a very productive one," said Mel Bell, director of DNR's Office of Fisheries Management. "This will be good news for both the commercial fleet who work in our nearshore waters as well as the recreational shrimping community fishing in shallower estuarine waters. If all of the current trends hold this could be a very good year for shrimping in South Carolina."
Resident shrimp-baiting licenses cost $25, and nonresident licenses cost $500. The catch limit is 48 quarts of shrimp measured heads-on (or 29 quarts heads-off) per boat or set of poles per day, and each boat is limited to a set of 10 poles. When taking shrimp over bait, no cast net may be used having a mesh smaller than one half-inch square measure or one-inch stretch measure.