The S.C. Department of Natural Resources reminds the public that the 2007 shrimp baiting season closes at noon on Monday, November 12. The season has been open since September 14.
The practice of shrimp baiting has remained basically the same since the current laws were passed in 1988. The season lasts 60 days, resident licenses cost $25 and non-residents licenses cost $500. The catch limit is 48 quarts of shrimp measured heads-on (29 quarts heads-off) per boat or set of poles per day, and each boat is limited to a set of 10 poles.
As of the beginning of November, around 9,500 shrimp baiting licenses had been purchased, slightly less than the number of licenses purchased during 2006, which was just over 10,000. Comparatively, around 9,000 shrimp baiting licenses were purchased during 2005.
S.C. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) biologist Julia Byrd says, "Recreational shrimp baiters appear to have had a good season. Many we have spoken with noted they were catching their limit of quality sizes of shrimp in a reasonable amount of time." DNR will obtain more 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 2007 season.
DNR Law Enforcement officers will continue monitoring after Nov. 12 to make sure that no one is baiting out of season. From December 16 through April 30, it is unlawful for a person to have in their immediate control or possession more than a total of twelve dozen dead or live shrimp per boat while upon South Carolina waterways.
DNR protects and manages South Carolina’s natural resources by making wise and balanced decisions for the benefit of the state’s natural resources and its people.