2011 Shrimp season is now open.

Good news for anyone looking for fresh local shrimp…

In the creeks we have been seeing some small shrimp running in the shallows along with small fish. Going through the shallows in a kayak, the shrimp try to scurry for cover. Around low-tide is when it is the best time to see nature in creeks. At high-tide the small fish and shrimp hide around the root systems of the Smooth cord grass and use it as cover from larger predators. Obviously when the water retreats back to the ocean on an outgoing tide, they have to follow the water out of the grass and into the shallow channels of the creek. This is where we see them and the Blue Herons, Egrets and dolphins feeding on them.

More on the story in today’s paper below.

First day of shrimp season yields smaller brown shrimp

Read more: http://www.islandpacket.com/2011/06/22/1700611/first-day-of-shrimp-season-yields.html#ixzz1Q9AZEGcx

Shrimper preparing the nets.The commercial shrimping season opened Wednesday morning — nearly a month later than usual — as local boats trawled for summer brown shrimp after white shrimp usually harvested in spring were widely killed off by winter cold snaps.

Temperatures dropped so low in the winter that the first crop of white shrimp never showed, causing the S.C. Department of Natural Resources to delay the season so the crustaceans could repopulate by fall.

Last week, DNR trawls began pulling in summer brown shrimp.

“They came out of nowhere all of a sudden,” said DNR biologist Larry DeLancey.

The season opening couldn’t have come soon enough for Benny Hudson Seafood owner Tonya Hudson-DeSalve on Hilton Head Island. She had run out of shrimp frozen from last season.

More than 10 boats that launched from the dock Wednesday reported sizable catches of brown shrimp, she said.

“The good thing is there’s plenty of them. They’re just a little small,” she said. “We need to pray for some rain to get them up to size.”

Rain adds nutrients to the water that feed the shrimp, and it moves them downstream from the brackish feeder creeks, where they otherwise would remain and stay small.