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State Officials Open Georgia’s Shrimp Harvesting Season This Week

Georgia's Department of Natural Resources delayed the 2018 season until this week to give shrimp more time to spawn. DNR says long periods of cold water this winter slowed down that process.
Georgia's Department of Natural Resources delayed the 2018 season until this week to give shrimp more time to spawn. DNR says long periods of cold water this winter slowed down that process.
Credit Patrick Semansky) / Associated Press file

Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources opens the state’s shrimp harvesting season this week.

Starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday, commercial and recreational fishermen can trawl for shrimp. In state waters, close to the coast, they’ve got from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset to do that.

Farther out into the Atlantic Ocean, in federal waters, they can harvest 24 hours a day.

The trawling season is a little later this year. DNR can open the waters to harvesting as early as May 15. Last year, they opened the season June 1.

It delayed the 2018 season until this week to give shrimp more time to spawn. DNR says long periods of cold water this winter slowed down that process.

“The white shrimp abundance in our May coastwide trawl survey is still a concern following the extreme winter freeze,” said Carolyn Belcher, chief of marine fisheries for DNR.

“However, the maturity of the shrimp that we have seen is progressing. Therefore, opening on June 19 will allow for much of the shrimp stock to complete the spawning process.”

Georgia law says shrimping season can run through the end of December.