Shrimp shortage strikes Grand Strand

MURRELLS INLET, SC (WMBF) – Grand Strand fishermen say the local shrimp season started slow, and has now come to a complete stop, and local restaurants are feeling the effects.

"We use large shrimp," said Peter Haentjens of Dead Dog Saloon. "The supply has been very low, and the price has been very high."

Haentjens says the Dead Dog Saloon and other restaurants aren't getting their large, white shrimp from the Carolina Coast anymore this season. Instead, restaurants are placing orders for gulf coast shrimp.

"East coast shrimp, in my opinion, is the best," Haentjens said. "We're using a lower standard than we'd like."

Local bait and fish shops in Murrells Inlet say brown shrimp, the small variety found in local creeks, are abundant. But, they say heavy rains in the Grand Strand could be the reason larger shrimp aren't been caught from trolling boats.

"It moves the shrimp around a lot," says Eric Perry, owner of Perry's Bait and Tackle. "Also with high winds, those guys just don't have a chance to get out there."

However, Perry's wife, Jessica, says fishing records for the Inlet indicate there could be hope for next year's fishing season, citing lean years are followed by extremely abundant fishing seasons.

"People were coming to the conclusion you don't really catch trout here anymore," she said. "Last year we had the best trout season we've seen in 10 years."

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