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Shrimp season open
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Georgia waters will open for commercial and recreational harvest of food shrimp at 6 a.m. on Tuesday. Commercial food shrimp trawlers will be allowed to operate in Georgia’s territorial waters of the Atlantic Ocean waters. Commercial and recreational cast netters, as well as people using a beach seine will be allowed to harvest food shrimp from waters open to the use of these gears.   
Although this opening date is similar to previous years, the DNR says there are many changes in shrimp fishing regulations as a result of House Bill 100 signed by Gov. Sonny Perdue on May 14.
Recreational and commercial shrimp fishermen can now use a modified cast net of any length. Both groups can use nets with a half–inch or larger mesh until March 1, 2009, when the minimum mesh size will be increased to 5/8-inch. The daily possession limit for commercial cast netters has been increased to 150 quarts (heads-on) through Nov. 30 after which it is reduced to 75 quarts (heads-on) for the remainder of the season. The daily possession limits for recreational food shrimp harvesters remain the same as during the 2006 season. Also unchanged from previous years, recreational food shrimp harvesters are prohibited from selling their catch.
All commercial harvest of food shrimp is now restricted to a period from 30 minutes prior to sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset. Federal waters (beyond three miles offshore) are open for food shrimp harvest throughout the day and night. Trawler operators are reminded that they must have approved bycatch reduction devices and turtle excluder devices in their trawls while operating in both state and federal waters.
For more information, call the DNR’s Coastal Resources Division at (912) 264-7218.
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