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BLUFFTON -- Charter boat captain Marty Pinkston lately has been noticing a lot of people casting shrimp nets over deep holes in area creeks and rivers.' And, Pinkston said, they've been catching a fair haul of shrimp.' The
reason for this, said Larry DeLancey, director of crustacean management with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, is that the recent weather has shrimp behaving strangely.' "Normally as shrimp mature they head from shallow water to
deep water and then head offshore," DeLancey said. "This year they are just going from shallow to deep."' DeLancey said the ongoing drought has resulted in increased salinity in area creeks.' "The shrimp seem to prefer high
salinity," he said.' The lack of rain also has prevented shrimp from being swept offshore, he said.' Finally, he said, above-normal temperatures have buoyed creek temperatures, also keeping these shrimp inshore.' "Usually
decreasing temperatures would push the shrimp out of the creeks," DeLancey said.' The end result, he said, is that large adult shrimp are being caught by deep-hole cast netters.' But, he warned, deep-hole cast netting is allowed
only until Saturday.' The shrimp that are hiding in the holes will provide the roe stock for next spring's shrimp season. State law intended to help these shrimp survive prohibits deep-hole netting in the winter months, DeLancey
said.' In fact, he said, by staying in the creeks, the shrimp may be putting themselves in danger. A sudden cold snap would be fatal for them, he said, giving them no time to get offshore into warmer waters.' Shrimp aren't the
only creek critters acting strangely, Pinkston said. With the warm temperatures, he said, autumn species such as spottail bass still are being caught with regularity.' "We are still getting October bites," he said.