Drought Affects SC Fishing Industry and Farmers

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By Alicia Barnes

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) _ The drought is not just affecting farmers in South Carolina.

The winter fishing season is not going well either because of the dry weather.

The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports Larry Toomer with Bluffton Oyster Company reports crab harvesting is suffering because of the dry conditions.

Toomer said he caught about two bushels of blue crabs in his trap one day either this week. Toomer says last year he was catching about 25 bushels a day.

He says the drought makes the seawater saltier and drives many crabs too far up freshwater rivers and creeks to be caught legally.

He says this is shrimp spawning season and if the estuaries are too crowded, there won't be enough food to grow a strong shrimp population.

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