Last winter's exceptionally cold weather may result in a smaller haul for shrimpers in southeastern North Carolina.
The StarNews of Wilmington reported that the type of white shrimp usually caught in that part of the state are susceptible to cold weather. Meteorologists say temperatures this past winter hit record lows that were sustained over several weeks.
State Marine Fisheries manager Rich Carpenter said the white shrimp population appears smaller than average, but a rapid rate of reproduction means they could rebound within the year.
Fishing season for white shrimp runs from April to June and August to September.
Marine Fisheries data shows that North Carolina's white shrimp catch is typically volatile, ranging from less than 2 million to more than 6 million pounds annually since 2006.