Abstract

Long-term trawl samples for white shrimp, Litopenaeus setiferus, collected within the Ashepoo, Combahee, Edisto Basin National Estuarine Research Reserve and adjacent waters were analyzed for trends in relative abundance and life history patterns. Milder winters are thought to have contributed to high population levels of white shrimp here, as seen along the rest of the southeastern coast of the United States. In addition to winter water temperature, regression analysis indicated a significant increase in salinity over time in the reserve and a significant relationship between percent saturation of dissolved oxygen and shrimp abundance in the summer. Relatively larger shrimp were collected in the spring and at open water locations in St. Helena Sound, reflective of normal growth and migration. Such baseline data should prove valuable for assessing future sustainability of shrimp stocks, especially if recent climatic trends of drought occur in the future.

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