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DMR Home > Species Info > Shrimp > 2013 pre-season tows

Pre-Season Shrimp Tows, January 2013

Three shrimp trawlers from Maine (from South Bristol, Stonington, and Sebasco) and one from New Hampshire made some experimental pre-season shrimp tows for one day during the week of January 13, 2013, with these requirements: they carried a DMR or NH F&G observer, made short (half-hour) tows in several areas, did not exceed 1,500 lbs per boat for the day, and provided samples of the shrimp from each tow for analysis by DMR and NH F&G.  The boats were not paid, but were allowed to sell their catch.  All information collected is public. All data received are listed below.  For more information, please contact Maggie Hunter or download a printable report here (PDF format, 6 pages, 1 MB), or scroll down the page:

Summary:  Results were generally disappointing, with catch rates significantly lower than the commercial fishery average; the average catch rate for the Maine shrimp trawl fishery over the past 5 seasons has been about 375 pounds per hour.  Lobster gear may have prevented at least one of the boats from getting out to better fishing grounds. Counts per pound varied greatly, generally from east to west, with 34 for the Stonington boat, 38 for the South Bristol boat, 51 for the Sebasco boat, and 48 for the Portsmouth boat.  Egg hatch also varied from east to west, with almost no hatch in Stonington, to about 26% hatched off near Sebasco, to about 88% hatched off near Portsmouth, NH.

The Stonington boat averaged 124 pounds of shrimp per hour. Its best tow was 256 pounds per hour. Depths ranged from 30 to 48 fathoms, with the highest catch rate at about 40 fa.  Count per pound was consistently about 34. Most shrimp were still carrying eggs.  View Stonington data, map, and graph here.

The South Bristol boat averaged 186 pounds of shrimp per hour.  Its best tow was 331 pounds per hour.  Lobster gear may have prevented the boat from getting out to better fishing grounds.  Depths ranged from 23 to 61 fathoms, with the highest catch rate at the deepest tow.  Count per pound averaged about 38, except for the first tow which had a lot of smaller striped shrimp (P. montagui).  Most shrimp were still carrying eggs.  View South Bristol data, map, and graph here.

The Sebasco (Phippsburg) boat averaged 58 pounds of shrimp per hour. Its best tow was 87 pounds per hour. Depths ranged from 35 to 67 fathoms, with the highest catch rate at about 50 fa after the captain made some net adjustments.  The captain was using a new net and a new vessel.  Count per pound was consistently about 51.  About 26% of the female shrimp had hatched off their eggs.  View Sebasco data, map, and graph here.

The Portsmouth boat averaged 84 pounds of shrimp per hour. Its best tow was 140 pounds per hour. Depths ranged from 40 to 65 fathoms, with the highest catch rate at about 60 fa.  Count per pound was consistently about 48. Most female shrimp had hatched off their eggs, unusually early. View Portsmouth data, map, and graph here.