Northern rough pink shrimp

This Northern Rough Pink Shrimp was harvested off the docks in Charleston marina.

Photo by Rob Gensorek

Happy almost Thanksgiving everyone!

Rain, sun, wind, calm, sun, rain, rinse lather and repeat. That’s been our weather lately so pack your gear for all five seasons if you’re doing anything outdoors. The fifth season by the way is Orgeonmn (pronounced more or less like “Or ih gun m”). It’s like autumn but has summer spring and winter mixed in at the exact same time.

Not too much to report on the fishing and crabbing front this Orgeonmn as the state still has us shut down for most of the fun things we like to do. A bright spot is that this past week some of our Basin Tackle pro-staff have been having success on the Elk and Sixes river systems for Chinook. Trenton and crew hooked up seven fish and landed four of them. Perch fishing on the beach remains good when the ocean allows and I know I’m not your mom but BE CAREFUL OUT THERE! Those sneaker waves aren’t called “loud with lots of forewarning waves” for a reason.

All the crab in our area and a good way south still test well within safe permissible levels for domoic acid despite us still being closed for any crabbing at all. Apparently there was one crab off of Port Orford that tested high so we are being shut down as a “safety buffer.” At the time of this writing Winchester Bay is still open for crabbing but check with the Oregon Department of Agriculture before you head out in case it too gets the “gates slammed shut.”

Before the shut down, my little girls and I were crabbing every day and having amazing success off our docks here in Charleston. In addition to all the crab, we also caught a lot of other cool critters. One of these critters was the “sea lemon” we spoke of a couple weeks ago. Something I forgot to add to that story is if life hands you sea lemons you do NOT make lemonade because instead of juice they secrete nasty sticky goo when squeezed, much like shaking hands with a politician but maybe a little less gross.

Additional fun creatures we caught were several species of crab, a lot more slugs, and two species of shrimp. Today we will talk about one of those shrimp species, the northern rough pink shrimp. Oddly enough this was the name given to a short in stature gentleman boxer from the 1930’s that hailed from our area and was known for his rough tactics and aggressive nature. The Northern Rough Pink Shrimp won several tiles and gained national acclaim. Actually I just totally made that up, sorry; I’ve had a lot of coffee today and may or may not have washed it down with an energy drink.

In reality the northern rough pink shrimp (hereafter referred to as nrps) is an odd animal that may mature as a male and then later in life changes into a female. (This is where I self-censor everything in my head so that the good people at this newspaper and I do not get sued). The exact proportion of shrimp that morph into the opposite sex is unknown but does seem to vary from season to season. If a shrimp does mature as a male it will remain as such for two reproductive seasons, during subsequent reproductive seasons it will do so as a female for the remainder of its life.

Growing to a maximum of about five to six inches this species of shrimp is identified by a small spine on the third segment of its tail. If you look close enough to the picture you should see it.

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Spawning in late summer the nrps will carry her (possibly formerly his) eggs until they hatch in the early spring. Looking like a small speck of nothing the shrimp will start to look like their parents at about three months of age. Spending most of their life on or near the sea floor the nrps will make forays up the water column in search of food which may consist of plankton, worms, dead sea life and vegetative matter. These critters are just large enough to make a meal if you could ever catch a few handfuls of them and will live to a ripe old age of about five years.

Whether you are staring outside wishing you could ocean fish or go crabbing or are playing with critters off the docks we hope to see you out there.

Rob Gensorek is the owner of Basin Tackle www.basintackle.com in the Charleston Marina and can be reached by phone at-541-888-FISH, by Facebook at Basin Tackle Charleston, or email at basin_tackle@yahoo.com. Robs fishing reports can be heard daily at 6:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. on KRSB Best Country 103 out of Roseburg and his Basin Tackle Outdoor Show can be heard Wednesdays at 3 p.m. and Saturdays at 6 a.m. at kwro.com. In addition to all this he sometimes actually gets out and catches a fish or two.

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