CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina shrimp are again coming to stores and restaurants.

The commercial shrimping season opens Thursday and shrimpers along the coast are optimistic about the spring catch. Larry Toomer of the Bluffton Oyster Co. says indications are the season will be better than last year.

The Department of Natural Resources sets the opening for the spring season based on such factors are the temperature of the water and shrimp spawning. It's been unusually cool this year, resulting in slightly smaller shrimp than usual.

Last year after an unusually warm winter, the shrimp season opened about six weeks earlier in mid-April.

State biologists say that sample trawling along the coast found a fair quantity of shrimp and some were of good size.