Up on Shem Creek

Shem Creek has been a fishing spot for much longer than Charleston's 350 year history.  Local Sewee native Americans used the brackish water to pull out fish, shrimp, crabs, oysters and mussels  to supplement their staple diet of deer, small game, and corn. A modern fisherman, with the help of a few water-loving labs ply the late Autumn creek in the shadow of the Ravennel Bridge connecting Mt. Pleasant to the peninsula of historic Charleston.
Shem Creek has been a fishing spot for much longer than Charleston’s 350 year history. Local Sewee native Americans used the brackish water to pull out fish, shrimp, crabs, oysters and mussels to supplement their staple diet of deer, small game, and corn. A modern fisherman, with the help of a few water-loving labs ply the late Autumn creek in the shadow of the Ravennel Bridge connecting Mt. Pleasant to the peninsula of historic Charleston.
A trio of shrimp boats tie up at the town-owned docks.  Reaching its peak in the 1940's the local shrimp industry at Shem's Creek continues a downward slide with the aggressive pricing of foreign farm-raised shrimp and the general depletion of local shrimp stocks.
A trio of shrimp boats tie up at the town-owned docks. Reaching its peak in the 1940’s the local shrimp industry at Shem’s Creek continues a downward slide with the aggressive pricing of foreign farm-raised shrimp and the general depletion of local shrimp stocks.

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Mt. Pleasant Seafood Company on the creek's north side offers anything that comes out of the local water, but especially Atlantic shrimp-a lowcountry delicacy for centuries.
Mt. Pleasant Seafood Company on the creek’s north side offers anything that comes out of the local water, but especially Atlantic shrimp-a lowcountry delicacy for centuries.

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The setting sun reflects on the tall masts of shrimp trawlers lined up at the end of Shem Creek.
The setting sun reflects on the tall masts of shrimp trawlers lined up at the end of Shem Creek.
Locals and tourists enjoy fishing from the new boardwalks of Mt. Pleasant's newest city park at the edge of the creek.  Future plans call for extending and connecting the boardwalk all along the northern waterfront. Besides fishing and dining, the creek is the premier spot for stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) kayaking and recreational boaters.  Several commercial boats operate harbor cruises and taxi service to downtown Charleston.
Locals and tourists enjoy fishing from the new boardwalks of Mt. Pleasant’s newest city park at the edge of the creek. Future plans call for extending and connecting the boardwalk all along the northern waterfront.
Besides fishing and dining, the creek is the premier spot for stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) kayaking and recreational boaters. Several commercial boats operate harbor cruises and taxi service to downtown Charleston.

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Toward the Coleman Boulevard bridge, a half dozen seafood-themed restaurants, including a faux lighthouse and genuine but converted icehouse. The icehouse operated until a few years back when declining numbers of shrimp boats needed less ice to fill their holds to protect the shrimp and seafood within. Red's Icehouse serves only ice in drinks these days.
Toward the Coleman Boulevard bridge, a half dozen seafood-themed restaurants, including a faux lighthouse and a genuine but converted icehouse. The icehouse operated until a few years back when declining numbers of shrimp boats needed less ice to fill their holds to protect the shrimp and seafood within. Red’s Icehouse serves only ice in drinks these days.
In 1859, while digging a pond on his Cedar Grove plantation along Shem Creek, Dr. Louis Klipstein discovered pieces of a mastodon bone.  One piece of the tusk measured over six feet in length.  Like elephants with their elongated noses and tusks,   the mastodon americanus was a mammal from the last Ice Age and apparently an early resident of Shem Creek.
In 1859, while digging a pond on his Cedar Grove plantation along Shem Creek, Dr. Louis Klipstein discovered pieces of a mastodon bone. One piece of the tusk measured over six feet in length.
Like elephants with their elongated noses and tusks, the mastodon americanus was a mammal from the last Ice Age and apparently an early resident of Shem Creek.
Although bright green all during the hot summer months, marsh grass in the Carolina lowcountry turns an intense golden color by late summer, lasting until the next spring arrives. The distinct gamey smell of 'pluff mud', rich and  full of both living and dead organisms,   invite and  more often repel visitors and local alike. With its deep channel and twice daily tides, Shem Creek is one of the easiest spots in Charleston to spot bottlenose dolphins swimming and fishing in the creek.  Birds include pelicans, ibis, snowy egrets, and seagulls.
Although bright green all during the hot summer months, marsh grass in the Carolina lowcountry turns an intense golden color by late summer, lasting until the next spring arrives.
The distinct gamey smell of ‘pluff mud’, rich and full of both living and dead organisms, invite and more often repel visitors and local alike.
With its deep channel and twice daily tides, Shem Creek is one of the easiest spots in Charleston to spot bottlenose dolphins swimming and fishing in the creek. Birds include pelicans, ibis, snowy egrets, and seagulls.
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