SHRIMP SEASON IN BRETON AND CHANDELEUR SOUNDS EXTENDED AND PORTION OF LOUISIANA OFFSHORE TERRITORIAL WATERS REOPENED TO SHRIMPING

Release Date: 03/28/2006

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Dwight Landreneau announced that the shrimp season in the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line (LA R.S.56:495.1(A)2) shall be extended until 6 a.m., April 7, 2006 and the reopening of a portion of Louisiana offshore territorial waters to shrimping. 


That portion of Louisiana offshore territorial waters south of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line as described in R.S.56:495, from the eastern shore of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line to the to the U.S. Coast Guard navigational light off the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at 29 degrees 03 minutes 10 seconds north latitude and 90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude, will reopen to shrimping on April 10, 2006 at 6 a.m. 


Recent fisheries dependent data indicate that sufficient quantities of marketable white shrimp remain in Breton and Chandeleur Sounds and this extension of the shrimp season should provide added economic opportunity to shrimpers while limiting risk to early recruiting brown shrimp. According to the most recent trawl samples taken by Marine Fisheries Division biologists, small white shrimp, which have occupied portions of state outside waters from January through March, are no longer present in the area to be opened.  Significant numbers of small white shrimp still remain in state outside waters west of the Atchafalaya River Ship to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at longitude 92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude and this area will remain closed until further notice. 


Preliminary LDWF trip ticket report data indicate that 2005 Louisiana shrimp landings (all species combined) totaled approximately 102.5 million pounds and had a dock-side value of $133.2 million.  White shrimp landings accounted for 60 percent of total shrimp landings and 68.5 percent of the value.


The opening dates for the 2006 spring inshore shrimp season will be considered by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at the May 4 meeting to be held at LDWF headquarters.


EDITORS: For more information, contact Martin Bourgeois at 225-765-2401 or mbourgeois@wlf.louisiana.gov.