Release Date: 04/26/2006

The opening date of the 2006 Louisiana spring shrimp season in Shrimp Management Zone 2 was announced at the special April 26 meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC).  The declaration of emergency, which established the season opening date, followed a presentation of the latest biological and hydrological data compiled by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Marine Fisheries Division and public comment from shrimpers, members of the shrimp industry and other concerned citizens.

The Louisiana inshore shrimp seasons in Shrimp Management Zone 2 will open at noon on Thursday, May 4.  Zone 2 includes state waters from the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island.

The commission also opened the closed portion of Louisiana offshore territorial waters from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the river channel buoy line westward to the eastern shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at 92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude at noon on Thursday, May 4.

LDWF Secretary Dwight Landreneau was given authority to close the season when biological and technical data indicate that significant numbers of small white shrimp begin recruiting into inshore waters or if law enforcement problems develop.

The LWFC is scheduled to meet on Thursday, May 4 at 9:30 a.m. at LDWF headquarters in Baton Rouge to consider the opening dates of the spring inshore shrimp season in Zones 1 and 3.
Development of LDWF management recommendations for spring inshore opening dates utilize criteria which project the date when a minimum of 50 percent of the inshore brown shrimp population sampled reaches sizes of 100 count (per pound) or larger. Unseasonably mild water temperatures extending from January, low Mississippi and Atchafalaya River discharge rates and drought-like conditions throughout Louisiana's estuaries have combined to produce highly favorable shrimp growing conditions this spring.  High survival of early recruited shrimp and rapid growth rates have produced shrimp sizes above the long-term mean in these waters.

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