The opening dates of the 2007 Louisiana spring shrimp season were announced at the May 3 meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. The declaration of emergency which established the season opening dates 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 season in Shrimp Management Zone 1 will open at noon on May 28. Zone 2 as well as that portion of the State's Outside Waters south of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line as described in R.S. 56:495 from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the River Channel Buoy Line to the eastern shore of Freshwater Bayou at 92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude will open at noon on May 14 and Zone 3 will open at noon on May 28.
Zone 1 includes state waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River. Zone 2 comprises that portion of Louisiana's inside 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 and Zone 3 includes state waters from the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island to the Louisiana/Texas state line.
LDWF Secretary Bryant O. Hammett, Jr., was given authority to close the season when biological and technical data indicate that significant numbers of small white shrimp have recruited into inshore waters or if law enforcement problems develop.
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. Last year, Louisiana shrimp landings totaled 135 million pounds (all species combined/heads-off weight) and were valued at $144.8 million dockside.
For more information contact Martin Bourgeois at 225-765-2401 or firstname.lastname@example.org.