Recreational Shrimping

To recreationally shrimp, a person will need basic and saltwater licenses. To use a trawl, a person will additionally need a gear license for a trawl which can be purchased at any license issuing facility.

Areas

Grand Isle Beach closed out to 500’ May to September by Commission action.
Shrimping areas in Louisiana are divided into inshore waters, the offshore territorial sea and the federal Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The line (shrimp line) that separates inside waters from outside territorial waters generally follows the coastline, although there are some exceptions. For specific boundary locations check with your local Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Agent. Maps of the shrimp line are available at a charge of $10 per map by writing the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 400, New Orleans, LA 70122. Please specify which area of the coast you are interested in. The line that separates state territorial waters from the EEZ generally follows the Louisiana coast three miles from shore. For specific boundary locations, particularly in the Grand Isle and Marsh Island area, you should contact your local Wildlife and Fisheries Enforcement Agent. For management purposes, both state inside and state outside territorial waters are divided into three shrimp management zones:
Zone 1: extends from the Louisiana/ Mississippi state line to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River.
Zone 2: extends from the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island.
Zone 3: extends from the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island to the Louisiana/ Texas state line.
NOTE: Restricted areas exist within WMAs, refuges and other areas which may be closed to certain gear types or methods of fishing. Consult your local Wildlife and Fisheries Office or Enforcement Agent and the WMA section of this pamphlet.
Night shrimping, between the hours of one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise, is prohibited in Vermilion Bay, East and West Cote Blanche Bays, and Atchafalaya Bay, from the western shore of Vermilion Bay to the western shore of the Atchafalaya River and the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel out to Eugene Island as described by the inside-outside line in R.S. 56:495.
Taking shrimp with saltwater trawls from May 1 - Sept. 15 each year is prohibited in state waters on the south side of Grand Isle from Caminada Pass to Barataria Pass in Jefferson Parish, from the southeast side of the Caminada bridge to the northwest side of Barataria Pass at Fort Livingston, extending from the beach side of Grand Isle to a distance of 500 feet beyond the shoreline into the Gulf of Mexico.

Trawling

No person shall trawl over any privately leased bedding grounds or oyster propagating place which is staked off, marked or posted as required by law or regulation. Trawling is prohibited in Lake Maurepas and that portion of Lake Pontchartrain from the shoreline to 1.25 miles out from the Jefferson/ Orleans Parish line east to the eastern shore of South Point, from South Point to North Shore along the railroad bridge west from North Shore to Goose Point.
Trawling is prohibited between the railroad bridge and Interstate 10 in Lake Pontchartrain.  Trawling at night is prohibited in Cameron Parish sections of Calcasieu Lake, the Black Lake Bayou System, Grand Bayou and Little Burten’s Ditch. Trawling at night is prohibited in Grand Lake and White Lake. Trawls are prohibited in the waters of Bayou Judge Perez (Bayou Hermitage) from its entrance into Lake Judge Perez (Bayou Hermitage) to Devils Bayou, a distance of approximately one mile, located in Plaquemines Parish. Trawling north of the LA Highway 631 Bridge at Des Allemands, Louisiana, and in Lake Des Allemands, its streams and tributaries, is prohibited. Trawling is prohibited in the cove immediately adjacent to Cypremort Point State Park landward of a line from Blue Point to Cypremort Point to the shoreline.

Seasons

Trawls cannot be used for any purpose in state waters during closed season. Shrimp seasons are flexible and are fixed by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission based upon biological and technical data relative to shrimp populations in Louisiana waters. Generally, the spring inshore season will begin in early to mid May and may extend into July. The fall inshore season usually begins near mid-August and typically extends into December. The shrimp season in Louisiana’s outside territorial waters is generally open year round EXCEPT for a closed season in portions of state outside waters which may be set during the late winter to early spring months usually beginning in December or January and extending into March or April. The shrimp season in the federal waters of the Gulf outside (south) of Louisiana’s territorial waters is usually open all year; these waters are controlled by the federal government. A federal shrimp vessel permit is required for all vessels fishing shrimp in the Gulf of Mexico EEZ.
Information concerning federal shrimp vessel permits, Turtle Excluder Device (TED) and Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRD) requirements and exemptions can be obtained by contacting the National Marine Fisheries Service at (727) 824-5312 for TEDs or (727) 824-5305 for BRDs or at: www.nmfs.noaa.gov.

Size Limit

There is no size limit on any saltwater shrimp taken during the spring open season nor is there any size limit on brown shrimp or seabobs taken during any open season in Louisiana. There is, however, a minimum possession count on white shrimp taken in either inside or outside (offshore) waters of Louisiana of 100 count (whole shrimp per pound). This size restriction applies to the taking or possession of such shrimp aboard a vessel, EXCEPT during the period from Oct. 15 through the third Monday in December when there shall be no possession count on white shrimp taken or possessed. When more than 50 percent by weight of the shrimp taken or possessed is seabobs or brown shrimp, then the maximum allowable amount of undersized white shrimp taken or possessed shall not exceed 10 percent by weight of the total shrimp taken or possessed.

Methods of Taking

During open seasons, saltwater shrimp may be taken with trawls or cast nets and by no other means. Bait shrimp may be taken at any time, even during the closed season, with cast nets less than 8.5 feet in radius, hand operated dip nets with a diameter not to exceed three feet, bait traps, and bait seines less than 30 feet with a maximum mesh size of 1/4 inch bar, 1/2 inch stretched mesh which are manually operated on foot only. Cast Nets, Dip Nets, Bait Seines: A recreational angler may use dip nets, bait seines, and cast nets not to exceed 8.5 feet in radius, but shall not take at anytime more than 50 pounds of shrimp during closed season and 100 pounds of shrimp per day during the open season, in the aggregate, per day per boat or vehicle, regardless of the number of persons thereon, provided the shrimp taken are used for bait or for the fisherman’s own consumption and are not sold, traded or otherwise permitted to enter into commerce. Certain WMAs and state or federal refuges may have different rules, consult local LDWF office or Enforcement Agent for specifics.
Trawls: Trawls cannot have a mesh size less than 5/8 inch bar or 1.25 inches stretched. In Zone 2 from the western shore of the Atchafalaya River to the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island, mesh size must not be less than 3/4 inch bar or 1.5 inches stretched during the fall inshore shrimp season. No net or beam trawl used for taking fish or shrimp from the saltwater areas of the state shall be left unattended, as defined in R.S. 56:8(102) except such legal nets or trawls which are attached to a wharf at a camp and which are tagged with a department tag issued in conjunction with the gear being used.

During the open shrimping seasons, trawls 25 feet and less may be used for recreational purposes; recreational shrimpers using trawls 16 feet in length or less are limited to 100 pounds (heads on) of shrimp per boat per day, and recreational shrimpers using trawls exceeding 16 feet but not exceeding 25 feet in length are limited to no more than 250 pounds of (headson) shrimp per day per boat, provided the shrimp taken are used for bait or the fisherman’s own consumption and are not sold, traded or otherwise permitted to enter commerce. A recreational trawl license is required.