Current Shrimp Season
Shrimp Season To Close in Portions of State Inside and Outside Waters
(Jan. 23, 2015) Today, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced a closure of the fall shrimp season in remaining state inside waters and in a portion of state outside waters effective Wednesday, January 28, 2015 at official sunset.
Specifically, those waters that will close to shrimping include:
- Lake Pontchartrain, Chef Menteur and Rigolets Passes, Lake Borgne, Mississippi Sound, and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO)
- The portion of state outside waters extending a distance of 3 nautical miles seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line from the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at -90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude westward to the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line
The following state waters will remain open to shrimping until further notice:
- The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2
- All state outside waters east of Caillou Boca as well as all state outside waters west of Freshwater Bayou Canal
- All fishery jurisdiction waters claimed by the state beyond the three nautical mile closure zone
For a map detailing today’s actions click here
Regulations state that the possession count on saltwater, white shrimp shall average no more than 100 (whole shrimp) count per pound, with the exception of October 15 through the third Monday in December, when there is no minimum count size.
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission provided LDWF Secretary Robert Barham with authority to close both the fall inshore shrimp season and shrimping in the state’s territorial sea when biological and technical data indicate the need. Recent sampling conducted by the LDWF Fisheries biologists indicates that average white shrimp size in those waters to be closed is smaller than the minimum possession size limit. This action, which characteristically takes place at this time of year, is designed to protect small, white shrimp and provide opportunity for these populations to over-winter and grow to larger, more marketable sizes.
Louisiana continues to lead the country in shrimp landings. In 2013, approximately 5,300 licensed Louisiana commercial shrimpers landed 98.8 million pounds of shrimp (all species combined/heads-on weight) that had a dockside value of $178.3 million.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
General Season Information
You may only harvest shrimp during open shrimp seasons (unless you’re permitted to harvest live bait under a Special Bait Dealers Permit). The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission sets shrimp seasons for Louisiana’s state waters by area, according to scientific information about environmental and water conditions and the growth rates, distribution, and abundance of shrimp. They also consider input from the industry and other stakeholders. In general, shrimp seasons by area are:
• Inshore waters: open when sufficient numbers of market- sized shrimp are available for harvest. The spring/brown shrimp season generally runs May to July; however opening and closing dates may often be staggered as shrimp recruitment, growth and emigration patterns vary among basins. The fall/white shrimp season is generally open mid-August to mid- December; some waters may remain open into January.
• Coastal and nearshore waters: year-round, except from mid or late December to April or May in certain areas to protect small white shrimp and allow them to grow to market size. The Commission can close these waters at other times of the year if necessary.
• Federal waters off Louisiana: year-round