LOUISIANA SPRING SHRIMP SEASON TO OPEN MAY 15 IN SHRIMP MANAGEMENT ZONE 1 AND MAY 22 IN ZONE 3

Release Date: 05/04/2006

The opening date of the 2006 Louisiana spring shrimp season in Shrimp Management Zones 1 and 3 were announced at the May 4 meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.


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 season in Shrimp Management Zone 1 will open at noon on Monday, May 15 except the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line (LA R.S.56:495.1(A)2) which shall open at noon May 8, and in Zone 3 at noon on Monday, May 22.  Zone 1 includes state waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River.  Zone 3 includes state waters from the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island to the Louisiana/Texas state line.


The commission had taken action at a special meeting held on April 26 to open the spring shrimp season in Shrimp Management Zone 2 at noon on 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. 


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.


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.
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