The 2008 spring inshore shrimp season in Shrimp Management Zones 1 and 3 will close on Tuesday, July 1, at 6:00 a.m. except for the following portions of Zones 1 and 3:
Lake Pontchartrain including Rigoletes Pass from the mouth of Lake Pontchartrain extending eastward to the western side of the CSX Railway Bridge
Chef Menteur Pass from the mouth of Lake Pontchartrain southeasterly to the mouth of Lake Borgne
The Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) beginning at its juncture with the Industrial Canal
That portion of Mississippi Sound beginning at a point on the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary at latitude 30 degrees 09 minutes 39.6 seconds north and longitude 89 degrees 30 minutes 00 seconds west; thence southeasterly to a point at latitude 30 degrees 03 minutes 12 seconds north and longitude 89 degrees 21 minutes 30 seconds west; thence northeasterly to the most easterly point on Isle Au Pitre at latitude 30 degrees 09 minutes 20.5 seconds north and longitude 89 degrees 11 minutes 15.5 seconds west, which is a point on the double-rig line as described in LA R.S. 56:495.1(A)2; thence northerly along the double-rig line to a point on the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary at latitude 30 degrees 12 minutes 37.9056 seconds north and longitude 89 degrees 10 minutes 57.9725 seconds west; thence westerly along the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary to the point of beginning.
The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line (LA R.S.56:495.1)
The Calcasieu Ship Channel originating at a line between Channel Markers 85 and 86 thence southward to a point originating along the inside/outside shrimp line at Calcasieu Pass as described in LA R.S.56:495(A) and including East Pass from its origin at the Calcasieu Ship Channel to the south end of Calcasieu Lake and West Pass from its origin at the Calcasieu Ship Channel to the south end of West Cove.
Lake Pontchartrain, Chef Menteur Pass, Rigolets Pass, the MRGO, a portion of Mississippi Sound, Breton and Chandeleur Sounds and a portion of the Calcasieu Ship Channel will remain open until further notice. State territorial waters seaward of the Inside/Outside shrimp line, as described in Louisiana R.S.56:495, will also remain open to shrimping.
Zone 1 includes state waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River 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.
The closure was announced today by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham and was based on recommendations made by LDWF Marine Fisheries Division biologists.
The number, distribution and percentage of small juvenile white shrimp within the areas to be closed have progressively increased in recent weeks and these waters are being closed to protect these developing shrimp. Brian Lezina, LDWF Biologist Manager, who supervises LDWF Marine Fisheries Division operations in the Lake Pontchartrain basin stated that "Despite this year's shortened spring shrimp season, the season extension within Lake Pontchartrain, Chef Menteur and Rigolets Passes, the MRGO and portions of Mississippi, Breton and Chandeleur Sounds should provide added economic opportunities to shrimp fishermen targeting large emigrating brown shrimp while limiting impacts to developing white shrimp populations found in shallower adjacent waters." However, he cautioned that "all or portions of these waters would be closed if sample data and fisheries monitoring indicate unacceptable impacts to developing white shrimp populations or if law enforcement problems develop". Mike Harbison, LDWF Biologist Manager, who supervises LDWF Marine Fisheries Division activities in the Calcasieu River Basin noted that "the portions of the Calcasieu River Ship Channel that will remain open also provide opportunity to harvest emigrating brown shrimp in that area, while minimizing impacts to developing white shrimp found in other parts of Calcasieu Lake at this time of the year."
For more information, contact Martin Bourgeois at 225/765-2401 (firstname.lastname@example.org).