Release Date: 05/28/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced that spring shrimp season in all of Zone 1, with the exception of areas previously closed by the department, will open at 6 a.m., May 31.

Spring Shrimp Season Areas to Remain Closed

The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line in LA R.S.56:495.1

Those waters extending north of Martin Island at 29 degrees 57 minutes 29.6 seconds north latitude; thence northward to Isle au Pitre at 30 degrees 09 minutes 20.5 seconds north latitude from the double rig line westward to 89 degrees 17 minutes 10 seconds west longitude

Those waters south and east of Baptiste Collete Bayou

State outside waters seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line from the eastern shore of south Pass of the Mississippi River eastward to the Louisiana/Mississippi state line.

Fishermen are encouraged to monitor the LDWF website at www.wlf.la.gov/oilspill  to receive the most up-to-date information on areas open to fishing.

On May 6, the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission granted authority to the secretary to open the spring shrimp season in both inside and outside state waters within Shrimp Management Zone 1, based on biological date and the latest oil-spill trajectory.   Field reports indicate that 50 percent or more of the brown shrimp crop in these waters will average larger than 100 count per pound.

Precautionary closures of recreational and commercial fishing have been implemented based on the best information the Secretary of the Department receives from field biologists, staff and trajectory models from NOAA.

Once reports of oil are received, LDWF initiates a field survey and immediate seafood testing in the suspected areas.  Closures are subsequently made with the intent to be as safe as possible, while not closing any fishing areas unnecessarily.  As test results come back clearing the area, effected waters are then reopened.

LDWF continues to work closely with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals and the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality to conduct coast-wide sampling of fish, crabs and shrimp, to ensure all seafood harvested from the Gulf is a safe, quality product.

All other closures remain in place.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov . Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP  and on Twitter @GOHSEP. View photos in from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335 or 225.610.2363