Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Takes Action to Close a Portion of Louisiana Offshore Territorial Waters to Shrimping

Release Date: 12/01/2011

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Takes Action to Close a Portion of Louisiana Offshore Territorial Waters to Shrimping

December 1, 2011 – At today’s meeting, The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced a shrimping closure in a portion of Louisiana offshore territorial (outside) waters on Tuesday, December 20 at sunset.  The action, which characteristically takes place at this time of year, is designed to protect small white shrimp and provide the opportunity for these populations to grow to larger, more marketable sizes.   

The closure includes the following areas:

The portion of state outside waters, south of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line as described in LA R.S. 56:495, from the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at 92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude to the U.S. Coast Guard navigational light off the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at 29 degrees 03 minutes 10 seconds north latitude and 90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude.   This area lies within Terrebonne, St Mary, Iberia and Vermilion parishes.

All state outside waters east of the U.S. Coast Guard navigational light off the northwest shore of Caillou Boca as well as state outside waters west of Freshwater Bayou Canal will remain open to shrimping until further notice. 

Current regulations state that the possession count on saltwater white shrimp shall average no more than 100 (whole shrimp) count per pound except during the time period from October 15 through the third Monday in December when there shall be no count. 

Current sampling conducted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries indicates that average white shrimp size in this portion of state outside waters is slightly larger than 100 count per pound; however, historical data indicate that significant numbers of smaller size white shrimp occupying coastal lakes and bays migrate into these waters as temperatures drop with the onset of winter.  This action protects these small white shrimp and provides increased opportunity for growth to larger, more valuable sizes.

The shrimping industry is one of the most valuable commercial fisheries in Louisiana with over 8,700 licensed recreational and commercial shrimpers participating annually, according to a five-year estimate. 

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.

For more information, please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-2363.