The fall inshore shrimp season will close in the remainder of Shrimp Management Zone 1 extending north of the southern shore of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) including Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne as well as in that portion of state outside waters south of the inside/outside shrimp line as described in LA R.S.56:495 from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line 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 and 27 seconds west longitude at official sunset Jan. 30, 2006.
Acting upon authority provided to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Dwight Landreneau by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, this action protects small white shrimp currently over-wintering in these areas as well as additional over-wintering white shrimp expected to recruit to these waters.
Effective with these closures, all state inside waters are closed to shrimping except for 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 remain open to shrimping until 6 a.m., March 31, 2006. State outside waters south of the inside/outside shrimp line westward from the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at longitude 92 degrees 18 minutes and 33 seconds W and eastward from the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at 29 degrees 03 minutes and 10 seconds north latitude and 90 degrees 50 minutes and 27 seconds west longitude shall remain open to shrimping until further notice.
According to LA R.S. 56:498.B(1), the possession count on saltwater white shrimp shall average no more than 100 (whole shrimp) count per pound except during the time period from Oct. 15 through the third Monday in December when there shall be no count. Current sampling conducted by LDWF Marine Fisheries Division biologists has indicated that white shrimp in these portions of Louisiana waters do not average 100 count per pound minimum legal size. This action protects small white shrimp and provides increased opportunity for growth to larger and more valuable sizes.
According to LDWF trip ticket report data, preliminary landings statistics indicate that Louisiana shrimp landings through December 2005 totaled approximately 92.9 million pounds (all species combined/heads-off weight) and had a dockside value of $122 million
The opening dates for the 2006 spring shrimp season in inside waters will be considered by the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at its May meeting to be held at LDWF headquarters.
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