Today, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Charlie Melancon announced a closure of the fall shrimp season in remaining state inside waters and in a portion of state outside waters effective Monday, January 25, 2016 at official sunset.
Specifically, those waters that will close to shrimping include:
- Lake Pontchartrain, Chef Menteur and Rigolets Passes, Lake Borgne, Mississippi Sound, and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO)
- The portion of state outside waters extending a distance of 3 nautical miles seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line from the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at -90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude westward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at -92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude
The following state waters will remain open to shrimping until further notice:
- The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2
- All state outside waters east of Caillou Boca as well as all state outside waters west of Freshwater Bayou Canal
- All fishery jurisdiction waters claimed by the state beyond the three nautical mile closure zone
For a map detailing today’s actions click here.
Regulations state that the possession count on saltwater, white shrimp shall average no more than 100 (whole shrimp) per pound, with the exception of October 15 through the third Monday in December, when there is no minimum count size.
The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission provided the LDWF Secretary with authority to close both the fall inshore shrimp season and shrimping in the state’s territorial sea when biological and technical data indicate the need. Recent sampling conducted by the LDWF Fisheries biologists indicates that average white shrimp size in those waters to be closed is smaller than the minimum possession size limit. This action, which characteristically takes place at this time of year, is designed to protect small, white shrimp and provide opportunity for these populations to over-winter and grow to larger, more marketable sizes.
Louisiana continues to lead the country in shrimp landings. In 2014, Louisiana commercial shrimpers landed 113.3 million pounds of shrimp (all species combined/heads-on weight) with a dockside value of $236.2 million.