Louisiana 2024 Spring Shrimp Season to Open

By Doug Stewart.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has announced that the spring inshore shrimp season will open today Thursday, May 16, at 6 a.m., encompassing all state waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the Louisiana/Texas state line. This decision follows thorough evaluations by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists and public feedback.

LDWF biologists have been monitoring hydrological conditions and performing weekly trawl samples across Louisiana’s estuarine and nearshore waters since early spring. This extensive data collection effort is essential for determining the optimal timing for the season’s start. The collected sampling data is analyzed to establish a “crossover” date. This date marks the point when at least 50% of the inshore brown shrimp population attains a size of 100-count per pound or larger, ensuring that the shrimp are mature enough for harvesting.

Shrimp seasons by area are:

  • Inside waters: Open when enough market-sized shrimp are available. The spring/brown shrimp season typically runs from May to July. The fall/white shrimp season usually opens from mid-August to mid-December, with some waters remaining open into January.
  • Outside waters: Open year-round, except from mid or late December to April or May in certain areas to protect small white shrimp and allow them to grow to market size. The Commission can also close these waters at other times if necessary.
  • Federal waters off Louisiana: Managed by the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries, these waters are open year-round.

The coordinated efforts between LDWF biologists and the public ensure that the opening of the shrimp season is both scientifically sound and economically beneficial, supporting sustainable fishing practices while maximizing the shrimp yield for local fishermen. This annual process highlights the importance of informed decision-making in managing Louisiana’s vital shrimping industry.

read more at nationalfisherman.com.