11-64-CWS | May 25, 2011
BILOXI, Miss.— Mississippi’s shrimp season opened to windy conditions and choppy waters at 6 a.m., May 25, 2011, the earliest shrimp season on record. Shrimp season opens in Mississippi territorial waters when sampling shows shrimp have reached the 68-count-per-pound state statute requirement. According to the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources’ (DMR) Shrimp and Crab Bureau’s aerial count, 162 shrimp boats were observed in Mississippi waters. There were 48 boats located north of Horn Island, 25 located south of Horn Island and 28 along Belle Fontaine.
Reports of shrimp caught throughout the morning were predominantly 40/50-count brown shrimp with nice large white shrimp mixed in. Some shrimpers will wait until nightfall when brown shrimp catches tend to be better.
“Salinity levels are dropping in the western sound as a result of the Bonnet Carre spillway openings to relieve Mississippi River flooding. The few shrimpers who worked the far western state waters today reported small catches of 70/80 count shrimp,” says Traci Floyd, director of the DMR’s Shrimp and Crab Bureau.
The DMR’s Marine Patrol was out on the waters starting at 6 a.m. on May 25 with six boats, 12 officers, and two dispatchers. “Shrimp season started slow and the weather could have been better but we didn’t experience any calls for rescue; everything went pretty smooth,” said Col. Walter Chataginer, Chief of the DMR’s Marine Patrol. “All shrimp boats checked were in compliance.”
As of May 25, 2011, the number of resident commercial shrimp licenses sold was 423 and the number for out-of-state was 162.
Recreational and commercial shrimp season will close at midnight, Dec. 31, 2011, north of the Intracoastal Waterway, and at midnight, April 30, 2012, south of the Intracoastal Waterway. Live-bait shrimping is open year round.
For the latest updates on the Mississippi shrimp fishery, call the toll-free Shrimp Information Hotline 1-866-We Trawl (866-938-7295). For further information contact the DMR at (228) 374-5000, or write to the Department of Marine Resources, 1141 Bayview Ave., Biloxi, MS 39530.
The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources is dedicated to enhancing, protecting and conserving marine interests of the state by managing all marine life, public trust wetlands, adjacent uplands and waterfront areas to provide for the optimal commercial, recreational, educational and economic uses of these resources consistent with environmental concerns and social changes. Visit the DMR online at www.dmr.ms.gov.
Contact: Lauren Thompson
PHOTO CREDITS: Photos Courtesy of the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources
Photo A: A shrimper sells her catch at the Biloxi Small Craft Harbor on opening day of the 2011 Mississippi Shrimp Season.
Photo B: The waters and the winds were rough on the opening day of the 2011 Mississippi shrimp season as this boat makes it way out to harvest shrimp.
Photo C: A shrimper heads south down the channel to begin shrimping on opening day of the 2011 Mississippi shrimp season.