Monday will be a busy day along the state’s coast after the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the opening dates for the fall inshore shrimp season during its Thursday meeting in New Orleans.

There will be statewide opening, but at two different times:

  • Inside waters from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island west to Freshwater Bayou will open at 6 a.m.;
  • The same day, but at 6 p.m., inside waters will open from the Louisiana/Mississippi state line west to the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island, and waters from the western shoreline of Freshwater Bayou west to the Louisiana/Texas state line.

Recent samples taken by state biologists indicated the mostly white shrimp numbers reached a marketable size by Monday, and gave state Wildlife & Fisheries secretary Jack Montoucet the authority to close any and all seasons “if significant numbers of small, sublegal size white shrimp are found in biological samples.”

Thursday’s emergency declaration also carried a “tow time” reminder: Federal Turtle Excluder Device regulations require skimmer net fishermen to limit tows to a maximum of 55 through Oct., then 75 minutes from Nov. 1 to March 31.

Joe Macaluso