shrimp season

Jesse Hardman

This week Louisiana opened its inshore waters for shrimping. Boats around the state are heading out hoping for a big catch of brown shrimp in the bayous.

It’s a late start to the season, due to the long, cold winter, meaning less time for shrimpers to make money. But some good news for shrimp boat captains: prices are high.

In some cases, prices are double what they were last year. After years of setbacks, shrimpers could use a break.

Louisiana's Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has announced that fall shrimp season will close Friday in all state inside waters east of the Mississippi River — except for the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds.

The department said in a news release Tuesday that it extended the season in December. But current sampling by department biologists indicates that average white shrimp size in the affected waters is smaller than 100 count per pound.

The closure provides an opportunity for the small white shrimp to reach larger, more valuable sizes.

Louisiana's fall shrimp season is closing in most state inside waters.

Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham said last week that the season would close for most inside waters at sunset Tuesday to let white shrimp grow larger and more valuable.

On Monday, he set closing Dec. 30 in parts of Lake Pelto and Terrebonne and Timbalier bays where the fall inshore season had been briefly extended.

It's harvest time in the heartland, but not just for apples and squash. In small, back-lot ponds on farms across the Midwest, a different crop has been growing all summer. They're substantial, slightly sweet and a revelation to the land-locked palate, not to mention worth top dollar. Yep, it's shrimp season in Ohio.

But don't ask for any Midwestern shrimp at your local fishmonger. There aren't enough yet to make it to the store.

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission says the fall inshore shrimp season will open at 6 a.m. Monday, Aug. 13.

The opening covers the state's inside waters from the Atchafalaya River and Atchafalaya River Ship Channel west to the Louisiana/Texas state line. The state inside waters from the Atchafalaya River east to the Mississippi/Louisiana state line will open 12 hours later, at 6 p.m.

The commission set the season Thursday.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says the 2012 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 a.m. Saturday in most remaining state inside waters east of the Mississippi River. The closure is designed to protect developing white shrimp.

The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds will remain open, but all other inside waters will be closed to shrimping.