Opening day brings big shrimp in small numbers - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Opening day brings big shrimp in small numbers

A haul is pulled in on the opening day of Mississippi's 2013-2014 Shrimp Season. (Photo source: MS Dept. of Marine Resources) A haul is pulled in on the opening day of Mississippi's 2013-2014 Shrimp Season. (Photo source: MS Dept. of Marine Resources)
A shrimper trawls south of Gulfport on opening day of shrimp season. A shrimper trawls south of Gulfport on opening day of shrimp season.
Shrimp boats congregate south of Deer Island where catches were favorable on opening day. Shrimp boats congregate south of Deer Island where catches were favorable on opening day.
With his net in the water, a shrimper tries his luck south of Deer Island. With his net in the water, a shrimper tries his luck south of Deer Island.
A shrimper trawls in the western sound. A shrimper trawls in the western sound.
MISSISSIPPI SOUND (WLOX) -

Calm seas and hot weather greeted fishermen Tuesday morning on the first day of shrimp season in Mississippi. Shrimpers were allowed to drop their nets beginning at 6am Tuesday.

The Captain Thanh was pulling its nets in the Mississippi Sound, with a pod of hungry dolphins close behind. Though the dolphins may feed on the fish by-catch, Thanh Truong wasn't finding many shrimp so far.

"Oh no, no good," said the Vietnamese fishermen, when asked about his early catch on opening day.

He said the few shrimp they've caught are mediums; about 40 to 60 count. Rain and water temperature prior to opening day are often early indicators about the catch.

"The numbers of shrimp fluctuate from year to year. And environmental conditions is the big factor. And this year, the big thing this year, I would describe this as a year that was warm and wet. Ideal conditions for shrimp growth and survival would be warm and dry," said Dale Diaz, who heads the fisheries division at the Mississippi Department of Marine Resources.

Fishermen aboard the Undercover out of Pass Christian were also hard at work.

"Doing pretty good. Glad to be working," said Bobby Pinkerton.

Unlike Captain Truong's small catch, Pinkerton said the shrimp were "pretty plentiful" on opening morning. But this fishing is hard work: High fuel costs, price pressure from cheap imports and long, long hours.

"Probably stay out two or three days at a time," said Pinkerton.

He said he's been looking forward to the season. "Ever since oyster season shutdown," he said.

Marine Patrol will also be working long hours during shrimp season, checking things like turtle excluder devices.

"We had eight boats last night. We had 23 officers on the water, and it went smooth. As you see, we have calm seas out there today. It was a great opening, just not a lot of shrimp," said Rusty Pittman, who is interim marine patrol chief for the DMR.

"Most shrimp boats checked were in compliance; but we did have eight violations, which resulted in eight citations: five for state violations and three for federal. The three federal violations dealt with TEDs [turtle excluder devices]."

But that luck may change. After all, shrimp season lasts nearly a year. Recreational and commercial shrimp season will close at midnight, Dec. 31, 2013, north of the Intracoastal Waterway, and at midnight, April 30, 2014, south of the Intracoastal Waterway. Live-bait shrimping is open year round.

The new DMR executive director also got a firsthand look at shrimp season on opening day. Jamie Miller rode with Marine Patrol for several hours, beginning at around 4:30am.

For the latest updates on the Mississippi shrimp fishery, call the toll-free Shrimp Information Hotline at 1-866-We Trawl (866-938-7295).

Copyright 2013 WLOX. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • Billy Graham's casket was hand built by inmates at Angola

    Billy Graham's casket was hand built by inmates at Angola

    Casket built for Billy Graham by Angola inmates (Source: WAFB)Casket built for Billy Graham by Angola inmates (Source: WAFB)

    Inmates at one of the country's most well-known prisons will have a hand in laying Reverend Billy Graham to rest. At his request, Angola inmates built his casket back in 2006.

    More >>

    Inmates at one of the country's most well-known prisons will have a hand in laying Reverend Billy Graham to rest. At his request, Angola inmates built his casket back in 2006.

    More >>
  • Sheriff: School officer never went inside to confront gunman

    Sheriff: School officer never went inside to confront gunman

    Thursday, February 22 2018 1:14 AM EST2018-02-22 06:14:16 GMT
    Thursday, February 22 2018 11:28 PM EST2018-02-23 04:28:03 GMT
    (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert). Mourners hug as they leave the funeral of Alaina Petty, in Coral Springs, Fla., Monday, Feb. 19, 2018.  Petty was a victim of Wednesday's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Nikolas Cruz, a former student, ...(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert). Mourners hug as they leave the funeral of Alaina Petty, in Coral Springs, Fla., Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. Petty was a victim of Wednesday's mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Nikolas Cruz, a former student, ...

    The students who swarmed Florida's state capitol in the wake of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High massacre face pushback in Legislature.

    More >>

    The students who swarmed Florida's state capitol in the wake of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High massacre face pushback in Legislature.

    More >>
  • Florida school shooting: 'abject breakdown at all levels'

    Florida school shooting: 'abject breakdown at all levels'

    Thursday, February 22 2018 11:34 PM EST2018-02-23 04:34:46 GMT
    Friday, February 23 2018 5:31 AM EST2018-02-23 10:31:36 GMT
    (Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). Mourners attend the funeral service for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School assistant football coach, Aaron Feis. at the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 22. 2018. Football p...(Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP). Mourners attend the funeral service for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School assistant football coach, Aaron Feis. at the Church by the Glades in Coral Springs, Fla., Thursday, Feb. 22. 2018. Football p...

    'Abject breakdown on all levels': Florida high school where ex-student accused of fatally shooting 17 people reopening to teachers Friday amid revelations an armed officer on campus did nothing to stop suspect,...

    More >>

    'Abject breakdown on all levels': Florida high school where ex-student accused of fatally shooting 17 people reopening to teachers Friday amid revelations an armed officer on campus did nothing to stop suspect, other issues.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly