SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - Salinity levels and water temperatures are looking good for the growth of brown shrimp just prior to the opening of shrimp season.
Rick Burris told the Commission on Marine Resources that sampling continues, and the season can open when the shrimp reach 68 count per pound. Burris said it appears likely the 2015 season will open much earlier than last year, when opening day was June 18.
There were more than 300 shrimp boats counted by the DMR on opening day last year, the most since before Hurricane Katrina.
In other business, after some debate, the commission gave DMR Executive Director Jamie Miller the authority to open a state season for red snapper. The federal season opens for 10 days on June 1.
All the other Gulf States also allow state seasons, although there's a wide variation in the dates and length of those seasons.
Mississippi's contribution to the recreational red snapper harvest is negligible since the fish are found primarily in deeper waters and not the shallow waters that generally make up Mississippi state waters.
Steve Phillips will have more on these topics from the CMR meeting tonight on WLOX News and WLOX.com.