Mississippi's 2001 shrimp season is shaping up to be an average year. Shrimpers have caught twice the poundage of shrimp in the early part of the 2001 season as they did during the same period last year.
But the shrimp are smaller than last year and the prices are down.
Marine researcher Dave Burrage at the Coastal Research and Extension Center in Biloxi says these factors mean the 2001 season looks to be an average year.
Shrimp season opened in Mississippi on June 5th. Windy weather kept many of the smaller boats in port, but there were still 776 boats out on opening day, a few more than last year. Bad weather from Tropical Storm Allison hindered shrimping efforts the next week.
On June 15th, the Department of Marine Resources closed most of the Mississippi Sound to shrimpers. Ten inches of rain in one night from the storm flushed many small shrimp from their nurseries in the bayous and marshes along the coast. Marine Resources officials say the Sound would re-open to shrimping on Thursday.