Early reports point to decent MS shrimp season
MISSISSIPPI SOUND (WLOX) - Larger shrimp, favorable fuel prices, and decent catches is the story from the seafood docks just two days into the 2017 shrimp season.
Fresh shrimp tumbled off the conveyor belt at St. Michael's dock on Back Bay Biloxi on Friday morning. They'll unload 10 to 15 boats before the day is over.
"The size of the shrimp is definitely bigger than it was last year this time," said dock manager, Chris Lyons.
Legal size is 68 count, or 68 shrimp per pound. That's the size they must reach before the season can open in Mississippi waters.
"Last year, we were looking at 80-100's. Right now, we're looking at 40-50's. Big difference," said an upbeat Lyons.
Tuyen Tran likes what he sees so far. He's been out on the water with his father the past two days on the "Rising Angel II". They unloaded the catch Friday morning.
"About 4,000 pounds the last two days trip. It's a pretty good season," Tran said.
Despite a favorable start, there are no promises for fishermen. No one knows if their nets will be full the following days of the season.
"Every year's been a little different lately, you know. Been a little different in sizes and the amounts they're catching you know. The prices started out real low, we hope they go up some," said longtime dock worker, Ted Luke.
Around 250 boats hit the waters on opening day, and the prospect of a decent catch will keep many of them working.
"As long as these boats stay out on the water fishing, I think we're going to do real well. Usually, what keeps them out there is the price of fuel is down, and they're getting a fair price for their shrimp right now," said Lyons.
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