Cool weather delays shrimp season

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — This has been the second-coldest spring in the last century, and as a result, brown shrimp have grown more slowly than the U.S. economy. That put the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in a tight squeeze when setting the dates Thursday for the 2013 inshore shrimp seasons.

On the one hand, if they voted to open the seasons too early, the shrimp wouldn’t be big enough for market, but if they elected to wait too long, the shrimp might all move out to the open Gulf, pushed by big spring tides and a blast of cold, fresh water moving down the Mississippi River.

The commission ultimately voted to follow the recommendations of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, presented to the commission by head shrimp biologist, Marty Bourgeois.

In the Barataria Basin, the season will open May 20, which is remarkably late. Last year, the season opened May 7 in the same estuary.

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