After hearing from numerous shrimpers during their meeting Thursday afternoon on Grand Isle, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission acted on a suggestion by LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet and pushed the opening day of the fall inshore shrimp season back four days.

As they were about to vote on a motion to accept the Aug. 14 opener, Montoucet interjected the possibility of compromising between those that wanted the early start and those favoring opening the season on the 21st to give shrimp more time to grow to marketable size.

The Commission took him up on it, and voted to split the difference and have opening day start at 6 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 18.

Shrimpers are reminded that Federal Turtle Excluder Device regulations require skimmer net fishermen to limit tow times to 55 minutes from April 1 through Oct. 31. Those times increase to 75 minutes in cooler temperatures from Nov. 1 through March 31.

Montoucet has the authority to delay these opening dates if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so, and to close any portion of Louisiana's inside waters to protect small juvenile white shrimp if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so, or if enforcement problems develop. 

He is also granted the authority to close shrimping in state outside waters to protect sublegal-size white shrimp and to reopen any area closed to shrimping when the closure is no longer necessary, according to a press release.