The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission met today and announced the 2015 fall inshore shrimp season will open in state inside waters at 6 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 17.

According to a press release, the season opening date was selected based on biologists’ recommendations and public comment.

As a reminder, during the 2015 regular legislative session, legislators repealed a state law prohibiting LDWF enforcement agents from enforcing federal Turtle Excluder Device (TED) laws.  

So as of August 1, 2015, LDWF agents are authorized to conduct TED inspections aboard shrimp vessels.

Federal TED regulations require any shrimp trawler in the Gulf Area to have an approved TED installed in each net that is rigged for fishing. 

However, certain exemptions to these requirements may apply (e.g. vessels without mechanical advantage or power net retrieval, test trawls, and skimmer and butterfly nets in compliance with tow time restrictions). 

A net is rigged for fishing if it is in the water, or if it is shackled, tied, or otherwise connected to any trawl door or board, or to any tow rope, cable, pole or extension, either on board or attached in any manner to the shrimp trawler.

Skimmer and butterfly nets are exempt from TED use; however, federal regulations require skimmer and butterfly net fishermen to limit tow times if they do not use TEDs.

The tow time is measured from the time the cod-end of the net enters the water until it is removed from the water.  Maximum tow times are 55 minutes from April 1 to October 31 and increase to 75 minutes from November 1 to March 31.