Officials from the Alabama Marine Resources Division will announce an anticipated early season opening for brown shrimp in waterways along Alabama’s Gulf Coast at a meeting of the American Shrimp Processors Association Friday. Marine Resources Director Chris Blankenship said an unseasonably warm winter has lead to early spawning and that shrimp are expected to reach legal size two to three weeks earlier than normal this year. That means shrimpers may be able to begin pulling nets in Alabama waterways before Memorial Day, just in time for the beginning of vacation season along the coast.
“We typically open the waterways for catching brown shrimp in early June, but if growth continues as anticipated this year, we expect to be opening the season in May,” Blankenship said. “Depending on weather patterns this spring and early summer, we are also forecasting average to slightly above average volumes of brown shrimp.”
Blankenship, along with leaders in other northern Gulf states, will share their shrimp season forecast with processors and captains at the American Shrimp Processors Association meeting Friday in Biloxi, MS.
Brown shrimp makes up the vast majority of Alabama shrimp available during the late spring and summer months. White and pink shrimp can also be caught in Alabama’s coastal waterways with white shrimp serving as the more abundant species in late summer and fall. Shrimp make up the highest volume seafood landed in Alabama and the Gulf Coast. Over 25 million pounds of shrimp are landed in Alabama on an annual basis.
For more information on season openings in Alabama’s coastal waterways, go to outdooralabama.com/fishing/saltwater.