2015 Mississippi Shrimp Season Opens Wednesday

BILOXI, MS (AP) — Fresh Mississippi shrimp can be caught beginning Wednesday.

         The Mississippi Department of Marine Resources says in a news release that fishermen can trawl state waters beginning at 6:00 a.m.

         Shrimper Sam Sisavath was getting his boat the April Dawn ready for the big day.

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         "Clean up the boat, painting, then just check everything is ready to go out," Sisavath told Christina Garcia with WLOX-TV in Biloxi.

         The experienced shrimper has logged many hours in the Gulf casting a net for shrimp.

         "I just like to shrimp," said Sisavath.

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         Sisavath said going after shrimp requires preparation, if not, he and his crew could get stuck out at sea. That's why he spent the last month down in his boat's engine room, where he installed a new starter, added batteries to his generator and did maintenance on his engine. And none of that comes cheap. Just like any other moving vessel his requires fuel and a lot of it.

         "Six hundred gallons at about $1,800 to fill it up, lasts about four days," he said.

         In addition, to the fuel just one bucket of paint for his boat costs $70 which is why he's ready to see his nets blossom in the water and fill buckets with some tasty crustaceans.

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         His competitors, all docked at the Small Craft Harbor in Biloxi, are praying for a good season and good weather.

         "Ah, good weather like not to windy and not a lot of rain. It's not good for shrimping, if it's a lot of rain because of the fresh water coming down," he said.

         MDMR officials say all boats engaged in catching or transporting shrimp from Mississippi waters must be licensed or permitted by the MDMR before beginning operations.

         Recreational and commercial shrimp season north of the Intracoastal Waterway will close at midnight on Dec. 31, 2015. In areas south of the Intracoastal Waterway, shrimp season will close at midnight on April 30, 2016. Live-bait shrimping is open year-round in designated areas.

         Wednesday's opening is 15 days earlier than the MDMR allowed fishermen to catch shrimp in 2014.

         For more information



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