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About 250 boats hit the water this morning for the first official day of the 2017 shrimp season.
Hundreds of shrimp boats decorated the Mississippi Sound Wednesday morning for the opening day of shrimp season. Some fishermen, however, were disappointed by their early catches. Shrimper Sam Huynh said, “Little shrimp and a lot of trash.”
But they are hopeful for a bountiful season, especially for many whose livelihood depends on it. “Everything is high. The fees are high and pay tax, we’ve got to pay a lot of taxes,” said Huynh.
DMR Executive Director Jamie Miller said, “It’s a difficult industry. There’s a lot of hard work involved. These people are dedicated to it. They raised families for generations this way. We want to support them anyway we can.”
The Department of Marine Resources takes extra caution before opening the shrimp season, mainly by taking water samples in the sound to make sure the shrimp are at legal size. Rick Burris with the Shrimp and Crab Bureau said, “We sampled twice a week and we get a size of the shrimp, a weight of the shrimp, and we’re able to get pretty close to when the shrimp will be of legal size.”
About 700 licenses were sold through the DMR, an average amount officials have seen the past few years, but the heavy amount of showers in the past few weeks in South Mississippi could rain on the fishermen’s parade. “Temperature and salinity are the two main factors and with all the rain we’ve had late in the spring, it’s going to have a little effect on it for sure,” said Burris.
But shrimpers remain optimistic to reel in big this season.

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