Cameron shrimping season gets head start - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Cameron shrimping season gets head start

By Jason Belk - bio | email

CAMERON, LA (KPLC) - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham has announced that the inshore waters from the western shore of Vermillion Bay to the Louisiana/Texas state line opened for shrimping season at sunset yesterday.

Meaning that shrimpers in Cameron are allowed to start a little more than three weeks than they originally planned.

For Philip LeJeune, shrimping is the only thing he's ever known.

"I've always been a shrimper. I'm fixing to turn 50, I know nothing else," said LeJeune.

The oil spill has threatened shrimping across Louisiana, and has left many shrimpers worried about their livelihood.

"If they shut our season down, a lot of these guys are going to lose everything they got," said LeJeune.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced shrimp season was opening at sunset yesterday from Vermillion Bay to the Texas-Louisiana border.

The unexpected opening to shrimp season has left many shrimpers like Philip struggling just to have their boats ready to go out.

"I'm still working on my boat. I take this time before shrimp season, after oyster season, I take this time to take care of my boat for the shrimp season. Now I'm still working on my boat and not ready to go shrimping, shrimp season is open, I'm losing money," said LeJeune.

Not only were some shrimpers not ready, but Philip says the shrimp themselves aren't ready to be harvested this early in May.

"Our shrimp normally don't get ready to leave the lake until the end of the month, so really opening the season this early don't help us because 90 percent of our shrimp are still up on the marsh, they've got to be wanting to come out before we can even catch them," said LeJeune.

The early opening of shrimp season will allow the shrimpers to get what they can, while they can, but the oil spill will constantly be on their mind.

Copyright 2010 KPLC. All rights reserved.

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