Louisiana Traveler - shrimp season - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Louisiana Traveler - shrimp season

HACKBERRY, LA (KPLC) - Just a few yards east of the Kelso Bayou Bridge in Hackberry, Michael Simon and his crew stay busy this time of year. East Seafood company has been here for 50 years, plucking out of the water what Mother Nature gives them. Their 60 feet long net isn't on a boat though. It's on the dock.

"You don't have a fuel charge," said Simon. "You only have to pay for electricity and ice. That's it. Everybody else has to pay diesel fuel and everything else."

When the tide is out, the net is lowered into the water. Owner D.J. East says you get a better shrimp this way.

"They're not dragged in the sand," said East. "They're caught and immediately put on ice. There's no deterioration of shrimp. Extremely fresh."

Shrimp caught by East Seafood along Kelso Bayou are sent to local gumbo pots, maybe a restaurant or two, even a packing plant where they are shipped around the nation. During the season, people come from all over the state looking for fresh shrimp here.

"I retired for 30 days and I had to go back to work," said East. "I was getting bored to death. It's the only place I want to be. I don't know what other life's about. This is where I live."

Shrimp isn't the only thing taken from the water hish along with things you don't expect.

"We've caught a sea horse last year. We've caught eels, stingrays. An otter," said Simon.

When he's not catching seafood, East works as a bridge tender next door at the Kelso Bayou bridge.

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