Other Recreational Activities

Fishing Regulations Icon Louisiana Fishing


Recreational Shrimping

Cast Net License Requirements

Basic Fishing License

Trawl License Requirements

Basic Fishing License

Saltwater License*

Trawl License

Federal Shrimp Vessel Permit required for vessels fishing shrimp in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico (EEZ)

No license required for use of bait seines and dip nets.

* A saltwater license only needs to be purchased if planning to fish in the saltwater area as described in 56:322(A)&(B)

Harvest Areas

For management purposes, Louisiana’s state waters are divided into inside and outside waters. The “shrimp line” separates these waters. It generally follows the coastline from the Louisiana/Texas state line to the Louisiana/Mississippi state line. Inside waters (landward of the shrimp line) are inshore waters; outside waters (seaward out to three nautical miles) are the territorial seas. Inside waters are further divided by major estuarine basin. Changes to the current shrimp line were approved by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in March 2018. The changes became effective Sept. 1, 2018 and can be found in LAC 76:370 or at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/amended_shrimp_line. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (Commission) may amend the shrimp line due to environmental changes. See the latest coordinates at www.wlf.la.gov/fishing/insideoutside-shrimp-line.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the Commission, and the Louisiana Legislature are responsible for managing the shrimp fishery in inshore waters and the territorial seas. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council and NOAA Fisheries are responsible for federal waters.


Trawls cannot be used for any purpose in state waters during the closed shrimp season. Shrimp seasons are flexible and are determined by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission based upon biological and technical data relative to shrimp populations as well as public input. The spring inshore season usually begins in early to mid May, and may extend into July. The fall inshore season usually begins near mid-August and typically extends into December. The shrimp season in Louisiana’s outside territorial waters is generally open year round EXCEPT for a closed season in portions of state outside waters, which may be set during the late winter to early spring months, usually beginning in December or January and extending into March or April. The shrimp season in the EEZ is usually open year-round.

NOTE: Restricted areas exist within WMAs, refuges and other areas and may be closed to certain gear types or methods of fishing. Check with your local LDWF Office or refer to the WMA and Refuge section of this pamphlet.

License Requirements

No size limit on any saltwater shrimp taken during the spring open season in Louisiana.

No size limit on brown shrimp or seabobs taken during any open season.

There is a minimum possession of 100 count (whole shrimp per pound) on white shrimp taken in either inside or outside (offshore) waters of Louisiana. This size restriction applies to the taking or possession of such shrimp aboard a vessel.

EXCEPTION: There is no possession count on white shrimp taken or possessed from Oct. 15 through the third Monday in December. When more than 50 percent by weight of the shrimp taken or possessed is seabobs or brown shrimp, the maximum allowable amount of undersized white shrimp taken or possessed shall not exceed 10 percent by weight of the total shrimp taken or possessed.

A recreational fisherman is allowed to use dip nets, bait seines, and cast nets not to exceed 8 and 1/2 feet in radius. Recreational fishermen shall not take at anytime more than 50 pounds of shrimp per day during closed shrimp season and 100 pounds of shrimp per day during the open season, in the aggregate, per boat or vehicle, regardless of the number of persons thereon. Shrimp taken are to be used for bait or for the fisherman’s own consumption and are not sold, traded or otherwise permitted to enter into commerce. Certain WMAs and state or federal refuges may have different rules. Always check with an LDWF Enforcement Office if you have questions.

Night shrimping is prohibited between the hours of one-half hour after sunset to one-half hour before sunrise in the following areas: Vermilion Bay, East and West Cote Blanche bays, and in Atchafalaya Bay, from the western shore of Vermilion Bay to the western shore of the Atchafalaya River and the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel out to Eugene Island as described by the inside-outside line.

Trawls cannot have a mesh size less than 5/8-inch bar or 1 and 1/4 inches stretched. In that portion of state inside waters from the western shore of the Atchafalaya River to the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island, mesh size must not be less than 3/4-inch bar or 1 and 1/2 inches stretched during the fall inshore shrimp season.

Trawling During Open Season and Possession Limits

During the open shrimping seasons trawls 25 feet and less are allowed for recreational purposes.

Recreational shrimpers using trawls 16 feet in length or less are limited to 100 pounds (heads on) of shrimp per boat per day.

Recreational shrimpers using trawls greater than 16 feet in length are limited to no more than 250 pounds of (heads-on) shrimp per day per boat.

Shrimp taken recreationally may only be used for bait or the fisherman’s own consumption and may not be sold, traded or otherwise permitted to enter commerce.

Federal Turtle Excluder Device (TED) regulations require any shrimp trawler in the Gulf Area to have an approved TED installed in each net that is rigged for fishing. However, certain exemptions to these requirements may apply (e.g. vessels without mechanical advantage or power net retrieval, test trawls). A net is rigged for fishing if it is in the water, or if it is shackled, tied, or otherwise connected to any trawl door or board, or to any tow rope, cable, pole or extension, either on board or attached in any manner to the shrimp trawler.

More information concerning federal shrimp vessel permits, Turtle Excluder Device (TED) and Bycatch Reduction Devices (BRD) requirements and exemptions can be obtained by contacting the NOAA Fisheries Service at 727-824-5312 for TEDs or 727- 824-5305 for BRDs or at www.nmfs.noaa.gov. Detailed information on TEDs may be found at the following link to the NOAA Fisheries website www.nmfs.noaa.gov/pr/species/turtles/teds.html.

Trawling Restrictions

  • No net or beam trawl used for taking fish or shrimp from the saltwater areas of the state is allowed to be left unattended.
  • Taking shrimp with saltwater trawls from May 1 – Sept. 15 each year is prohibited in state waters on the south side of Grand Isle from Caminada Pass to Barataria Pass in Jefferson Parish; from the southeast side of the Caminada bridge to the northwest side of Barataria Pass at Fort Livingston, extending from the beach side of Grand Isle to a distance of 500 feet beyond the shoreline into the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Trawls cannot be used for any purpose in state waters during the closed shrimp season.
  • No person is allowed to trawl over any privately leased bedding grounds or oyster propagating place that is staked off, marked or posted as required by law or regulation.
  • Trawling is prohibited in Lake Maurepas and that portion of Lake Pontchartrain from the shoreline to 1.25 miles out from the Jefferson/Orleans Parish line east to the eastern shore of South Point, from South Point to North Shore along the railroad bridge west from North Shore to Goose Point.
  • Trawling is prohibited between the railroad bridge and Interstate 10 in Lake Pontchartrain.
  • Trawling at night is prohibited in Cameron Parish sections of Calcasieu Lake, the Black Lake Bayou System, Grand Bayou, Little Burton’s Ditch, Grand Lake, and White Lake.
  • Trawls are prohibited in the waters of Bayou Judge Perez (Bayou Hermitage) from its entrance into Lake Judge Perez (Lake Hermitage) to Devils Bayou, a distance of approximately 1 mile, located in Plaquemines Parish.
  • Trawling is prohibited north of the LA Highway 631 Bridge at Des Allemands, Louisiana, and in Lac Des Allemands, its streams and tributaries.
  • Trawling is also prohibited in the cove immediately adjacent to Cypremort Point State Park landward of a line from Blue Point to Cypremort Point.