Page 78 - South Mississippi Living - October, 2021
P. 78

story and photos by
John N. Felsher
Crustacean Crazies
Nothing creates a feeding frenzy on the Mississippi Coast like a shrimp migration. Every carnivore with beaks, claws or fins in south Mississippi will grab a shrimp at any opportunity.
Two primary shrimp species call the Gulf Coast home – white and brown shrimp. Both live less than two years, even if nothing eats them. Both species look similar, but brown shrimp sport a little purple or reddish band on their tails with greenish to reddish tint. Both species migrate to the Gulf of Mexico for spawning at different times of the year.
White shrimp stay in the river estuaries like the Pearl or Pascagoula river deltas. When a cold front hits in the fall, usually about mid-October, shrimp
start migrating south toward Mississippi Sound and the Gulf of Mexico. The migration could last several weeks.
The shrimp spawn in the gulf during June, July and August, generally staying closer to the coastline than brown shrimp. The eggs drift inshore with
the winds and tides where developing juveniles hide among the marsh grasses. White shrimp can tolerate fresher water than browns and venture farther up the estuary and into coastal rivers.
   A shrimper sorts through his catch, separating the shrimp from the bycatch as he prepares to sell live bait to fishermen.
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October 2021
Another redfish comes to the boat after hitting a live shrimp dangling under a popping cork.

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