Acadiana shrimp industry still feeling effects from Historic Flo - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Acadiana shrimp industry still feeling effects from Historic Flood

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Shrimpers across south Louisiana are still feeling the effects of last year's Historic Flood.

In fact, commercial fishermen say they're noticing this year's shrimp population is smaller in both size and number than in the past.

By all accounts, last year's shrimp season seemed to be off to a sunny start.

"The shrimp were showing up, the fish were showing up, good water, good outlook, it looked like it might have been one of the best years yet. Then the rain came," said commercial fisherman and owner of Big D's Seafood Douglas Olander.

That rain would soon cast a big, gray cloud over the shrimping industry.

"In seven days, in other words, it went from doing really well like that to nothing at all. It was unreal," said Olander.

The Historic Flood pushed fresh water from all over Acadiana into the water Olander fishes in, mixing it with the salt water and ruining the ideal brackish environment.

By the time the spring 2017 season opened, commercial fishermen said the shrimp were either small or non-existent.

"There's other factors that play into it. There's a lot of chemicals that they spray in crops these days and it's creating a dead zone out there on the edge of the gulf," said Olander.

Louisiana Shrimp Association Board Chairman, and commercial fisherman, Thomas Olander attributes some of the issues in the industry to that dead zone as well.

"The dead zone is a problem that's been being dealt with for 35 years now. But it's growing, LSU just put out a study that they're estimating it to be 10,000 square miles this year," said Thomas Olander.

The fishermen worry that if the rain, poor water conditions and falling prices continue, the shrimp industry won't be able to survive.

"I've been doing this for almost 40 years, I'm a third generation. I have a son who wants to get into the business and by all means, I have talked him out of it. It's a crying shame...Something needs to be done or eventually, we're going to end up losing this industry." said commercial fisherman Rodney Olander.

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