DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (AP) -- Shrimp season is open along the Alabama coast, but some waters remain off limits because the cool, wet spring made shrimp grow slower than normal.
Officials said Wednesday that additional areas would be opened to boats once studies show that shrimp have reached maturity.
More than a dozen boats pulled nets Wednesday in the waters off Dauphin Island and in lower Mobile Bay. Brown shrimp season opened Tuesday in some areas that had been closed.
Additional shrimping areas will open later, Chris Blankenship of Alabama Marine Resources said in a release.
"We have only opened a portion of our waters, but the abundance in Mobile Bay should be very good. We will continue to sample the remaining waters and will open more waters as the shrimp grow to harvestable size," he said.
Boats catch more than 25 million pounds of shrimp annually in Alabama, making it the state's top seafood crop. White and pink shrimp are also caught in Alabama's waterways, with white shrimp being more abundant in late summer and fall.