The trawling program began in 1977 as a means to collect brown and white shrimp abundance and growth data which was used to open/close waters to shrimp harvesting. AMRD continues to conduct trawl sampling to monitor shrimp distribution patterns, but the goals of the trawling program have become more diversified over the years. In addition to shrimp sampling, the current trawling program provides community-level data critical for ecosystem based management within Alabama"s inshore waters.

Map of trawl sites

(click map to enlarge for better viewing)

A 16' otter trawl with a 3/16" liner in the cod end is towed for 10 minutes at each of the 24 routine sample sites throughout the Mississippi Sound, Mobile Bay, Perdido/Wolf Bay, Little lagoon, as well as Alabama's territorial sea each month. However, up to 50 additional trawl samples are collected during the brown and white shrimp seasons to monitor growth and abundance. Therefore, trawl sampling is a keystone component of generating the required data for the management of Alabama's marine resources and the FAMP program (see Sample Processing).

For more information regarding the Trawl Sampling Program, contact Craig Newton.

Trawl net being retrieved in Heron BayTrawl net being set in Moblie BayTrawl vessel in Cotton Bayou