DAUPHIN ISLAND, Ala. (AP) -- Officials say the state of Alabama is on track for an early shrimping season this year because of the unseasonably warm weather.
The director of the state's marine resources agency, Chris Blankenship, said Monday conservation officials may be able to open shrimping season in May this year rather than June. He says that's because the warmer-than-normal temperatures mean shrimp will mature earlier than usual.
The department has temporarily closed state waters to shrimpers, but Blankenship says that's an annual occurrence.
Blankenship says shrimp are currently too small to harvest in Alabama waters, but he says there's no indication that has anything to do with lingering effects of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.