The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has conducted long term monitoring for shrimp since the mid 1960's. For the purpose of monitoring shrimp populations, the State was divided into 7 Coastal Study Areas. Each of these Areas represented a distinct hydrological basin within the coastal zone. Data collected from sampling locations within each of these Study Areas was used to set shrimp seasons on a statewide basis. Data collected during the early years of the monitoring program indicated that the State's shrimp resources could be divided into 3 distinct management zones. In 1975, the Department instituted the zone concept of shrimp management and began opening shrimp seasons at different times along the coast. This program is the basis on which shrimp are managed in Louisiana.