A year in the life of a Shrimp,
Larvae develop from floating fertilized eggs, growing and molting through many of each of these stages over a two- or three-week period.
Currents and incoming tides carry the maturing shrimp into brackish waters. Over a 4-6 week period, the individuals begin to look like shrimp and to forage or graze like shrimp, clinging to the bottom most of the time. They develop swimming and walking legs. In our area about May, By June these are the ones we call Pee-Wee Shrimp is why June or July the Shrimp are so small.
The shrimp Hang out here in the back waters all summer & fall getting larger, then weather change such as a cold front, wind change or major rainfall that sharply alters temperature or salinity stimulates the sub adult to move towards the barrier islands in the passes, This is why the shrimp in November to February are So larger they are almost a year old by now, While they move out towards the gulf they feed on the bottom during daylight, rising in the water column after dark. This is why here on the gulf coast we use lights at night to attract the Shrimp and dip net them. After dark Shrimp come very close to the surface making them easy to dip. January through April.
Areas in the passes that are protected from heavy winds, tides and surf become glutted with young adults and sub adults waiting for a high tide to carry them out to sea. This happens here around February or March being the 2 best months for those of you looking for a fresh Shrimp dinner.
Out in the Gulf once more, the adult shrimp continues to grow in size on the sea’s bottom, and its niche at this stage is primarily as food for many fish. It lives in deep water, 60-500 feet below the sea’s surface. The adult shrimp, around a year old, a few will survive long enough to reproduce when a sharp increase in the water column’s temperature will stimulate the females to spawn, producing thousands of eggs to begin the cycle again.
Not to forget that during their entire life something is trying to eat them, Birds fish, People, at every stage of life a shrimp is food for something, It is a very good thing each pair will make thousands of young,
This is why we have Pee-Wee Shrimp in July and why there are just not many of them, as some are just too small to be caught.