County Road 12- Shrimping in Central Alabama - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

County Road 12- Shrimping in Central Alabama

   Back in the 1950's, a Lowndes County farmer needed a fresh water supply so he drilled a well. To his disappointment, the water was not drinkable. It was saltwater. Fast forward forty years, and that farmers son is now on the verge of huge success growing something you would never expect in Central Alabama. Debbie Williams caught up with him, somewhere out along County Road 12.

 Lee Jackson is going fishing. And you'll never guess what he's fishing for. "This is ideal for growing cultured shrimp," he says casting a net into one of two ponds.  More than a hundred miles from the ocean, there's water salty enough on Lee Jacksons farm to grow shrimp. "My conditions, are ideal the soil, the water, the climate. My conditions are ideal of growing culture shrimp in Mosses, Alabama. How is this possible? There's an aquaifer of saltwater under this part of Lowndes County. "Your salinity is 8 to 9 parts per thousand.," he was told by scientist, "compared to ocean water, intercoastal area the salinity is somewhere between 14, 16 18 parts per thousand." Jackson read a newspaper article a few years ago about shrimp farmers in West Alabama and a light bulb went off. "They were describing my area to the T. When I read that article and my eyes just lit up." The water has almost the salinity of ocean water. In fact, scientist say, it is ocean water. "The first letter of certification that I recieved they said it was 80 million year old trapped ocean water. I was blown away."

Folks around here always knew there was saltwater underground. "It rusted out pipes," he says, "people encountered saltwater in their drinking water years ago and didn't know where it was coming from." Till now, it's been more of a hinderance than a help and some folks around here can't even believe it now. "He's got to be telling the biggest story you ever heard in your life, Jackson says remembering the jokes he's heard about his crop. "Also I get, where are the salt trucks? Where are the pipes coming up from Mobile, Alabama." Big, juicy, jumbo shrimp straight from Central Alabama and as tasty as any you'll get in the gulf.

Shrimp isn't the only thing Jackson plans to produce, he also wants to grow talapia, red fish and crawfish in his salty Alabama water. To find out more about Lowndes County shrimp you can check out their website at www.bayboyfarms.com.

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