State waters now 98.5 percent open to recreational and commercial fishing; reopening coincides with federal reopening
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has ordered the reopening of additional state waters with the Mississippi River Delta to commercial and recreational shrimp and finfish harvest effective immediately. This reopening of waters previously closed to fishing due to the BP oil spill, is done in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered the reopening as comprehensive sensory and chemical testing by the state and the FDA concluded that seafood from these areas is safe for consumption. Including the current reopening, 98.5 percent of state waters are now open to commercial and recreational fishing.
Commercial fishing for the harvest of finfish and shrimp is immediately open today, October 28, seaward a minimum distance of one-quarter mile or more from the shoreline between the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds westward to the western shore of Southwest Pass and 89 degrees 25 minutes 00 seconds west longitude. This reopening includes waters in the following areas:
- Pass a Loutre,
- North Pass,
- Northeast Pass,
- Southeast Pass,
- South Pass and
- Southwest Pass.
Portions of the following areas are also being reopened:
- Blind Bay,
- Redfish Bay,
- Garden Island Bay and
- East Bay.
Additional portions of state outside territorial waters between Pass a Loutre and Southwest Pass are also included in the reopening.
This reopening does not extend to the harvest of crabs and oysters as LDWF officials are still awaiting hydrocarbon test results on crabs, and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals regulates the harvest of oysters.
The following state waters, however, will remain closed to commercial fishing until further notice:
- The area south of the southern shore of Pass a Loutre extending westward to the eastern shore of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River inside of a line extending a minimum of one-quarter mile or more seaward from the shoreline except for Pass a Loutre, North Pass, Northeast Pass, Southeast Pass and South Pass;
- A portion of Barataria Bay north of Grand Isle, east of the Barataria Waterway and west of 89 degrees 50 minutes 00 seconds west longitude between 29 degrees 30 minutes and 29 degrees 26 minutes north latitude; and
- An area from near Quatre Bayou Pass westward including Grand Terre Island to Barataria Pass.
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For more information, please contact Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or firstname.lastname@example.org.