oyster

LDWF Announces Closure of Seed-Oyster Harvest in Public Areas East of the Mississippi River

Release Date: 11/10/2011

Seed-Oyster Harvest Closure  11.14.11

November 10, 2011 –Today, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham signed an order to close seed-oyster harvest in selected public oyster areas east of the Mississippi River effective Monday, November 14, at one-half hour past sunset. 

The harvest of legal-size oysters (≥ 3 inches) for market sales is allowed to continue in these areas until further notice. 

The following areas are affected by the seed-oyster harvest closure:

1.      The public oyster seed grounds north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet; and

2.      The public oyster seed grounds and reservations south of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet and west of a line that generally runs from California Point northeast to Point Gardner.

These areas were determined by LDWF biologist to hold only small amounts of seed oyster stock and a significant portion of the available stock has been harvested thus far during the 2011/2012 oyster season.  Additionally, sampling of seed-oyster loads on commercial vessels has determined that excessive amounts of non-living cultch material (reef shell, etc.) is being removed during seed harvest.  This activity threatens the long-term sustainability of the reefs by removing critical settlement substrate upon which oyster larvae settle and grow.  Based on current harvest pressure and the estimated low oyster stock size, these areas should be closed to protect from further impacts. 

All other details, rules and regulations of the 2011/2012 oyster season remain in effect until further notice.

For the latest on the 2011/2012 oyster season visit:   http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oyster-seasons

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 Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-2363.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting May 10 in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 05/04/2011

May 4, 2011 – Next Tuesday, May 10 at 1 p.m. the Louisiana Oyster Task Force will meet at the Capitol Park Welcome Center in Baton Rouge, located at 702 N River Road. 

The agenda for tomorrow’s meeting is as follows:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of  March 29, 2011 MINUTES
  3. Treasury Report
    1. Oyster Tag Sales
    2. LOTF Financial Report
  4. Committee Reports
    1. Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee – (Buddy Pausina)
    2. Enforcement   - (Keith Lacaze)
    3. Legislative - (Jakov Jurisic)
    4. Research – (John Supan)
    5. Coastal Restoration – (Dan Coulon)
    6. Marketing - (Dana Brocato)
    7. Health – (Glenn Cambre)
  5. Old Business
    1. Public Oyster Reef Evaluation & Shell Plant – Patrick Banks
    2. BP Oil Spill Remediation
      1. Claims Process
      2. Public Reef Remediation
      3. Oyster Lease Remediation
    3. Oyster Lease Moratorium Update
    4. Sabine Lake Oyster Reefs Update
  6. New Business
    1. Oyster-Related Legislative Bills Review
    2. Trip Tickets:  Adding Oyster Lease and Vessel Information – Dana Brocato
  7. Set Next Meeting
  8. Adjourn

This meeting is open to the public.

For more information contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504)286-8735.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet in New Orleans Tuesday, March 29

Release Date: 03/28/2011

March 28, 2011 – The Louisiana Oyster Task Force will meet in New Orleans at the UNO Advanced Technology Building in Suite 210 Tuesday, March 29, 2011, at 1 p.m.

The agenda for tomorrow’s meeting is as follows:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of  January 25, 2011 MINUTES
  3. Treasury Report
  4. Committee Reports
  5. Old Business
    1. Public Oyster Reef Evaluation & Shell Plant – Patrick Banks
    2. BP Oil Spill Remediation
      1. Claims Process
      2. Public Reef Remediation
      3. Oyster Lease Remediation
    3. Report on Washington Walk-on-the-Hill and functions
    4. Oyster Lease Moratorium Update, Map of Dual Claim Water-bottoms – Jerome Zeringue, Raymond Impastato
  6. New Business
    1. Crop Insurance Update – Rob Certa
    2. Sabine Lake Oyster Harvest Recommendations – Mike Voisin
    3. NFI Spring Conference, May 10-12,2011 – Mike Voisin
    4. Army Corp of Engineers Shellfish Permit Reauthorization
    5. Acknowledgements:  Keith Lacaze, Tommy Cvitanovich
  7. Set Next Meeting
  8. Adjourn

This meeting is open to the public.

Prior to the this meeting, the Legislative Committee for the Oyster Task Force will meet at 10 a.m. to discuss amending the state refrigeration allowance and the legal standard for measuring sack oysters. 

For more information contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or (225)610-2363.

Oyster Season to Close Early in East Side of Calcasieu Lake

Release Date: 03/22/2011

March 22, 2011 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham issued an emergency order to close the oyster season in the east side of Calcasieu Lake (DHH Harvest Area 29) at one-half hour after sunset on Friday, March 25, 2011.

The season was previously set by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to remain open until April 30, 2011, except for the 2009 cultch plant, but the commission gave authority for an early closure to Secretary Barham in order to protect and conserve the public oyster resource.

LDWF Office of Fisheries biologists have monitored the health of the public oyster resource throughout the oyster season, which opened on November 15, 2010, through biological sampling and harvest tracking. LDWF monitoring activities have determined that the public oyster resources have sustained heavy harvest pressure and continued harvest may threaten the long-term sustainability of the remaining oyster resources.

Within the past week, LDWF enforcement agents have encountered numerous oyster harvesting violations within harvest area 29. As a result, agents have seized oysters and fishing equipment.

An early closure of these public oyster seed grounds will help protect the remaining oyster resources and help sustain that resource for the future. This early closure is being announced in order to provide the oyster industry with as much prior notice as possible.

The west side of the Calcasieu Lake public oyster area (DHH Harvest Area 30) is scheduled to remain open to the harvest of oysters until April 30, 2011.

The Louisiana 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 contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225)765-5113. 

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet Next Tuesday

Release Date: 01/20/2011

The Louisiana Oyster Task Force will meet next Tuesday January 25 at 1 p.m. at the UNO Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in suite 210 in New Orleans, LA.
The agenda is as follows:

Agenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of Nov 30, 2010 MINUTES
  3. Treasury Report
    1. Oyster Tag Sales
    2. LOTF Financial Report 
  4. Committee Reports
    1. Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee – (Buddy Pausina)
    2. Enforcement - (Keith Lacaze)
    3. Legislative - (Jakov Jurisic)
    4. Research – (John Supan)
    5. Coastal Restoration – (Dan Coulon)
    6. Marketing - (Dana Brocato)
    7. Health – (Glenn Cambre)
  5. Old Business
    1. Public Oyster Reef Evaluation – Patrick Banks
    2. BP Oil Spill Remediation
      1. Claims Process
      2. Public Reef Remediation
      3. Oyster Lease Remediation
    3. ISSC 2011 Board / VMC Meeting Report
    4. Oyster Lease Moratorium Update – Jerome Zeringue
  6. New Business
    1. Washington Walk on the Hill 
  7. Election of Officers
  8. Set Next Meeting
  9. Adjourn

This meeting is open to the public.

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 Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.610.2363. 

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet Next Tuesday

Release Date: 01/20/2011

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet Tuesday, January 25, 2011. The meeting will convene at 10:30 a.m. in Suite 200 of the University of New Orleans Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans. The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting is as follows:

  1. Approval of Minutes From August 27, 2010 Meeting
  2. Hearing of New Appeals
    1. Henry Martin
  3. Set next meeting date
  4. Adjourn

This board was established for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to hear and consider appeals of vessel permit denials. For more information, please contact Laura Deslatte at 225-610-2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Crab Task Force to Discuss Industry Issues at Jan. 13 Meeting

Release Date: 01/12/2011

The Louisiana Crab Task Force will meet on Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. in the Louisiana Room of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building in Baton Rouge.

The Task Force will discuss industry issues, including the status of Blue Crab MSC Certification, a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant proposal for the Derelict Crab Removal Program, and Task Force vacancies. The Task Force will also address issues faced by the blue crab industry related to BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, marketing and promotion efforts, and the election of a chairman and a vice-chairman.

The Louisiana Crab Task Force is an industry group comprised of fishermen, soft crab shedders, and dealers and processors, as well as state agency and university representatives. The Task Force advises the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on matters pertaining to the management and development of the Louisiana blue crab industry. 

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 Laura Deslatte at (225) 610-2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov.

Oyster Season Will Remain Closed for Public Seed Grounds

Release Date: 12/03/2010

Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will re-evaluate season opening in January

The 2010/2011 oyster season will remain closed for public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi and in Hackberry Bay. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission did not take action to open the season, which was originally scheduled to open on November 15, 2010. The Commission originally made the decision to keep the season closed for public grounds in order to help rebuild the natural resource for future use by the commercial and recreational industries.

Biologists with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) recommended to the Commission that the 2010/2011 season for these public seed grounds remain closed in order to allow for a reproductive event currently taking place in some waters east of the Mississippi River to continue. This reproductive event has lead to the a large number of spat (young oysters less than one inch in length) in some areas. Allowing the spat to mature will aid in rebuilding the area’s oyster resource.

LDWF biologists documented high mortality rates in some harvesting areas throughout the summer months, which added to the depletion oysters in these public seed grounds. The public grounds east of the Mississippi River contribute approximately 28% of all oyster harvest in Louisiana on an annual basis.

The Commission with re-evaluate whether or not to open the 2010/2011 oyster season at its next meeting on January 6, 2011.

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 owatkins@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet Next Tuesday

Release Date: 11/22/2010

The Louisiana Oyster Task Force will meet next Tuesday, November 30 at 1:00 PM at the UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, suite 210 in New Orleans, LA.

The agenda is as follows:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of August 27, 2010 MINUTES
  3. Approval of October 19, 2010 MINUTES
  4. Treasury Report
    1. Oyster Tag Sales
    2. LOTF Financial Report 
  5. Committee Reports
    1. Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee – (Buddy Pausina)
    2. Enforcement - (Keith Lacaze)
    3. Legislative - (Jakov Jurisic)
    4. Research – (John Supan)
    5. Coastal Restoration – (Dan Coulon)
    6. Marketing - (Dana Brocato)
  6. Old Business
    1. Public Seed Grounds Oyster Season – Update
    2. BP Oil Spill Update
      1. Claims Process
      2. Public Reef Damages
      3. Oyster Lease Damages
      4. NRDA Sampling of Private Oyster leases
    3. Oyster Lease Moratorium – Jerome Zeringue
  7. New Business
    1. Public Relations – Oyster Industry and Coastal Restoration
    2. Sherwood Gagliano-Restoration of Oyster Grounds and industry in St. Bernard Parish (Dana Brocato)
    3. ISSC Meeting (Al Sunseri)
  8. Set Next Meeting

The public and private oyster grounds committee will meet at 10 AM, prior to the Oyster Task Force meeting, to discuss relocation of non- renewed leases and relocation sites for leases in the public seed ground.
These meetings are open to the public.

For more information please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335. 

New Oyster Farming Technique Increases Productivity, Offers Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Release Date: 11/17/2010

A new oyster farming initiative has launched in the northern Gulf of Mexico.

The goal of this effort, a collaboration between researchers from Louisiana State University and Auburn University, is industry adoption of off-bottom oyster culture to supplement the traditional harvest. Historically, oysters are grown on and harvested from reefs on the water bottom. In this new process, oysters are grown suspended in the water column.

Benefits of this new oyster farming technique include increased productivity; job creation; and continued production of a safe, sustainable domestic oyster supply, according to John Supan, Louisiana Sea Grant and LSU AgCenter oyster specialist, and Bill Walton, Auburn University aquaculture and fisheries specialist. Off-bottom culture also protects oysters from predators, provides a means to reduce fouling, and allows complete harvests of planted oyster seed, a major advantage over traditional oyster harvesting.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is also working with researchers at Louisiana Sea Grant to support the off-bottom culture efforts. LDWF’s Fisheries Research Laboratory in Grand Isle, La., provides research and hatchery space to researchers from the Louisiana Sea Grant program. Department officials are also working local officials in Plaquemines Parish to develop plans for a facility, which would provide space for oyster spat, oysters in the larval stage, to develop before they are utilized by industry.

“This could be an important addition to a traditional coastal industry,” said Walton. “It’s clean, green and energy efficient. And, it provides business opportunities to those already in the oyster industry as well as other coastal residents.”

“Through proper planning, off-bottom culture can work in harmony with other water uses and users,” added Supan. “It can support both part- and full-time incomes, just like natural fisheries, but with greater control over the natural variability that dominates bottom harvesting.”

“Louisiana’s oyster fishery has been hit with major natural and man-made disasters in the last five years, and has grown wiser for it,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina. “We are thrilled that Louisiana Sea Grant and researchers at Auburn University have worked so diligently to develop new methods for safeguarding and developing our oyster reefs along the coast. Our Department is going to work side-by-side with the industry and researchers to help ensure the success of our oyster fishery.”

Although this program was developed prior to the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the oil spill prompted increased interest in oyster farming.

“We have received more calls and questions about oyster farming in the last four months than we have combined over the prior 12 months,” said Walton. “The spill has created a window of opportunity where traditional oystermen are eager, even desperate, to find ways to get back to working on the water as soon as possible.”

“Catastrophe causes change,” added Supan. “The challenge is to direct change to improve conditions, not to settle for status quo. This project will attempt do just that.”

Both the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory on Dauphin Island, Ala., and the Sea Grant Bivalve Hatchery at the LDWF Marine Fisheries Research Laboratory on Grand Isle, La., will provide oyster seed for this tri-state project. Program funding is provided by the Louisiana Sea Grant College Program and the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium.

A series of workshops are planned during 2011 and 2012, addressing issues such as appropriate culture systems, oyster seed stock, growing market-quality oysters, and developing practices and regulations in collaboration with state agencies. For more information, contact Supan at jsupan@lsu.edu or Walton at billwalton@auburn.edu.

Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at LSU, is part of the National Sea Grant College Program, a network of 32 university-based programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico.

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 Roy Kron at Louisiana Sea Grant at (225) 578-6564 or rkron@lsu.edu or Olivia Watkins at LDWF at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov

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