Licenses and Permits

For a list of license fees click here

Commercial Harvest Licenses / Permits

To take or possess oysters in Louisiana waters for commercial purposes, you must have one or more of the following licenses issued by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF).

To take or possess oysters in Louisiana waters for commercial purposes, you must have one or more of the following licenses issued by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). To apply for LDWF-issued licenses, contact 225-765-2898 or visit LDWF’s Headquarters at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. Renew your license on-line at

If you:

You must have a:


Are operating a commercial fishing vessel

Commercial Fisherman’s License or Senior Commercial Fisherman’s License (if a resident age 70 or older)

$55 resident, $460 non-resident (regular); $20 resident (senior; includes gear license fee). This is a personal license and is not transferable. It allows you to transport and sell your catch to any wholesale/retail seafood dealer located in and licensed by the state of Louisiana.

Use or possess oyster dredges or tongs

Commercial Gear License

You must have a license for each piece of gear:

Dredge: $25 resident, $200 non-resident

Tong: $30 resident, $240 non-resident

Have a vessel fishing commercially in the saltwater areas of Louisiana OR carrying oysters for sale

Vessel License

This license is specific to an individuals vessel

$15 Resident and $60 Non-resident

Are a commercial fishermen harvesting or possessing oysters in Louisiana state waters

Oyster Harvester License

$100 resident; $400 non-resident

Are in charge of an oyster cargo vessel

Oyster Cargo Vessel Permit

$250 resident; $1,105 non-resident

Harvesting oysters from Calcasieu Lake

Calcasieu Lake Oyster Harvester Permit

No fee

Take oysters from the public natural reefs or the oyster seed grounds

Oyster Seed Ground Vessel permit

$15 resident; $60 non-resident; does not include those in Calcasieu or Sabine Lake


Dealer and Shucker Licenses / Permits

To purchase and resell oysters in Louisiana, you must have one of the following LDWF-issued licenses, unless otherwise noted:

If you:

You must have:


Buy seafood products directly from licensed harvesters.

A Wholesale/Retail Seafood Dealer License from LDWF

Cost is $250. There are no restrictions on whom these licenseholders may sell seafood products to.

Only purchase seafood from Wholesale/Retail Seafood Dealers and only sell to the public.

A Retail Seafood Dealers License (or have your own Wholesale / Retail Dealer License - above)

Cost is $100

*Restaurants selling seafood are exempt from dealer license requirements unless they are serving raw fish products such as raw oysters, sushi or sashimi. These restaurants must purchase a Retail Seafood Dealers License in order to purchase products from a Wholesale / Retail Dealer. If restaurant will be buying directly from the harvester they will need an LDWF Wholesale / Retail Dealer license.


Shuck oysters to sell to another dealer for resale

A LDHH-issued Shucker-

Packer Permit


Buy from harvesters and reship oysters

A LDHH Shellstock Shipper or Reshipper Permit


Buy only from Wholesale / Retail Dealers

LDHH Distribution and

Reshipping Permit


Are a seafood retailer shucking oysters for sale to the public

LDHH retail permit


Shucked oysters must be in an open container, displayed in the service case or stored in the cooler. Do not package them in closed containers except at the time of sale to the end consumer. You may also sell them on the half shell.


Alternative Oyster Lease Culture (AOC) Permit

If you:

You must have:


Posses an Alternative Oyster Culture (AOC) Permit

A valid oyster lease, an oyster harvester license, a commercial fishermen license and a commercial gear license.

The AOC permit application fee is $100 and rent is $2 an acre. Permits are granted for a period of 10 years.