Seasons

General Season Information

Public grounds: The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries manages approximatley 1.7 million acres of public oyster areas in Louisiana. The oyster harvest season for public oyster areas generally runs from the first Wednesday following Labor Day in September through April 30 of the following year. However, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission can open and close the season when biological data indicate a need. Harvesters should review the current status of public oyster areas below for the most current oyster season information. Harvest from the public oyster areas, except those in Calcasieu and Sabine Lakes, must be from a properly licensed and permitted vessel and one that has an operational vessel motinoring system (VMS) in use.

Private leases: The owner of an oyster lease or his duly-authorized agents may fish oysters on the lease at any time of year.

All areas: Taking of oysters is prohibited from one-half hour after sunset until one-half hour before sunrise.  Areas opened by the Commission may periodically be closed by the Department of Health and Hospitals for public health reasons.  Information on DHH closures can be found on the DHH website http://dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/629/n/210

Current Status of Public Oyster Areas

CALCASIEU MAPS

     

LDWF to Close Oyster Harvest in the West Cove Portion of Calcasieu Lake

1-20-17 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close all oyster harvest in the West Cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area in Cameron Parish at one half-hour after sunset on Tuesday, January 24, 2017.

The oyster population in Calcasieu Lake has been in decline for several years and continued commercial harvest may threaten the long-term sustainability of remaining oyster resources in this public oyster area. Protection of the remaining oyster resources is in the long-term best interest of the oyster populations in this area.

The Commission authorized the Secretary of LDWF to take emergency action to close areas on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered. The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

 

 

LDWF to Open the Cheniere Reef Area in Calcasieu Lake

1-19-17 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will open the Cheniere Artificial Reef Planning Area of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area in Cameron Parish at one half-hour before sunrise on Monday, January 23, 2017. However, this action does not supersede public health closures. 

The Cheniere Artificial Reef Planning Area has been re-designated and will be incorporated into the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area.  Oyster resources located in this 87-acre area will be made available for harvest. 

The isolated nature of Calcasieu Lake and recent decline of the oyster stock in this area requires conservative management practices to ensure future oyster production.  LDWF biologists will continue to monitor oyster harvest in Calcasieu Lake and will recommend closure when harvest thresholds are reached. 

The Cheniere Artificial Reef Planning Area is defined by the following coordinates:

 

               A.        29 degrees 51 minutes 09.10 second

                          93 degrees 17 minutes 06.96 seconds

 

               B.        29 degrees 51 minutes 09.35 second\

                           93 degrees 16 minutes 50.20 seconds

C.        29 degrees 51 minutes 05.33 seconds

93 degrees 16 minutes 46.06 seconds

D.        29 degrees 50 minutes 50.72 second\

           93 degrees 16 minutes 45.78 seconds

E.         29 degrees 50 minutes 50.96 seconds

            93 degrees 17 minutes 09.62 seconds

F.         29 degrees 51 minutes 05.56 seconds

            93 degrees 17 minutes 09.90 seconds

The provisions for the Cheniere Artificial Reef Planning Area season will follow those already in place for the 2016/2017 Calcasieu Lake oyster season.  Those provisions are as follows:

1.              Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area described above shall be limited to a daily take and possession limit not to exceed 7 sacks of oysters per vessel as provided for in R.S. 56:435.1.1.  A sack of oysters for the purposes of this declaration of emergency shall be defined as the size described in R.S. 56:440. 

2.              If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area described above, all oysters contained on that vessel shall be deemed to have been taken from said public oyster area from the time harvest begins until all oysters are offloaded dockside.

3.              Prior to leaving the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area with oysters harvested from said oyster area: all oysters must be sacked, the number of sacks shall be recorded in a logbook, and each sack shall be properly tagged.

4.              All vessels located in the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area during those times between one half-hour after sunset and one half-hour before sunrise shall have all oyster dredges unshackled.

The Commission authorized the Secretary of LDWF to take emergency action to close areas on an as-needed basis based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered. The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

 

EAST OF THE RIVER

January 5, 2017 - LDWF to Close Oyster Harvest East of Mississippi River

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close oyster harvest on all public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River in St. Bernard Parish at one half-hour after sunset on Sunday, January 8, 2017.

Recent harvest pressure has depleted the limited supply of oyster resources in these public oyster areas. Protection of the remaining oyster resources is in the long-term best interest of the oyster populations in these areas.

The Commission authorized the Secretary of LDWF to take emergency action to close areas on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered. The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

 

Hackberry Bay

November 17, 2016 - Oyster Harvest to Close in Hackberry Bay

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced that all oyster harvest shall close at one half hour after sunset on Sunday, November 20, 2016 on the Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation (POSR) in Jefferson and Lafourche Parishes. Recent harvest pressure has depleted the limited supply of oyster resources in this public oyster area.  Protection of the remaining oyster resources is in the long-term best interest of the oyster populations in this area.

The Commission authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Secretary Charles J. Melancon to take emergency action to close areas, on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered.  The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

Calcasieu - Season Opening Announcement

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2016-17 oyster season in Calcasieu Lake. The season was set based on the annual oyster stock assessment provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments received from members of the public, including the oyster industry.

Both the East Side and West Cove portions of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area will open one-half hour before sunrise on Tuesday, November 1, 2016.  However, this action does not supersede public health closures.

During the 2016-17 oyster season, the following provisions will be in effect:

1.              Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area described above are limited to a daily take and possession limit not to exceed seven sacks of oysters per vessel.  A sack of oysters for the purposes of this declaration of emergency shall be defined as the size described in R.S. 56:440. 

2.              If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area described above, all oysters contained on that vessel will be deemed to have been taken from said public oyster area from the time harvest begins until all oysters are off-loaded dockside.

3.              Prior to leaving the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area with oysters harvested from said oyster area, all oysters must be sacked. The number of sacks should be recorded in a log book, and each sack shall be properly tagged.

4.              All vessels located in the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area during those times between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise should have all oyster dredges unshackled.

The following areas shall remain closed for the 2016/2017 oyster season:

1. The 2015 Calcasieu Lake West Cove Cultch Plant within the following coordinates:

        A.           29 degrees 52 minutes 39.66 seconds

        93 degrees 23 minutes 42.14 seconds

         B.           29 degrees 52 minutes 28.94 seconds

         93 degrees 23 minutes 42.20 seconds

         C.           29 degrees 52 minutes 39.60 seconds

         93 degrees 23 minutes 31.92 seconds

         D.           29 degrees 52 minutes 29.01 seconds

         93 degrees 23 minutes 31.92 seconds

2.  The 2015 Calcasieu Lake Southeast Side Cultch Plant within the following coordinates:

                        A.        29 degrees 50 minutes 25.46 seconds

       93 degrees 17 minutes 05.83 seconds

                        B.        29 degrees 50 minutes 19.83 seconds

      93 degrees 17 minutes 04.64 seconds

          C.       29 degrees 50 minutes 28.52 seconds

      93 degrees 16 minutes 51.37 seconds

                        D.        29 degrees 50 minutes 22.86 seconds

       93 degrees 16 minutes 50.19 seconds

            3.  The Cheniere Reef Artificial Reef Planning Area within the following coordinates:

                        A.        29 degrees 51 minutes 09.10 seconds

       93 degrees 17 minutes 06.96 seconds

                        B.        29 degrees 51 minutes 09.35 seconds

       93 degrees 16 minutes 50.20 seconds

          C.        29 degrees 51 minutes 05.33 seconds

       93 degrees 16 minutes 46.06 seconds

          D.        29 degrees 50 minutes 50.72 seconds

       93 degrees 16 minutes 45.78 seconds

          E.        29 degrees 50 minutes 50.96 seconds

       93 degrees 17 minutes 09.62 seconds

          F.         29 degrees 51 minutes 05.56 seconds

       93 degrees 17 minutes 09.90 seconds

              4.         The Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area (as described in R.S. 56:435.1).

Closure dates will be determined by LDWF Secretary Melancon on an “as needed” basis, based on biological and harvest data, or if enforcement issues are encountered.  The Secretary is also authorized by the Commission to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended, and to open public areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

 

Public notice of any opening, delay or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours in advance, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

 

 

Public Oyster Area

Season Opening (one-half hour before sunrise)

Season Closure (one-half hour after sunset)

Open areas may be closed periodically by the Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH) for public health concerns

Sack Limits

(Does not apply to vessels harvesting Seed Oysters)

Public Oyster Seed Grounds within Lake Borgne/Mississippi Sound (LDHH Harvest Areas 1 and 2)

Closed

Closed

 

Public Oyster Seed Grounds within LDHH Harvest Areas 3 and 4

November 14th

Closed - Jan 8

50 sack possession limit, per vessel, per day

Primary Public Oyster Seed Grounds east of the Mississippi River and south of the MS River Gulf Outlet (MRGO)

Closed

Closed

 

Bay Gardene Public Oyster Seed Reservation

 

Closed

 

Bay Long, American Bay November 14, 2016 – sacking only Closed - Jan 8 50 sack possession limit, per vessel, per day

Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation

Closes - Nov 20

 Closed - Nov 20

50 sack possession limit, per vessel, per day

Little Lake Public Oyster Seed Grounds

 

Closed

 

Barataria Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds

 

Closed

 

Lake Chien and Lake Felicity  Public Oyster Seed Grounds

 

Closed

 

Deep Lake and Lake Tambour Public Oyster Seed Grounds

 

Closed

 

Lake Mechant Public Oyster Seed Grounds

September 7, 2016 

 

50 sack possession limit per vessel, per day

Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation

 

Closed

 

Bay Junop Public Oyster Seed Reservation

September 7, 2016

 

 

Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed  Grounds

September 7, 2016

 

50 sack possession limit per vessel, per day

Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area - East Side

November 1, 2016

 

 

Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area - West Cove

November 1, 2016

Closed January 24, 2017

 

Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area

Closed