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

PARTIAL RE-OPENING OF SISTER LAKE PUBLIC OYSTER SEED RESERVATION

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced that a portion of the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation shall re-open at one half hour before sunrise on Monday, April 4, 2016 for the purpose of market oyster harvest only and shall close at one-half hour after sunset on Apri1 14, 2016.

 

The portion of the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation to be re-opened shall be the area west of a line of longitude at 90 degrees 55 minutes 25.907 seconds W.  The daily and possession sack limit is set at 25, and the following conditions shall also apply:

 

1.)            All oysters aboard a vessel harvesting on the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation are deemed to have been taken from the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation.

2.)            Prior to leaving the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation, all oysters must be sacked, the number of sacks harvested shall be recorded in a log book, and each sack shall be properly tagged.

3.)            All vessels located in the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation during those times between one-half hour after sunset and one-half hour before sunrise shall have all oyster dredges unshackled.

 

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.

 

PARTIAL RE-OPENING OF SEED GROUNDS IN MISSISSIPPI SOUND AND LAKE BORGNE FOR OYSTER TRANSPLANT

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced that a portion of the Public Oyster Seed Grounds in Mississippi Sound and Lake Borgne shall re-open at one half hour before sunrise on Friday, April 1, 2016 and shall close at one-half hour after sunset on Thursday, April 14, 2016.  This re-opening is for the purpose of conducting a permitted transplant, or relay, of live oysters for bedding purposes only from waters within the Public Oyster Seed Grounds further described below which are currently classified as “closed” by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH).  All individuals found harvesting in this area must possess a valid LDHH Oyster Transplant Permit.

 

The Secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is authorized to take emergency action to re-open Public Oyster Seed Grounds and Reservations if sufficient quantities of oysters are available, to adjust sack limits and sacking-only areas, and to take emergency action as necessary to close this area if it is found that excessive amounts of non-living reef material is present in transplant loads.

 

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. 

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)

Primary Public Oyster Seed Grounds east of the Mississippi River and north of the MS River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), including Lake Borgne

 Transplant / Relay Only
Permit Required
April 1, 2016

 Transplant / Relay Only
​Permit Required
April 14, 2016

 Transplant / Relay Only
​Permit Required

Sacking-Only Area of Primary Public Oyster Seed Grounds east of the Mississippi River - LDHH Harvest Area 1 falling east of a line of longitude at 89 degrees 29 minutes 0.00 seconds W, and the entirety of the LDHH Harvest Area 2 shall be restricted to harvest for market sales only (sacking-only)

October 19, 2015

Monday Dec. 7th

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)

October 19, 2015

Seed: December 11

Sack: Open until further notice

50 sack possession limit, per vessel,  per day

Bay Gardene Public Oyster Seed Reservation

October 19, 2015

Seed: December 11

Sack: Open until further notice

50 sack posession limit, per vessel, per day

Bay Long, American Bay October 19, 2015 sacking only   50 sack possession limit, per vessel, per day

Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation (except 2014 cultch plants)

October 19, 2015
 

 Nov. 9th, 2015 one-half hour after sunset

50 sack possession limit, per vessel, per day

2014 Hackberry Bay Cultch Plant Closed for 2015/16 season Closed for 2015/16 season  

Little Lake Public Oyster Seed Grounds

September 9-October 11, 2015 bedding purposes only; October 12, open for harvest of market oysters

 

50 sack possession limit per vessel

Barataria Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds

September 9-October 11, 2015 bedding only; October 12, open for harvest of market oysters

 

50 sack possession limit per vessel, per day

Lake Chien and Lake Felicity  Public Oyster Seed Grounds

October 19, 2015

Lake Chien Nov 30th, one-half hour after sunset

50 sack possession limit per vessel, per day

Deep Lake and Lake Tambour Public Oyster Seed Grounds

September 9- October 11, 2015 bedding only; October 12 open for harvest of market oysters

 

50 sack possession limit per vessel

Lake Mechant Public Oyster Seed Grounds

October 19,2015

 

50 sack possession limit per vessel

Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation

Partial opening see map above
April 4, 2016 

April 14, 2016 

25 sack daily and possession limit, per vessel, per day

Bay Junop Public Oyster Seed Reservation

Closed for 2015/16 Season

Closed for 2015/2016 Season

 

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

September 9-October 11, 2015 bedding only; October 12 open for harvest of market oysters

 

50 sack possession limit per vessel, per day

Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area - East Side

Closed for 2015/16 season

Closed for 2015/16 season

 

Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area - West Cove

November 1, 2015

 

7 sacks of oysters and daily trips limited to 1 per person or per vessel per day

Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area

Closed for 2015/16 season

Closed for 2015/16 season

 

2015 Cultch Plants in Calcasieu Lake

Closed for 2015/16 season

Closed for 2015/16 season

 

 

 

 

 

During the 2015/2016 open oyster season, the following provisions shall be in effect:

  1. The take of oysters from that portion of the public oyster seed grounds within Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals’ (LDHH) Harvest Area 1 falling east of a line of longitude at 89 degrees 29 minutes 0.00 seconds W, and the entirety of the LDHH Harvest Area 2 shall be restricted to harvest for market sales only (sacking-only).
  2. Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds and reservations described above shall:
    1. Be limited to a daily take and possession limit not to exceed 50 sacks of oysters per vessel, except for in the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation where the limit shall not exceed 40 sacks per vessel, and except for in the West Cove of Calacsieu Lake where the daily limit shall not exceed 7 sacks of oysters per person 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.  The daily take and possession limit shall not apply to vessels harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes.  The possession limit shall not apply to vessels operating under a valid Oyster Cargo Vessel Permit.
    2. Be limited to either harvesting market oysters for direct sale (sacking) or harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes on any one day and is specifically prohibited from doing both on the same day.
  3. If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds or reservations described above, all oysters contained on that vessel shall be deemed to have been taken from said seed ground or reservation from the time harvest begins until all oysters are off-loaded dockside.

 

The following areas shall remain closed for the 2015/2016 oyster season:

  • Bay Junop Public Oyster Seed Reservation
  • The east side of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (LDHH Harvest Area 29)
  • Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area
  • 2014 cultch plant in Hackberry Bay within the following coordinates:

Hackberry Bay (2014) – Jefferson Parish

  1.          29 degrees 25 minutes 23.58 seconds

90 degrees 01 minutes 21.00 seconds

  1.          29 degrees 25 minutes 16.43 seconds

90 degrees 01 minutes 14.59 seconds

  1.          29 degrees 25 minutes 07.91 seconds

90 degrees 01 minutes 27.41 seconds

  1.           29 degrees 25 minutes 15.33 seconds

90 degrees 01 minutes 33.71 seconds

  • 2015 cultch plant in West Cove of Calcasieu Lake within the following coordinates:

Calcasieu Lake – West Cove (2015) – Cameron Parish

  1.          29 degrees 52 minutes 39.66 seconds

93 degrees 23 minutes 42.14 seconds

  1.          29 degrees 52 minutes 28.94 seconds

93 degrees 23 minutes 42.20 seconds

  1.          29 degrees 52 minutes 39.60 seconds

93 degrees 23 minutes 31.92 seconds

  1.          29 degrees 52 minutes 29.01 seconds

93 degrees 23 minutes 31.92 seconds