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

Public Oyster Area

Season Opening

Season Closure

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

 March 16, 2015

March 20, 2015

 

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

October 20, 2014

 

50 sack possession limit per vessel

Bay Gardene Public Oyster Seed Reservation

Closed for 2014/15 season

Closed for 2014/15 season

 

Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation

Closed for 2014/15 Season

Closed for 2014/15 Season

 

Little Lake Public Oyster Seed Grounds

September 3-October 12 seed only; October 12 open for harvest of market & seed oysters

 

50 sack possession limit per vessel

Barataria Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds

September 3-October 12 seed only; October 12 open for harvest of market and seed oysters

 

50 sack possession limit per vessel

Lake Chien and Lake Felicity  Public Oyster Seed Grounds

Closed for 2014/15 season

Closed for 2014/15 season

 

Deep Lake and Lake Tambour Public Oyster Seed Grounds

September 3-October 12 seed only; October 12 open for harvest of market and seed oysters

 

50 sack possession limit per vessel

Lake Mechant Public Oyster Seed Grounds

October 20, 2014

 

40 sack possession limit per vessel

Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation

Closed for 2014/15 Season

Closed for 2014/15 Season

 

Bay Junop Public Oyster Seed Reservation

October 20, 2014

 

40 sack possession limit per vessel

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

September 3-October 12 

April 1, 2014

50 sack possession limit per vessel

Blanche/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed  Grounds

seed only; October 12 open for harvest of market and seed oysters

 

 

Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area - East Side

Closed for 2014/15 season

Closed for 2014/15 season

 

Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area - West Cove

October 27, 2014

 

10 sack limit per vessel per person per day

Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area

Closed for 2014/15 season

Closed for 2014/15 season

 

2011 California Bay (Plaquemines Parish) Cultch Plant

Closed for 2014/15 season

Closed for 2014/15 season

 

2012 Cultch Plants in Lake Fortuna (St. Bernard Parish), and Bay Crab (Plaquemines Parish)

Closed for 2014/15 season

Closed for 2014/15 season

 

2013 Cultch Plants in 3-Mile Pass (St. Bernard Parish) and Drum Bay (St. Bernard Parish)

Closed for 2014/15 season

Closed for 2014/15 season

 

During the 2014/2015 open oyster season, the following provisions shall be in effect:

1. Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds and reservations described above shall:

a.  Be limited to a daily take and possession limit not to exceed 50 sacks of oysters per vessel, except for Lake Mechant and Bay Junop in Terrebonne Parish where the limit shall be 40 sacks per vessel, and except for the West Cove of Calacsieu Lake where the limit shall be 10 sacks of oysters and daily trips limited to 1 per person or per vessel per day.  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.

b.  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.

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.