Oyster Season

General Season Information

Public grounds: LDWF manages approximately 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 monitoring 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 Louisiana Department of Health for public health reasons. Information on LDH closures can be found on the LDH website

Current Oyster Season

January 17, 2019 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will reopen oyster harvest in the East portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area in Cameron Parish, at one half-hour before sunrise on Monday, January 21, 2019, under the following conditions:

  • The reopening of the East portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area shall not supersede any public health closures.
  • All oysters aboard a vessel harvesting in the East portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area are deemed to have been taken from East portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area.
  • Oyster scrapers are prohibited on vessels harvesting oysters in Calcasieu Lake.
  • The daily and possession sack limit is set at 10 sacks of oysters, per vessel.

The following area will remain closed for the entire 2018/2019 oyster season: The Long Point Cultch Plant (2017), located on the east portion of Calcasieu Lake near Long Point in Cameron Parish, within the following coordinates:

  • 29 degrees 55 minutes 03.45 seconds N, 93 degrees 19 minutes 20.26 seconds W
  • 29 degrees 54 minutes 55.75 seconds N, 93 degrees 19 minutes 01.32 seconds W
  • 29 degrees 54 minutes 14.64 seconds N, 93 degrees 19 minutes 22.67 seconds W
  • 29 degrees 54 minutes 21.22 seconds N, 93 degrees 19 minutes 40.43 seconds W
  • 29 degrees 54 minutes 31.41 seconds N, 93 degrees 19 minutes 12.81 seconds W
  • 29 degrees 54 minutes 45.8388 seconds N, 93 degrees 19 minutes 27.6384 seconds W

The oyster population in Calcasieu Lake is managed in two separate units (East and West Cove). Upon reassessment of the available oyster resource relative to current conditions in West Cove, it was determined that the East portion can reopen to allow additional harvest.

See above for a map of the current open oyster areas.

The Commission authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Secretary Jack Montoucet 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 for public health concerns.


January 17, 2019 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will close oyster harvest in a portion of the public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River, in St. Bernard Parish, at one half-hour after sunset on Sunday, January 20, 2019.

The portions of the public oyster seed grounds to be closed are as follows:

  • The area within the portion of LDH Shellfish Harvest Area 3 that is north of latitude line: 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north in St. Bernard Parish, and;
  • The following cultch plants within the coordinates described below:
    • 3-Mile Pass (2013)
      • 30 degrees 03 minutes 56.70 seconds N , 89 degrees 22 minutes 15.40 seconds W
      • 30 degrees 03 minutes 56.70 seconds N , 89 degrees 22 minutes 15.40 seconds W
      • 30 degrees 03 minutes 18.00 seconds N , 89 degrees 22 minutes 06.30 seconds W
      • 30 degrees 03 minutes 30.49 seconds N , 89 degrees 22 minutes 38.17 seconds W
    • Drum Bay (2013)
      • 29 degrees 53 minutes 13.00 seconds N , 89 degrees 17 minutes 40.21 seconds W
      • 29 degrees 53 minutes 16.51 seconds N :, 89 degrees 16 minutes 51.12 seconds W
      • 29 degrees 52 minutes 56.17 seconds N , 89 degrees 16 minutes 49.80 seconds W
      • 29 degrees 52 minutes 53.99 seconds N , 89 degrees 17 minutes 40.43 seconds W

The oyster population in the public oyster seed grounds has been in decline for several years, and the recommended threshold in this portion of the public seed grounds, east of the Mississippi River, has been met. The closure is necessary to protect undersized oysters, allowing growth for future harvest opportunities. Continued harvest might threaten the long-term sustainability of remaining oyster resources in this area. Protection of the remaining oyster resources is in the long-term best interest of the oyster populations in this public oyster seed ground.

See above for a map of the current oyster closure areas.

The Commission authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Secretary Jack Montoucet 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 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 LDH 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, LDH Harvest Areas 1 - 4)

Opens October 29, 2018, one half-hour before sunrise.

 

Sacking Only - October 30, 2018, one half-hour before sunrise.

Bedding Season Closes October 29, 2018, one half-hour after sunset.


 

 

25 sacks of oysters per vessel per day with a 50 sack possession limit if fishing multiple days

Primary Public Oyster Seed Grounds east of the Mississippi River and south of the MS River Gulf Outlet (MRGO, LDHH Harvest Areas 5 - 8), including Bay Gardene, Long Bay and American Bay 

Closed

Closed

 

 

 

 

 

Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation

Opens October 29, 2018, one half-hour before sunrise.

 

Sacking Only - October 30, 2018, one half-hour before sunrise.Sacking Only - October 30, 2018 one half-hour before sunrise

Closes completely on November 3, 2018 one-half hour after sunset

 

25 sacks of oysters per vessel per day with a 50 sack possession limit if fishing multiple days 

Little Lake Public Oyster Seed Grounds

Opens October 29, 2018, one half-hour before sunrise. 

Sackiing Only - October 30, 2018 one half-hour before sunrise

Bedding Season Closes October 29, 2018, one half-hour after sunset. 

25 sacks of oysters per vessel per day with a 50 sack possession limit if fishing multiple days 

Barataria Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds

Closed

Closed

 

Lake Chien and Lake Felicity  Public Oyster Seed Grounds

Closed

Closed

 

Deep Lake and Lake Tambour Public Oyster Seed Grounds

Closed

Closed

 

Lake Mechant Public Oyster Seed Grounds

Opens October 29, 2018, one half-hour before sunrise.

Sacking Only - October 30, 2018 one half-hour before sunrise

Bedding Season Closes October 29, 2018, one half-hour after sunset.

 

25 sacks of oysters per vessel per day with a 50 sack possession limit if fishing multiple days 

Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation

Closed

Closed

 

Bay Junop Public Oyster Seed Reservation

Opens October 29, 2018, one half-hour before sunrise.

Sacking Only - October 30, 2018 one half-hour before sunrise

Bedding Season Closes October 29, 2018, one half-hour after sunset.

 

25 sacks of oysters per vessel per day with a 50 sack possession limit if fishing multiple days 

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

Opens October 29, 2018, one half-hour before sunrise.

Sacking Only - October 30, 2018 one half-hour before sunrise 

Bedding Season Closes October 29, 2018, one half-hour after sunset.

 

25 sacks of oysters per vessel per day with a 50 sack possession limit if fishing multiple days

Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area - East Side

Opens October 29, 2018
one half-hour before sunrise

 

Daily and possession limits shall not exceed 10 sacks of oysters per vessel

Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area - West Cove

Opens October 29, 2018
one half-hour before sunrise
 

 

Daily and possession limits shall not exceed 10 sacks of oysters per vessel

Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area

Closed

Closed