2008-09 LOUISIANA OYSTER SEASONS SET

Release Date: 08/06/2008

Opening and closing dates for the 2008-09 oyster season on the public oyster areas were set at the Aug. 7 meeting of the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission. 


The 2008-09 oyster season in the primary public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River, excluding the sacking only areas of the public grounds (described below) shall open one-half hour before sunrise on Sept. 3, 2008 for the harvest of seed oysters for bedding purposes only until one-half hour after sunset on Oct. 12, 2008.


These areas shall then re-open at one-half hour before sunrise on Oct. 13, 2008 for the taking of both seed and market-size oysters and shall close one half-hour after sunset on April 30, 2009. 


In addition, the sacking-only areas, which are generally Lake Fortuna and Lake Machias to a line from Mozambique Point to Point Gardner to Grace Point at the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, and the sacking-only area in the American Bay area which shall be that portion of the public grounds within Bay Long west of a line running generally north/south from a point at 29 degrees 31 minutes 13.78 seconds N latitude, 89 degrees 34 minutes 9.79 seconds W longitude to a point at 29 degrees 29 minutes 40.67 seconds N latitude, 89 degrees 34 minutes and 8.48 seconds W longitude shall open at one-half hour after sunrise on Oct. 13, 2008 for the taking of market-size oysters and shall close at one-half hour after sunset on April 30, 2009.  The 2007 cultch plant locations in Black Bay and Turkey Bayou within the following coordinates shall remain closed:


Black Bay - Plaquemines Parish
1. 29 degrees 37 minutes 30 seconds N latitude
89 degrees 33 minutes 29 seconds W longitude
2. 29 degrees 37 minutes 30 seconds N latitude
89 degrees 33 minutes 00 seconds W longitude
3. 29 degrees 37 minutes 00 seconds N latitude
89 degrees 33 minutes 00 seconds W longitude
4. 29 degrees 37 minutes 00 seconds N latitude
89 degrees 33 minutes 30 seconds W longitude


Turkey Bayou - St. Bernard Parish
1. 30 degrees 05 minutes 05.51 seconds N latitude
89 degrees 19 minutes 06.05 seconds W longitude
2. 30 degrees 05 minutes 42.24 seconds N latitude
89 degrees 18 minutes 30.04 seconds W longitude
3. 30 degrees 05 minutes 30.76 seconds N latitude
89 degrees 18 minutes 14.56 seconds W longitude
4. 30 degrees 04 minutes 54.03 seconds N latitude
89 degrees 18 minutes 50.58 seconds W longitude


The oyster season in the Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation shall open one-half hour before sunrise on Sept. 3, 2008 for the harvest of seed oysters for bedding purposes only until one-half hour after sunset on Oct. 12, 2008.  These areas shall then re-open at one-half hour before sunrise on Oct. 13, 2008 for the taking of both seed and market-size oysters and shall close one half-hour after sunset on April 30, 2009.  The 2008 Hackberry Bay cultch plant within the following coordinates shall remain closed:
1. 29 degrees 25 minutes 28.80 seconds N latitude
90 degrees 01 minutes 17.11 seconds W longitude
 2. 29 degrees 25 minutes 37.79 seconds N latitude
  90 degrees 00 minutes 55.39 seconds W longitude
 3. 29 degrees 25 minutes 28.61 seconds N latitude
  90 degrees 00 minutes 50.44 seconds W longitude
 4. 29 degrees 25 minutes 19.63 seconds N latitude
  90 degrees 01 minutes 12.17 seconds W longitude


The oyster season in the Lake Felicity, Lake Chien, and Lake Mechant Public Oyster Seed Grounds, and in the Bay Junop Public Oyster Seed Reservation shall open one-half hour before sunrise on Oct. 29, 2008 and shall close one-half hour after sunset on Oct. 31, 2008.


The oyster season in the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation north of the Department of Health and Hospitals' 2007 November-February seasonal classification line shall open one-half hour before sunrise on Sept. 3, 2008 for the taking of seed oysters for bedding purposes only and shall close one-half hour after sunset on Sept. 10, 2008. 


The Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds shall open one-half hour before sunrise on Sept. 3, 2008 for the harvest of seed oysters for bedding purposes only until one-half hour after sunset on Oct. 12, 2008.  These areas shall then re-open at one-half hour before sunrise on Oct. 13, 2008 for the taking of both seed and market-size oysters and shall close one half-hour after sunset on April 30, 2009.


The oyster season in the Calcasieu Lake public oyster area shall open one-half hour before sunrise on Oct. 15, 2008 and shall close one half-hour after sunset on April 30, 2009.  The sack limit for Calcasieu Lake is set at 15 sacks per day.  However, these conservation actions shall not supercede public health closures.


The following areas will remain closed for the 2008-09 oyster season:  the Bay Gardene Public Oyster Seed Reservation, the Barataria Bay, Deep Lake, and Lake Tambour Public Oyster Seed Grounds, and the Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area.


The commission authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries' Secretary Robert J. Barham to take emergency action to close areas if oyster mortalities are occurring or to delay the season or close areas where significant spat catch has occurred with good probability of survival, or where it is found that there are excessive amounts of non-living reef material in seed oyster loads, or if oyster resources and/or reefs are being adversely impacted, 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.


For more information, contact Patrick Banks at 225-765-2370 or pbanks@wlf.louisiana.gov.


A copy of the 2007 November/February DHH seasonal classification map can be accessed at: http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/offices/Maps.asp?ID=214&Arch=2007




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