Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following closure to recreational and commercial fishing in portions of Plaquemines, St. Bernard, Orleans and St. Tammany parishes effective immediately today, July 5, 2010.
These precautionary fishing closures are due to new reports of oil, strong easterly winds and higher than normal tides.
St. Bernard, Orleans and St. Tammany Parish Closures
The portion of saltwater water areas of the state east of the Mississippi River north of the southern shoreline of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet and the southern shoreline of Lake Pontchartrain from the double rig line westward to 89 degrees 51 minutes 35 seconds west longitude and the US Hwy 11 bridge in Lake Pontchartrain. In addition to those waters currently closed to recreational and commercial fishing, major water bodies included in this fishing closure include the Biloxi Marsh, Lake Borgne, Lake St. Catherine, Chef Menteur, Unknown and Rigoletes Passes and a portion of Lake Pontchartrain.
St. Bernard and Plaquemines Parish Closures
The portion of state inside waters east of the Mississippi River north of 29 degrees 30 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of the southern shoreline of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet from the double rig line westward to 89 degrees 41 minutes 00 seconds west longitude. In addition to those waters currently closed to recreational and commercial fishing, major water bodies included in this fishing closure include Lakes Machias and Fortuna, Bay Gardene and Bay Crabe and Black and California Bays.
Precautionary closures of recreational and commercial fishing have been implemented based on the best information the Secretary of the department receives from field biologists, staff and trajectory models from NOAA.
Once reports of oil are received, LDWF initiates a field survey and immediate seafood testing in the suspected areas. Closures are subsequently made with the intent to be as safe as possible, while not closing any fishing areas unnecessarily. As test results come back clearing the area, effected waters are then reopened.
LDWF continues to work closely with DHH in an effort to assess all opportunities to resume normal fishing activities on Louisiana's coast and guarantee the safety of Louisiana's seafood.
For more information related to the oil spill, visit www.emergency.louisiana.gov . Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP  and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep .
For more information contact Marianne Burke at firstname.lastname@example.org  or 225-315-6878.