Aug. 7, 2014– Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2014/2015 oyster seasons based on the annual oyster stock assessment provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments received from members of the public, including the oyster industry.
The following opening dates were set for the upcoming oyster season:
- Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - the Little Lake, Barataria Bay, Deep Lake, Lake Tambour, and Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds will open at one-half hour before sunrise. No harvest of oysters for market sales is allowed on any public oyster area prior to the second Monday in October. Therefore, any and all vessels harvesting on the open public oyster seed grounds between September 3, 2014 and October 12, 2014 shall be harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes only and shall not have sacks or other containers typically used to hold oysters on board the harvest vessel.
- Monday, October 20, 2014 - all remaining public oyster seed grounds and reservations, including Lake Borgne, Bay Junop, Lake Mechant, the Lake Machias/Fortuna sacking-only area and the Bay Long sacking-only area, and a sacking-only area in Mississippi Sound (St. Bernard Parish) west of a line of longitude at 89 degrees 22 minutes 50.0 seconds W and east of a line of longitude at 89 degrees 29 minutes 0.0 seconds W, will open at one-half hour before sunrise.
- Monday, October 27, 2014 - the oyster season in the west cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (DHH Harvest Area 30) will open at one-half hour before sunrise.
During the 2014/2015 open oyster season, the following provisions shall be in effect:
Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds and reservations described above shall:
- 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.
- 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.
The following areas shall remain closed for the 2014/2015 oyster season:
- Bay Gardene Public Oyster Seed Reservation
- Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation
- Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation
- Lake Chien and Lake Felicity Public Oyster Seed Grounds
- The east side of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (LDHH Harvest Area 29)
- Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area
- 2011 cultch plant in California Bay within the following coordinates:
California Bay (2011) – Plaquemines Parish
- 29 degrees 30 minutes 40.42 seconds N
89 degrees 34 minutes 03.19 seconds W
- 29 degrees 30 minutes 27.18 seconds N
89 degrees 33 minutes 21.85 seconds W
- 29 degrees 29 minutes 54.99 seconds N
89 degrees 33 minutes 20.24 seconds W
- 29 degrees 30 minutes 02.74 seconds N
89 degrees 34 minutes 03.93 seconds W
- 2012 cultch plants in Lake Fortuna, and Bay Crab, and the 2013 cultch plants in 3-Mile Pass and Drum Bay within the following coordinates:
Bay Crab (2012) – Plaquemines Parish
- 29 degrees 34 minutes 41.72 seconds N
89 degrees 36 minutes 22.86 seconds W
- 29 degrees 34 minutes 31.45 seconds N
89 degrees 35 minutes 48.68 seconds W
- 29 degrees 34 minutes 08.12 seconds N
89 degrees 36 minutes 07.94 seconds W
- 29 degrees 34 minutes 23.03 seconds N
89 degrees 36 minutes 43.20 seconds W
Lake Fortuna (2012) – St. Bernard Parish
- 29 degrees 39 minutes 08.04 seconds N
89 degrees 30 minutes 28.93 seconds W
- 29 degrees 38 minutes 33.31 seconds N
89 degrees 29 minutes 15.45 seconds W
- 29 degrees 38 minutes 10.57 seconds N
89 degrees 29 minutes 40.71 seconds W
- 29 degrees 39 minutes 04.41 seconds N
89 degrees 30 minutes 32.61 seconds W
3-Mile Pass (2013) – St. Bernard Parish
- 30 degrees 03 minutes 56.09 seconds N
89 degrees 22 minutes 32.52 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) – St. Bernard Parish
- 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
See maps above detailing these actions.
Closure dates will be determined by LDWF Secretary Barham, based on biological and harvest data, or if enforcement issues are encountered. The Secretary is also authorized by the Commission to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended, and to open public 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.
Certain areas remain closed to commercial fishing and certain recreational fishing activities. To view those areas visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill .
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov  on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb  or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
For press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at email@example.com  or (504)430-2623.