LDWF to partially Close Oyster Harvest East of the Mississippi River

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 Louisiana Department of Health (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.

To view a map of the current oyster closure areas see above or visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/oyster-season.

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.

For more information, contact Carolina Bourque at (337) 735-8726 or cbourque@wlf.la.gov.