Allowing limited harvest of the resource prior to an oyster mortality event is in the best interest of the public.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will open a portion of the Public Oyster Seed Grounds in Lake Borgne to the harvest of seed oysters at one half hour before sunrise on Monday, March 12, and shall close the special season at one half hour after sunset on March 17. This area is currently open to the harvest of market (sack) oysters. Both the market oyster season and special bedding season will only be open in areas of the Lake Borgne Public Seed Grounds that are currently open by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (LDHH).
Harvestable quantities of oyster resources exist in these public oyster seed grounds, and the opening of the Bonnet Carre’ Spillway may place those resources in imminent peril. The influx of freshwater from the spillway will decrease salinity in some areas, which may lead to oyster mortality. Allowing limited harvest of the resource prior to an oyster mortality event is in the best interest of the public. The purpose of this opening is to allow for the take of live oysters and excessive removal of non-living material will not be allowed.
The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission authorized the Secretary of LDWF to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if it is in the best interest of the resource. The special season was set at a week to avoid over-harvest of important non-living material necessary to maintain oyster reefs in the area. LDWF will continue to evaluate the potential impacts to the resource and will consider additional openings if necessary.
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, please contact Carolina Bourque at 337-373-0032 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.
Contributed by LDWF