On September 1, 2016, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2016/2017 oyster seasons based on the annual oyster stock assessment provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) biologists and comments received from members of the public, including the oyster industry.
2016-17 Louisiana Oyster Season Opening Dates – Closures – Delays:
Wednesday, September 7, 2016 – Bay Junop Public Oyster Seed Reservation, Lake Mechant Public Oyster Seed Grounds, 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.
Monday, November 14, 2016 – The Bay Long/American Bay sacking-only area and Hackberry Bay will open at one-half hour before sunrise.
Hackberry Bay – season delayed. all Public Oyster Seed Grounds East of the Mississippi River and north of a line extending east from the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet at latitude 29 degrees 42 minutes 56.74 seconds N latitude (including Drum Bay sacking-only area).
All Public Oyster Seed Grounds East of the Mississippi River and north of a line extending east from the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet at latitude 29 degrees 42 minutes 56.74 seconds N latitude, including the Drum Bay sacking-only area – season delayed.
The oyster season delay is necessary due to extensive oyster mortality observed throughout the area and also to protect a recent spat set in order to increase the likelihood of spat survival and facilitate resource recovery.
Seasons were not set for the Sabine Lake or Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Areas.
Closure dates, adjustments in sack limits and/or sacking-only areas will be determined by LDWF Secretary Melancon on an “as needed” basis, 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.
Louisiana oyster regulations information can be found at www.wlf.la.gov.
source: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries