Oil Spill Closures

LDWF Announces More Fishing Openings

Release Date: 04/26/2011

Map of Openings 4/26/11

Over 99.4 percent of state waters now open for fishing

April 26, 2011 - Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ordered an emergency reopening of recreational and commercial fishing in portions of state inside and outside waters within the Barataria Basin that were previously closed due to impacts from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill last year.  These areas were opened previously to only recreational and charter boat angling. 

“By working so closely with our state and federal partners we can continue to ensure consumers of Louisiana seafood that it is safe,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “Today we are one step closer to resuming normal fishing practices.”

Secretary Barham ordered this opening following the completion of comprehensive testing, after which the FDA advised that shrimp, crab and finfish tissue samples tested from these previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

Recreational and commercial fishing reopens immediately today in certain portions of state inside waters adjacent to Grand Terre Island, Four Bayou Pass and the Barataria Waterway.

This reopening does not include the harvest of species closed by season, including shrimp and certain finfish. 

Furthermore, this opening does not include the commercial harvest of oysters, as this activity is regulated by Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural 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 more information, please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-2363.

 

LDWF Announces Major Commercial Fishing Reopening

Release Date: 04/11/2011

Closure Map

Over 99 percent of state waters now opened for fishing

April 11, 2011 - Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ordered an emergency reopening of commercial fishing in portions of state, inside waters within the Mississippi River Delta that were previously closed due to impacts from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill last year.

“While the effects of the oil spill will continue to affect our state for years to come, we are as confidant as ever in the safety of Louisiana’s seafood, the most-tested seafood in the world,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “Today marks an important step in the journey to a full recovery for fishermen who depend on these resources for their livelihood and I am happy to report that over 99 percent of Louisiana’s waters are open to fishing.”

Secretary Barham ordered this opening following the completion of comprehensive testing, after which the FDA advised that shrimp, crab and finfish tissue samples tested from these previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

Commercial fishing reopens immediately today in the portions of state inside waters between the eastern shore of Southwest Pass and the southern shore of North Pass of the Mississippi River. 

This reopening does not include shrimp harvesting, as the shrimp season in these waters has not been opened. 

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural 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 more information, please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-2363.

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LDWF Reopens Commercial Crab Fishing in Mississippi River Delta

Release Date: 11/08/2010

LDWF Reopens Commercial Crab Fishing in Mississippi River Delta
LDWF Reopens Commercial Crab Fishing in Mississippi River Delta

Reopening effective immediately; 98.5% of state waters reopened for commercial fishing

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, ordered an emergency reopening of commercial crabbing in portions of state inside and outside territorial waters within the Mississippi River Delta previously closed due to the BP oil spill.
LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered this opening following the completion of comprehensive testing by the FDA. The FDA has advised that following extensive sensory testing and analytical chemistry results, the crab tissue samples tested from these previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

Commercial crab fishing reopens immediately today, November 8, 2010. The reopening includes portions of state waters extending seaward a minimum distance of one-quarter mile or more from the shoreline between the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds north latitude and the western shore of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River and 89 degrees 25 minutes 00 seconds west longitude. For a detailed description of the latitude and longitude lines for which the reopening applies, click here.

Recreational and commercial fishing for shrimp and finfish were previously opened in these waters on October 28. The harvest of oysters is regulated by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals; harvesting areas remain closed in portions of these waters.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural 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 more information, please contact Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov. 

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LDWF Opens Additional State Waters to Shrimp and Finfish Harvest

Release Date: 10/28/2010

LDWF Opens Additional State Waters to Shrimp and Finfish Harvest
LDWF Opens Additional State Waters to Shrimp and Finfish Harvest

State waters now 98.5 percent open to recreational and commercial fishing; reopening coincides with federal reopening

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has ordered the reopening of additional state waters with the Mississippi River Delta to commercial and recreational shrimp and finfish harvest effective immediately. This reopening of waters previously closed to fishing due to the BP oil spill, is done in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered the reopening as comprehensive sensory and chemical testing by the state and the FDA concluded that seafood from these areas is safe for consumption. Including the current reopening, 98.5 percent of state waters are now open to commercial and recreational fishing.

Commercial fishing for the harvest of finfish and shrimp is immediately open today, October 28, seaward a minimum distance of one-quarter mile or more from the shoreline between the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds westward to the western shore of Southwest Pass and 89 degrees 25 minutes 00 seconds west longitude. This reopening includes waters in the following areas:

  • Pass a Loutre,
  • North Pass,
  • Northeast Pass,
  • Southeast Pass,
  • South Pass and
  • Southwest Pass.

Portions of the following areas are also being reopened:

  • Blind Bay,
  • Redfish Bay,
  • Garden Island Bay and
  • East Bay.

Additional portions of state outside territorial waters between Pass a Loutre and Southwest Pass are also included in the reopening. 

This reopening does not extend to the harvest of crabs and oysters as LDWF officials are still awaiting hydrocarbon test results on crabs, and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals regulates the harvest of oysters.

The following state waters, however, will remain closed to commercial fishing until further notice:

  • The area south of the southern shore of Pass a Loutre extending westward to the eastern shore of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River inside of a line extending a minimum of one-quarter mile or more seaward from the shoreline except for Pass a Loutre, North Pass, Northeast Pass, Southeast Pass and South Pass;
  • A portion of Barataria Bay north of Grand Isle, east of the Barataria Waterway and west of 89 degrees 50 minutes 00 seconds west longitude between 29 degrees 30 minutes and 29 degrees 26 minutes north latitude; and
  • An area from near Quatre Bayou Pass westward including Grand Terre Island to Barataria Pass.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural 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 more information, please contact Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov.

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LDWF Announces Fishing to Resume in Portions of State Waters in the Barataria Basin

Release Date: 10/14/2010

Recreational Map
Commercial Map

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the FDA and NOAA, has ordered an emergency reopening of all fishing in portions of state waters within the Barataria Basin previously closed due to the BP oil spill. Following today’s action, 96 percent of all saltwater areas of the state are open to recreational and commercial fishing.

Commercial fishing will reopen immediately today, October 14, to the harvest of finfish, crabs and shrimp in portions of state waters between Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River and Bayou Lafourche. The openings also include the recreational harvest of shrimp and crabs.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered these openings following the completion of comprehensive testing by the FDA. The FDA has advised that following extensive sensory testing and analytical chemistry results, the fish tissue samples tested from these previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

State inside and outside territorial waters will remain closed to commercial fishing until further notice in the following areas:

1) The Mississippi River delta south of the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds north latitude westward to the western shore of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River

2) A portion of Barataria Bay north of Grand Isle east of the Barataria Waterway and west of 89 degrees 50 minutes 00 seconds west longitude between 29 degrees 30 minutes and 29 degrees 26 minutes north latitude

3) An area from near Quatre Bayou Pass westward including Grand Terre Island, to Barataria Pass as shown in the detail map will remain closed to commercial fishing until further notice.

While LDWF continues to work closely with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to ensure the safety of Louisiana’s seafood, these openings do not include the harvest of oysters, as this activity is regulated by DHH. 

For additional information, please contact Joey Shepard at (225) 765-2384 or jshepard@wlf.la.gov.

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L.D.W.F. Reopens All State Waters to Recreational Angling

Release Date: 08/20/2010

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission ordered an immediate opening of all state inshore and offshore territorial waters to recreational angling, including charter boat angling.  The areas opened today by the commission do not include the recreational harvest of shrimp, crabs or oysters.  Prior to today?s action, approximately 862 square miles or 11 percent of saltwater areas of the state remained closed to all recreational fishing due to the impacts from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

LDWF, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is continuing to provide additional fish tissue samples for sensory testing and chemical analysis in preparation for re-opening areas currently closed to commercial crabbing and commercial fishing.

With today?s action, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission also voted to submit a letter, urging the FDA and NOAA to expedite the required testing to re-open commercial fishing areas previously closed due to confirmed reports of oil.

LDWF guidelines for re-opening commercial fishing areas are as follows:

Once visible signs of oil are no longer apparent in areas that were previously closed by LDWF to commercial fishing, LDWF will then submit an ?intent to reopen? to NOAA and the FDA

LDWF biologists will conduct thorough sampling of finfish, crabs and shrimp in the proposed reopening area

Following the collection of the samples, biologists will immediately transfer specimens to be tested by the FDA and NOAA for signs of chemical contamination.  This process is expected to take between seven and ten days

After complete analysis the FDA and NOAA will render an opinion regarding proposed reopening

For a map detailing today?s recreational openings click here. 

For more information, contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2335

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L.D.W.F. Reopens Portions of State Waters in Lafourche, Terrebonne, Plaquemines and Jefferson Parishes to Commercial Fishing

Release Date: 08/14/2010

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, has ordered an emergency reopening of commercial fishing areas that were previously closed due to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Commercial fishing will reopen for finfish and shrimp in portions of state waters in Lafourche, Terrebonne, Plaquemines and Jefferson parishes effective immediately today, Saturday, August 14.

With today's actions, adjustments were made to the areas closed to recreational fishing west of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River. Those areas closed to commercial fishing now match the areas closed to recreational fishing. LDWF made these adjustments to align with areas reopened based on FDA testing and to allow LDWF enforcement agents to better monitor closed areas.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered these re-openings following the completion of comprehensive testing by the FDA. The FDA advised that following extensive sensory testing and analytical chemistry results, the seafood samples tested from previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

NOTE: Shrimpers are reminded that the fall inshore shrimp season begins on Monday, August 16 at 6 AM

These openings do not include the commercial harvest of crabs and oysters. The FDA testing method for crabs takes significantly longer to process, as such LDWF Secretary Barham chose a phased approach for opening commercial fishing. While LDWF continues to work closely with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to ensure the safety of Louisiana's seafood, these openings do not include the commercial harvest of oysters, as this activity is regulated by DHH.

All commercial and recreational closures east of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River remain unchanged.

Commercial Fishing Reopening in Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes

All state inside and outside waters from the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to the eastern shore of Oyster Bayou at 91 degrees 07 minutes 48 seconds west longitude will open to commercial fishing excluding the harvest of crabs and oysters effective Saturday, August 14, except in the following areas which will remain closed to commercial and recreational fishing until further notice due to continued presence of oil:

The portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 09 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 12 minutes 50 seconds north latitude from the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to 90 degrees 17 minutes 50 seconds west longitude, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 03 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 09 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 13 minutes 30 seconds west longitude and the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 02 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 05 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 37 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 58 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

Commercial Fishing Reopening in Plaquemines, Jefferson and Lafourche Parishes

All state inside and outside waters from the western shore of Southwest Pass at the Mississippi River and 89 degrees 25 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to the western shore of Bayou Lafourche will open to commercial fishing excluding the harvest of crabs and oysters effective Saturday, August 14, except in the following areas which will remain closed to commercial and recreational fishing until further notice due to continued presence of oil:

The portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 23 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 30 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 50 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to the eastern shore of the Barataria Waterway, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 22 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 48 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 52 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

The portion of state inside and outside waters bounded by the following coordinates:

1) 29 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 48 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

2) 29 degrees 20 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 48 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

3) 29 degrees 13 minutes 40 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 33 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

4) 29 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 32 minutes 30 seconds west longitude

The portion of state inside and outside waters bounded by the following coordinates:

1) 29 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 52 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

2) 29 degrees 21 minutes 00 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 52 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

3) 29 degrees 15 minutes 40 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 56 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

4) 29 degrees 17 minutes 10 seconds north latitude
89 degrees 57 minutes 30 sec! onds west longitude

The portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 08 minutes 15 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 11 minutes 40 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 03 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 07 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

To report a suspected oiled catch to LDWF you are encouraged to call 1-866-577-1401. Please be prepared to give your name, fishing license number and coordinates of suspected oil. All claims are taken very seriously, and any person found falsifying claims will be dealt with to the full extent the law allows.

For more information contact Marianne Burke at mburke@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2917.

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L.D.W.F. Announces Reopening of Commercial Fishing Areas

Release Date: 07/29/2010

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) - in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - has ordered an emergency reopening of commercial fishing areas that were previously closed due to the BP oil spill. Specifically, commercial fishing will reopen for finfish and shrimp in portions of state waters east of the Mississippi River in Orleans, St. Tammany, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes effective immediately today, July 29.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered these reopenings following the completion of comprehensive testing by the FDA.  The FDA has advised that following extensive sensory testing and analytical chemistry results, the fish samples tested from previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

Details on Commercial Fishing Reopening

The opening includes all state waters inside east of the Mississippi River north of the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and all state outside waters north of 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds north latitude

The areas detailed below will remain closed to commercial fishing until further notice due to continued presence of oil:

·         the portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude and south of the Mississippi/Louisiana state line from the Louisiana territorial sea boundary westward to 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

·         the portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 36 minutes 30 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude from the Louisiana territorial sea boundary westward to a line extending 1 mile west from the western shore of the Chandeleur Islands, and

·         the portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 45 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 09 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

·         the portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 47 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 51 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 22 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

These openings do not include the commercial harvest of crabs and oysters.  The FDA testing method for crabs takes significantly longer to process; as such LDWF Secretary Barham chose a phased approach for opening commercial fishing.  It is also important to note that the spring inshore shrimp season remains closed except in Lake Pontchartrain, portions of Pass Manchac, Rigoletes and Chef Menteur Passes, portions of Mississippi Sound and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the "double-rig" line.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://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 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more contact Marianne Burke at mburke@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2917

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L.D.W.F. Opens Mississippi River Delta to Recreational Fishing

Release Date: 07/29/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the opening of recreational fishing in a portion of the Mississippi River Delta in Plaquemines Parish effective, today, July 29 at 6:00 p.m.

Description of area open is as follows:

The portion of state inside and outside waters south of the northern shore of Pass a Loutre westward to the western shoreline of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River shall open to recreational fishing.
The spring inshore shrimp season in these waters ended in early July. These waters will remain closed to shrimping.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://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 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information contact Marianne Burke, 225-765-2917 or mburke@wlf.la.gov

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LDWF and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Announce Large-scale Opening to Recreational Fishing

Release Date: 07/14/2010

Today Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced significant openings to recreational fishing.  With this action, approximately 86 percent of recreational fishing in Louisiana will be open immediately today, July 14.

"The measures taken today by the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will allow recreational anglers, including recreational shrimping, crabbing and fishing, to resume," said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  "While I am pleased and fully support today?s action, I caution all fishermen to exercise caution while fishing in areas closed to commercial fishing."

This opening includes licensed charter boat guides and bait fishermen or dealers who harvest for and sell to recreational fishermen exclusively.

Recreational fishing is being allowed subject to continual testing and monitoring, as this activity is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.  To date the Environmental Protection Agency?s near shore water tests have shown chemical contamination levels below public health concern.

"I consider today's action the first step in opening state waters to all fishing, both recreational and commercial," added Barham.

Although recreational fishing will be allowed in portions of the previously closed fishing areas, certain delineated areas, including heavily oiled areas, areas associated with boom and areas of active cleanup continue to be closed to recreational fishing.

It is advised that recreational fishermen avoid areas where oil is observed, respect oil cleanup and removal activities and stay clear of areas being protected by boom material.  Smell and examine catch closely to ensure that there are no obvious oil or chemical residues.  Recreational fishermen fishing in areas closed to commercial fishermen do so at their own risk.

All previously issued commercial fishing closures remain in place.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us onwww.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts athttp://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information contact Marianne Burke at mburke@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2917.

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