Oyster Season Will Remain Closed for Public Seed Grounds

Release Date: 12/03/2010

Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will re-evaluate season opening in January

The 2010/2011 oyster season will remain closed for public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi and in Hackberry Bay. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission did not take action to open the season, which was originally scheduled to open on November 15, 2010. The Commission originally made the decision to keep the season closed for public grounds in order to help rebuild the natural resource for future use by the commercial and recreational industries.

Biologists with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) recommended to the Commission that the 2010/2011 season for these public seed grounds remain closed in order to allow for a reproductive event currently taking place in some waters east of the Mississippi River to continue. This reproductive event has lead to the a large number of spat (young oysters less than one inch in length) in some areas. Allowing the spat to mature will aid in rebuilding the area’s oyster resource.

LDWF biologists documented high mortality rates in some harvesting areas throughout the summer months, which added to the depletion oysters in these public seed grounds. The public grounds east of the Mississippi River contribute approximately 28% of all oyster harvest in Louisiana on an annual basis.

The Commission with re-evaluate whether or not to open the 2010/2011 oyster season at its next meeting on January 6, 2011.

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.