The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is extending the public comment period to December 11 for its draft of the “Louisiana Oyster Management and Rehabilitation Strategic Plan.” The original deadline was December 4.
LDWF is seeking public comment from all coastal stakeholders. The 2019 oyster stock assessment indicates that Louisiana is experiencing the lowest stock size in the public oyster areas ever recorded, according to the Strategic Plan draft. The decline, according to the draft, is not a result of any single event, but reflects the effects of a myriad of population stressors. Those include changes in hydrology, extreme weather events, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill/response activities, harvest pressure, and most notably, the 2018-2019 Mississippi River flooding event.
Feedback from all coastal stakeholders will help create a plan that will assist in the oyster rehabilitation process and aid in the sustainability of the oyster industry.
The 17-page plan is available at: https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/assets/Resources/Publications/Oyster/Oyster-Strategic-Plan—Public-Notice-Draft.pdf.
Public comments that have been submitted to date can be viewed at: https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/assets/Resources/Publications/Oyster/Public-Comments-for-Louisiana-Oyster-Management-and-Rehabilitation-Strategic-Plan-Draft-12-4-20-3pm.pdf/
LDWF will assemble and consider comments submitted by December 11, 2020, and will finalize the plan document for submission to the Governor’s Office and the Legislature later this year. Comments can be submitted via email to Carolina Bourque, LDWF Oyster Program Manager, at [email protected] or by regular mail to Carolina Bourque, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898.