The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced that the daily take and possession limit of oysters shall not exceed 10 sacks in Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area effective one half hour after sunrise next Friday (Oct. 30, 2020).
Biological data collected post hurricanes Laura and Delta have indicated reduced oyster stocks in Calcasieu Lake. Harvest levels as originally set by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) may threaten the long-term sustainability of remaining oyster resources and reefs in these areas. Protection of these remaining oyster reef resources from injury is in the best interest of this public oyster area.
LDWF would like to remind the public that in Calcasieu Lake, oyster scrapers are prohibited. Oyster harvesting, by law, is limited to using hand tongs on vessels harvesting oysters, or collected by hand. Oyster tongs are defined as a grasping device consisting of two pieces joined by a pivot, or hinged like scissors, used for picking up objects. Harvesting in the public oyster areas will only be allowed Monday through Friday. No harvest from any public oyster area, seed ground or reservation shall be allowed on Saturdays and Sundays.
The Commission authorized LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet to take emergency action to modify daily take and possession limits on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered. The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to close or reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open 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 for public health concerns.