The Cheniere Artificial Reef Planning Area of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area in Cameron Parish will open at one half-hour before sunrise on Monday, January 23, 2017. However, this action does not supersede public health closures.
The Cheniere Artificial Reef Planning Area has been re-designated and will be incorporated into the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area. Oyster resources located in this 87-acre area will be made available for harvest.
The isolated nature of Calcasieu Lake and recent decline of the oyster stock in this area requires conservative management practices to ensure future oyster production. LDWF biologists will continue to monitor oyster harvest in Calcasieu Lake and will recommend closure when harvest thresholds are reached.
The Cheniere Artificial Reef Planning Area is defined by the following coordinates:
A. 29 degrees 51 minutes 09.10 seconds
93 degrees 17 minutes 06.96 seconds
B. 29 degrees 51 minutes 09.35 seconds
93 degrees 16 minutes 50.20 seconds
C. 29 degrees 51 minutes 05.33 seconds
93 degrees 16 minutes 46.06 seconds
D. 29 degrees 50 minutes 50.72 seconds
93 degrees 16 minutes 45.78 seconds
E. 29 degrees 50 minutes 50.96 seconds
93 degrees 17 minutes 09.62 seconds
F. 29 degrees 51 minutes 05.56 seconds
93 degrees 17 minutes 09.90 seconds
To view maps of this reef please visit: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/commerical-oyster-seasons.
The provisions for the Cheniere Artificial Reef Planning Area season will follow those already in place for the 2016/2017 Calcasieu Lake oyster season. Those provisions are as follows:
1. Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area described above shall be limited to a daily take and possession limit not to exceed 7 sacks of oysters per vessel as provided for in R.S. 56:435.1.1. A sack of oysters for the purposes of this declaration of emergency shall be defined as the size described in R.S. 56:440.
2. If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area described above, all oysters contained on that vessel shall be deemed to have been taken from said public oyster area from the time harvest begins until all oysters are offloaded dockside.
3. Prior to leaving the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area with oysters harvested from said oyster area: all oysters must be sacked, the number of sacks shall be recorded in a logbook, and each sack shall be properly tagged.
4. All vessels located in the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area during those times between one half-hour after sunset and one half-hour before sunrise shall have all oyster dredges unshackled.
The Commission authorized the Secretary of LDWF to take emergency action to close areas 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 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 and Hospitals for public health concerns.