2019 LDWF Commercial Fishing Regs - Page 17

Oyster Harvester License Training Requirements
ALL oyster harvesters must complete an online oyster harvester education course BEFORE applying for their license. Harvesters must take
this training every three years.
Go to www.wlf.la.gov/mandatory-oyster-harvester-training and click “Oyster Harvest Training.” Enter your first name, last name, email
(optional), the last four digits of your social security number and your Commercial Fisherman License number. Watch the video and answer
a minimum of 80% of the questions correctly to pass. The training takes about 1 hour. A certificate of completion will be sent to your email
and recorded with LDWF. It takes 24 to 48 hours for the system to update, so be sure to finish the video at least three days before you apply
for a license. If you don’t have a computer with internet connection at home, try your local public library.
Closed Areas
LDH may close oyster areas for public health reasons. Call 800.256.2775 for more information. If LDWF finds a vessel harvesting oysters within an
unapproved or closed area, LDWF will deem all oysters on board the vessel to have been taken from that area, seize the oysters and return them
to the water. LDWF may also revoke the oyster harvester’s license(s). Go to ldh.la.gov/index.cfm/page/629 for more information.
Seasons & Times
Public Areas: Generally open from the first Wednesday after Labor Day in September for seed oysters and the second Monday in October for
market oysters through April 30 of the following year. The Commission may open and close the season when biological data indicate a need. Go
to www.wlf.la.gov/fishing/oyster-season for the latest information.
State-issued Leases and Privately-owned Water Bottoms: A lessee or his agent may fish oysters on the lease at any time unless it is closed by LDH.
All Areas: No harvest from 1/2-hour after sunset to 1/2-hour before sunrise.
Gear Restrictions
Public areas: You may harvest oysters with scrapers and tongs. Scrapers
may be no wider than 54 inches measured along the tooth bar and
weigh no more than 175 pounds. Scraper teeth may be no longer than
5 inches and must be spaced at least 2.25 inches, measured from the
center of a tooth to center of the adjacent tooth. A tooth may be no
larger than 11/16 inches in diameter. The scraper bag must be single
mesh with a minimum mesh size of 3 inches stretched. Vessels may
not use more than two scrapers at one time. Vessels may not use any
scraper attachment intended to increase downward pressure.
State-issued Leases and Privately-owned Water Bottoms: A lessee
or his agent may use any gear as long as it does not impair or destroy
the water bottom.
Calcasieu Lake: You may harvest oysters with hand tongs only. Scrapers
are prohibited. Commercial vessels must be self-propelled (traveling
under their own power).
Sabine Lake: No oyster harvest allowed.
Size & Possession Limits
Public areas: Oysters harvested for market must measure 3 inches or
larger from hinge to mouth. Immediately return any undersized oysters
and any shell and/or cultch back to the reefs from which they were
taken. Sacks of market oysters from public oyster areas may contain no
more than 15% undersized oysters and shell and/or cultch. Size limit
does not apply if a fisherman is lawfully removing seed oysters from
public grounds.
State-issued Leases and Privately-owned Water Bottoms: No size
Calcasieu Lake: You may harvest no more than the sack limit set by
the Commission.
Go to www.wlf.la.gov/fishing/commercial-oyster for the latest
Unlawful Removal of Oysters or Signs
You may not take, carry away or attempt to take or carry away any oysters, shell or cultch from a leased area without the lessee’s permission. You
may not remove or alter any stake, monument, bounds, buoy, sign or other designation of bedding or propagating grounds placed by LDWF or in
accordance with regulations.
Cleanliness of Shellfish Vessels
You must wash decks, holds or binds used for storing shellfish daily. Unless exempted in writing by LDH, you must have a suspended awning (tarp)
on your vessel to protect shellfish from direct exposure to sun, birds and other conditions. It must be between 1 and 7 feet high and extend to
the outer edges of the vessel.
Sewage Disposal on Shellfish Vessels
Vessels without an LDH-approved sewerage system must have waste receptacles with tight fitting lids, labeled “FOR HUMAN WASTE ONLY”
with letters at least 1.5 inches tall and with a capacity of at least 2 gallons per person on the vessel. You must dispose of the contents of such
receptacles through a municipal sewer system, incineration or burial in the ground.


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