Wildlife and Fisheries amends fishing closure

From staff and wire reports

June 10, 2010 at 10:04 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Check LouisianaSportsman.com for up-to-date closures and openings.
Check LouisianaSportsman.com for up-to-date closures and openings.
The pace of fishing closures and reopenings since the BP oil spill began has been staggering, but the head of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries said there is method to the process.

"When we have an imminent projection of oil into the area or a verified report that oil is in the area, we close it," Barham told LouisianaSportsman.com.


The agency has personnel on the water confirming reported oil sightings, and works with other governmental agencies to increase the capacity to keep up with the issue. Oil movement projections come from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


Once an area is closed, sampling of seafood is stepped up to ensure there is no contamination, and monitoring of the oil begins to understand how the gooey mess will move around the affected system. Once managers are comfortable that waters are no longer affected by oil, a reopening is announced. But it's not an overnight reversal.


"Generally for about seven days we monitor the presence or absence of oil," Barham explained. "After that seven days, we send biologists out to find the presence of oil, and if they don't find any, the area is reopened."


However, he hurried to say that this seven-day period isn't "carved in stone."


Barham announced the following closure to recreational and commercial fishing in portions of inside waters east of Grand Bayou in Plaquemines Parish effective June 8 due to reports of oil.


The portion of state inside waters west of the Mississippi River and south of 29 degrees 30 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and north of 29 degrees 20 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from the western shoreline of the Empire Canal westward to the western shoreline of Grand Bayou is closed to recreational and commercial fishing effective immediately today, June 8, 2010.


Barham announced the following opening to recreational and commercial fishing in portions of inside waters near Cocodrie and south of Dulac, LA and in portions of the territorial seas in Terrebonne and Vermilion parishes effective immediately, June 7, due to confirmed reports of oil in the area.†

Inside Waters Opening


The portion of state inside waters south of 29 degrees 21 minutes 00 seconds north latitude west of the western shore of Bayou Petit Caillou and east of the eastern shore of the Houma Navigation Canal opens to recreational and commercial fishing effective June 7.†


The portion of state inside waters north of the inside/outside shrimp line from 90 degrees 49 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to the eastern shore of Bayou Grand Caillou opens to recreational and commercial fishing effective immediately today, June 7.†

Territorial Seas Opening


The portion of state outside waters seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line from 90 degrees 49 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 91 degrees 20 minutes 20 seconds west longitude near the southwestern shore of Pointe au Fer island opens to recreational and commercial fishing effective immediately today, June 7.


The portion of state outside waters seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line from 92 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds west longitude near Freshwater Bayou westward to 92 degrees† 25 minutes 00 seconds west longitude opens to recreational and commercial fishing effective June 7.


All other closures remain in place.

Up-to-the-minute coverage of the oil spill and the effects on Louisiana's coastal marshes and fisheries can be found at www.LouisianaSportsman.com




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