The opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway and recent flood events are having a noticeable effect on the state’s supply of oysters, shrimp, crab and finfish, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
Preliminary results from commercial harvest data shows for oysters on public water-bottoms, landings have declined 80% from the average year-to-date and are 89% below the average for March and April.
The LDWF said statewide brown and white shrimp landings declined by 36% in March and 63% in April, when compared to the five-year average.
Reports also show statewide blue crab landings have decreased 33% in March and 45% for April when compared to the five-year average.
Preliminary findings by the LDWF for finfish shows landings are down for black drum:
- 53% in the Vermilion-Tech basin
- 43% in the Calcasieu basin
- 31% year-to-date commercial black drum landings
Recreational harvest of red drum and spotted seatrout are also reduced compared to other recent years monitored by LA Creel, reports show.
You can see the full report here.
LDWF biologists said they’re also continuing to monitor the flooding impacts on fishery and wildlife resources resulting from the two Bonnet Carre Spillway openings this year.
Biologists said there has been an increase in sea turtle and marine mammal strandings along the Louisiana coast.
Officials say the true impact of the spillway opening and flooding events on fish and animals won’t be known for months as data continues to be collected and analyzed by both state and federal agencies.