A diminished opening for state oyster season
NEW ORLEANS - Public oyster waters are opening on Louisiana's coast, but it's a smaller area than usual.
Monday's scheduled opening was delayed indefinitely for a broad area east of the Mississippi River.
The availability of marketable Louisiana oysters has already been diminished by natural and man-made factors, including the BP oil spill. Still, many in the oyster industry wanted the public season closed, fearing that oyster dredging now would destroy young "spat" oysters that will eventually be used to replenish the resource in public waters and in private lease areas that are harvested year round.
The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission takes another look at the issue next month. Some oyster processors hope for at least a temporary opening before Christmas.