Post-oil spill tests may delay oyster season in La
NEW ORLEANS - Louisiana may delay the start of the oyster season on most public seed grounds while scientists collect oysters and sediment to check for any damage from last year's BP PLC oil spill.
Harry Blanchet, a biologist with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, had said it authorized Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham to delay the season up to two weeks - from Oct. 17 to as late as one-half hour before sunrise on Nov. 1. On Friday, the department said the actual end date is Oct. 31.
If National Resource Damage Assessment teams finish their collections in a week, Blanchet says there may be no delay in areas from Vermilion Bay to the Mississippi Sound. Otherwise, Barham can open the season there with 72 hours public notice.