The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has passed a notice of intent outlining a proposed rule to govern the issuance of a newly-required permit for commercial oyster harvest in Calcasieu Lake.

The Calcasieu Lake Oyster Harvester Permit is required by Act 329 of the 2011 Regular Legislative Session and will be made available on a first-come-first-serve basis by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF.) Act 329 further requires that the commission adopt rules and regulations for the issuance of the permit and the recent action has begun this rule adoption process.

The proposed commission rule stipulates that a public notice shall be issued by LDWF announcing when applications will be made available and when those applications will be received by LDWF.

Act 329 and the proposed rule require that 126 permits be issued, with 63 of those provided to any person who has legally harvested oysters from Calcasieu Lake since January 1, 2001 as evidenced by trip-ticket records of LDWF. The remaining 63 permits shall be issued to anyone who currently holds all necessary licenses for the commercial harvest of oysters.

In addition to holding all required licenses, applicants must present government-issued photo identification, and must present a completed application to LDWF. The permit shall be valid for a period beginning on October 1 and ending on December 31 of the following year. There will be no cost for the permit and it cannot be sold, exchanged, or otherwise transferred.

The commission and LDWF are currently accepting public comment on this notice of intent until September 1, 2011. Public comment may be submitted to Patrick Banks at LDWF Office of Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898.

Following this public comment period and review by the Louisiana Legislature, the ratification of the final rule will be considered. Within the notice of intent, the commission delegated final rule ratification authority to the LDWF Secretary, Robert Barham.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information contact Patrick Banks at pbanks@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-2370. For press inquiries contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-2363.

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