No change in recreational fishing closures, openings promised

Three weeks after most fishing closures enacted in response to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill were overturned by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission, there still are numerous areas closed to recreational anglers – and that didn’t change during today’s (Aug. 5) commission meeting.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham did not address those closures during his remarks, and commission members ratified those actions without comment or question.

However, LDWF’s Joey Shepard said the closures are not being kept in place for any concerns over fish consumption.

“All the testing is coming back that the fish are safe,” Shepard said.

Instead, the concern is that these areas received a lot of oil and repeated oiling.

“We want to make sure (anglers) don’t interfere with the cleanup of the oil,” Shepard said.

Shepard said that, even though some these areas might have been cleaned, officials were monitoring them to ensure more oil didn’t show up. And he said his agency would act as soon as it was clear the areas would not be re-oiled.

“It looks like the oil is going away and if it looks like (these areas) are not going to be re-oiled, (Barham) will look at reopening those areas,” Shepard said.

Click here to see a map of the remaining closures east of the Mississippi River. Those closures remaining in Barataria Bay can be viewed here, and those in Timbalier/Terrebone bays are here.

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About Andy Crawford 863 Articles
Andy Crawford has spent nearly his entire career writing about and photographing Louisiana’s hunting and fishing community. While he has written for national publications, even spending four years as a senior writer for B.A.S.S., Crawford never strayed far from the pages of Louisiana Sportsman. Learn more about his work at www.AndyCrawford.Photography.

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