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Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

Oyster Season—Sister Lake

In accordance with the emergency provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act, Louisiana Revised Statutes (R.S.) 49:953(B) and 967(D), and under the authority of R.S. 56:433, R.S. 56:435.1, and R.S. 56:435.1.1(D) notice is hereby given that the Secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission hereby declare:

An additional 2008/2009 oyster season in that portion of the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation as described in R.S. 56:434.E south and east of a line in Sister Lake with the following coordinates shall open at one-half hour before sunrise on October 13, 2008 and shall close at one-half hour after sunset on October 19, 2008:

1.29 degrees 12 minutes 50.56 seconds N latitude

90 degrees 56 minutes 53.54 seconds W longitude

2.29 degrees 15 minutes 06.06 seconds N latitude

90 degrees 55 minutes 17.93 seconds W longitude

3.29 degrees 15 minutes 20.89 seconds N latitude

90 degrees 54 minutes 01.51 seconds W longitude

Additionally, an area of the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation north of the Department of Health and Hospitals’ 2007 November-February seasonal classification line shall then open one-half hour before sunrise on October 20, 2008 and shall close one-half hour after sunset on October 24, 2008. The area within the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation which lies between the two lines described above shall remain closed.

These additional seasons in the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation shall be opened as above with the following provisions:

1.Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation described above shall:

a.Be limited to a daily take and possession limit not to exceed 50 sacks of oysters per vessel. A sack of oysters for the purposes of this Declaration of Emergency shall be defined as the size described in R.S. 56:440. The daily take and possession limit shall not apply to vessels harvesting seed oysters from the reservation for bedding purposes.

b.Be limited to either harvesting oysters for direct sale (sacking) or harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes on any one day and is specifically prohibited from doing both.

2.If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed reservation described above, all oysters contained on that vessel shall be deemed to have been taken from said reservation.

3.Any oysters taken for direct sale (sacking) from the public oyster seed reservation described above must be contained within properly tagged sacks prior to departing the public oyster seed reservation; and undersized oysters that do not meet the requirements set forth in R.S. 56:433(A)

The Secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is authorized to take emergency action as necessary to close areas if oyster mortalities are occurring or to delay the season or close areas where significant spat catch has occurred with good probability of survival, or where it is found that there are excessive amounts of non-living reef

material in seed oyster loads, or if oyster resources and/or reefs are being adversely impacted, or if enforcement problems are encountered.

The secretary is authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended, or may open areas if substantial oyster resources are located.

Notice of any opening, delaying or closing of a season will be made by public notice at least 72 hours prior to such action unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

Patrick C. Morrow

Chairman

0810#040

DECLARATION OF EMERGENCY

Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

Sharks and Sawfishes—Harvest Regulations (LAC 76:VII.357)

The shark fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico are cooperatively managed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission (LWFC) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Regulations promulgated by NMFS are applicable in waters of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the U.S., which in Louisiana is generally three miles offshore.

Rules have been promulgated by NMFS, effective on July 24, 2008, to modify existing rules for harvest of species in the Large Coastal Shark group in the Gulf of Mexico (NMFS Shark FMP Amendment 2). NMFS typically requests consistent regulations in order to enhance the effectiveness and enforceability of regulations for EEZ waters.

In order to enact regulations in a timely manner so as to have compatible regulations in place in Louisiana water to coincide with the regulation set forth by NMFS, it is necessary that emergency rules be enacted.

In accordance with the emergency provisions of R.S. 49:953(B), the Administrative Procedure Act, R.S. 49:967 which allows the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission to use emergency procedures to set finfish seasons and size limits and all rules and regulations pursuant thereto, and R.S. 56:326.3 which provides that the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission may set possession limits, seasons, and daily take limits based upon biological and technical data for saltwater finfish taken or possessed in Louisiana waters, the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission hereby declares:

The commercial fishery for Large Coastal Shark in Louisiana state waters opened at 12:01 a.m., August 11, 2008. The pertinent parts of these rules were also effective for the recreational fishery for Large Coastal Shark at 12:01 a.m., August 11, 2008. Those regulations, as published, did not clearly specify that commercial trip limits were intended to be per vessel, per day. That clarification was established by action of the Secretary of the Department of Wildlife

Louisiana Register   Vol. 34, No. 10   October 20, 2008

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