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      RS 56:434     


§434.  Oyster seed grounds; designation and setting aside; rules and regulations concerning taking of seed oysters; areas recognized as oyster seed reservations; protection of oyster seed reservations

A.  The commission shall at its discretion from time to time designate and set aside such area from the water bottoms of the state as it judges best adapted to the planting, propagation, growth, and policing of seed oysters.  The area constitutes oyster seed grounds.  Each unit thereof shall, as nearly as practicable, be so located as to facilitate its efficient policing, and be readily identifiable by reference to geographical features or local landmarks or department surveys, and shall embrace at least a recognizable portion of any body or arm of water, or definite part thereof, in which it is established.

B.  Upon or following the designation or location of any oyster seed ground, the department may negotiate for and acquire existing oyster leases required to be abandoned or surrendered which are found within the limits of the designated area.  The department shall compensate the leaseholder for oysters, seed oysters, shells, and other improvements found on the private leases required to be abandoned or surrendered, out of funds appropriated by the legislature.  Such compensation shall be determined by an independent marine surveyor appointed by the department with the concurrence of the leaseholder, at the current-day value of the improvements on the grounds affected.

C.  All seed oysters produced on oyster seed grounds or reservations established under this Subpart shall be had and held for the use and benefit of the oyster industry.  The commission shall establish rules and regulations concerning the time, quantity, and method of taking by which these seed oysters shall be made available to the public.  These rules and regulations shall be formulated as necessary and shall be adequate to the proper maintenance and preservation of the areas as a perpetual source of seed supply for the oyster industry.  Unless otherwise opened by the commission all oyster seed grounds and reservations are closed.

D.  The secretary may require persons taking, or attempting to take oysters, oyster seed, or cultch from any state owned public oyster seed ground or public oyster seed reservation to obtain a permit from the department and possess said permit when on the public oyster seed grounds or public oyster seed reservations.

E.  The water bottoms located in Sister (Caillou) Lake and Bay Junop in Terrebonne Parish, Hackberry Bay (Bay Duchene) in Lafourche and Jefferson Parishes, and Bay Gardene in Plaquemines Parish are designated as oyster seed reservations, and shall be managed by the department for the best interests of the oyster industry.

F.  The department shall establish and maintain an adequate and vigilant watch and control over the areas designated as oyster seed grounds and oyster seed reservations, and shall see that all oysters, seed oysters, oyster cultch, or other material improvements found or placed thereon are efficiently protected from trespass, theft, or injury.

G.  During that portion of the oyster season set aside for the taking of seed oysters only, additional restrictions shall apply to harvest of seed oysters from the public seed grounds as follows:

(1)  No oyster harvester who is actively harvesting oysters in the public seed grounds shall have on board his vessel any sacks or containers which may be used to hold oysters for transport to market.

(2)  All oysters on board a vessel actively harvesting oysters in the public seed grounds shall be presumed to have been harvested from the public seed grounds.

(3)  No harvester shall sell, or transport with his vessel, oysters intended for market sales on the same day that he harvested seed oysters from the public seed grounds.

H.  A violation of the provisions of this Section shall constitute a class two violation.

Acts 1981, No. 925, §1; Acts 1987, No. 544, §1; Acts 1987, No. 924, §1; Acts 1989, No. 248, §1, eff. June 26, 1989; Acts 1991, No. 496, §1; Acts 2010, No. 270, §1.

NOTE:  Act 265 of 2010 provides for the relocation of certain leases which are located within a public seed ground.  Provides Act is void on Jan. 1, 2013.

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