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      RS 56:431.1     


§431.1. Devices to protect oysters from predation; use on leased acreage

            A. The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries may permit the use on leased acreage of devices to protect oysters from predation. The permit shall be issued to a leaseholder and shall not be transferrable. Such devices shall be in compliance with all existing state and federal fishing laws and regulations. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, any device permitted under the provisions of this Section may be transported or used in compliance with the provisions of this Section. The department shall promulgate, in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act, rules and regulations for such a permit. The rules shall at a minimum specify the following:

            (1) That the application for the permit shall be accompanied by an application fee of one hundred dollars, and the fee for the permit shall be fifty dollars per acre permitted, not to exceed one thousand dollars.

            (2) That the material used for the device shall:

            (a) Not be monofilament or multifilament.

            (b) Not be made to resemble, appear, or be construed to be a gill net, trammel net, or strike net as those terms are defined in R.S. 56:8, or any type of device which might entangle marine life.

            (c) Be approved by the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission and the House Committee on Natural Resources and Environment and the Senate Committee on Natural Resources. The rules shall establish the procedure for such approval, including timetables.

            (3) That the material authorized for such device shall have no openings that exceed one and one-quarter inch bar or two and one-half inches stretched.

            (4) That the vertical profile of the device shall not raise the water bottom by more than one-half foot or shall be limited to one-tenth of the depth of the water where the device is located, whichever measure is larger, and that the device shall not restrict the free passage of fish and other marine life over the device.

            (5) Requirements for reporting data or other information by the leaseholders necessary for the department to monitor the activities under the permit.

            (6) Enforcement penalties for permit violations shall be considered a class four violation.

            B. The area permitted for use of a device to protect oysters from predation shall not exceed ten acres per lease site, and each lease site shall be limited to the use of only one device. The area permitted shall meet the standards set forth by the Louisiana Department of Health in its oyster regulations. The device must comply with United States Coast Guard regulations relative to navigation and markings. Prior to application to the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries for a permit to use a device, the leaseholder shall have obtained all other local, state, and federal permits necessary for such activity, including a coastal use permit.

            C. The department may permit the use of devices to protect oysters from predation on no more than one hundred acres east of the Mississippi, no more than one hundred acres between the Mississippi River and Bayou Lafourche, no more than one hundred acres between Bayou Lafourche and the Atchafalaya River, and no more than one hundred acres west of the Atchafalaya River. The permit issued by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries shall authorize use of a device only during the months of March, April, October, and November. The permit shall require liability insurance to be held by the leaseholder sufficient to cover any damages that might occur as a result of the use of such device.

            D. Repealed by Acts 2010, No. 263, §1.

            Acts 2005, No. 438, §1, eff. July 11, 2005; Acts 2008, No. 580, §7; Acts 2010, No. 263, §1.

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