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License Requirements

  1. Basic Fishing License
  2. Saltwater Fishing License
  3. A Recreational Tonging License is required for each tong in use.
  4. A Senior Fishing License is required of residents who turned 60 years of age on or after June 1, 2000, to take oysters.

Methods of Take

Recreational oyster harvest for home consumption is limited to tonging or gathering by hand.


  • Recreational oyster harvest is allowed only from public oyster areas open for the harvesting of oysters or from private leases on which the fisherman is authorized to take oysters. Recreational oyster fishermen may harvest oysters from a private lease only with the written permission of the leaseholder. At no time will the act of harvesting oysters be permitted in areas closed to oyster harvest. The culling of oysters (the act of separating undersized oysters or dead shell and returning to the water), must occur over the reefs where harvest occurred.
  • The harvest or take of oysters during the period of one-half hour after sunset until one-half hour before sunrise is prohibited.
  • Oysters taken from the reefs of Louisiana either for sale or consumption must be landed in Louisiana, except with a valid out-of-state oyster-landing permit and with the fisherman being in compliance with all other rules and regulations.


The LWFC determines the public oyster areas to be opened for oyster fishing by opening and closing the seasons as biological and technical data indicates. The owner of an oyster lease or his designee, with written permission, may fish oysters at any time of year on their lease.

EXCEPTION: Public oyster areas opened by the LWFC and private leases may, however, be closed by the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) for public health reasons. Information on LDH closed areas is available at

Size and Possession Limits

Other Seasons

  • All oysters taken from public oyster areas must be 3 inches or greater in length from hinge to mouth. Size limits do not apply to oysters taken from private leases.
  • Recreational oyster harvesters are limited to two sacks per person per day for personal consumption, except in the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster area where the limit is set at one sack per person per day.
  • Possession limits apply to oysters taken from a private lease.


For information on Oyster Leases visit or call (504) 284-5279.

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

2045 Lakeshore Dr., Ste. 420

New Orleans, LA 70122