The state continues to collect data on the impact of aquatic life in south Louisiana as a result of the record long opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway and flooding in the Atchafalaya Basin. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologist Harry Blanchet says the National Marine Fisheries can declare a fishery disaster however, it requires a 35% reduction in the value of a specific fishery to qualify.

“What we are trying to do is put together a compilation of all of these impacts to provide to the federal government,” said Blanchet.

Blanchet says some of the most widespread impacts, with some areas seeing a 100% mortality rate, fall on oyster beds.

“St. Bernard Parish all the way to Cameron Parish.  We’ve seen mortalities in the Ponchartrain Basin, we’ve seen them in the Sabine Basin,” said Blanchet.

Oyster populations will take years to regenerate.  Blanchet says the brown shrimp harvest was down as well and they are not sure what is happening with the brown shrimp

“This past spring was really a very poor brown shrimp season, which is our typical May season, and so we are still collecting information on what that impact is,” said Blanchet.

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