CMR: Oyster mortality rates at 95-100% due to spillway opening

Updated: Sep. 17, 2019 at 3:09 PM CDT
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BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - On Tuesday, the Commission on Marine Resources officially shut down oyster harvesting for coastal reefs for the rest of the 2019-2020 season.

The reason?

There aren’t any oysters on our local reefs due to the freshwater intrusion from the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. The oyster mortality rate numbers are in the 95 to 100 percent range, according to Erik Broussard, the Dept. of Marine Resources Shellfish Bureau Director.

Between that and the other effects from the spillway being opened, Joe Spraggins, DMR’s Executive Director plans to testify before a Senate commerce committee about what happened on the Coast this summer.

"Senator Wicker has set this up as he is the chairman of the committee, and it would be good for us to tell the story of what really happened because everyone realizes we’ve had shrimp, and oysters and crabs that we’ve lost. But they do not understand 100 percent of what we’ve lost, the impact of the community and the effects on the community because of the Bonnet Carre,” Spraggins said.

The spillway was opened for 123 days, officially closing on July 27.

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