To improve oyster habitat and fisheries production, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries ( LDWF ) has finished building 25-acre oyster reefs in Calcasieu Lake ( East Side ). Cultch farming is a proven wildlife improvement method that is used by LDWF.
The 2006 Calcasieu River Oil Spill’s Damage Assessment and Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment ( DARP/EA ) includes this project. The main objective of this project was to establish a successful oyster reef on common oyster areas in order to make up for the harm done to water column organisms by this incident.
Over 1.5 million square feet of cultch material have been successfully placed by LDWF on almost 30 000 acres since 1917. A total of 25 acres of artificial oyster reef were built as a result of the 2023 Calcasieu Lake project, which deposited about 17, 500 tons of crushed stone onto the open oysters oysters areas near Calcassieun Lake. A 2″ base layer of material and a grid pattern of 10″ large, increased rows spaced roughly 75 feet apart were used in the planting design to increase coral height and reduce the likelihood of deposition and hypoxia-induced mortality.
Oyster groups offer the Calcasieu Lake waterway several significant advantages. The cultch materials offers a material for free-floating oysters larvae to attach and grow when placed in an oyster habitat that is suitable for oyster reef development. Increased oysters production and clam population connectivity, resilience, and stability are some possible long-term advantages of increasing accessible cultch material. Reefs created by thriving, interconnected oyster populations offer the difficult material required for oyster larvae to colonize, expand, and survive. These reefs are home to a variety of marine life, from small invertebrates to large recreational and economically significant species, in addition to oysters. Oyster reefs also maintain architectural dignity, enhance water quality, and might lessen coastal erosion.
To give oysters time to recruit and grow, the cultch plant will be shut down from both fun and business clam harvest for at least two years. Through regularly scheduled sampling events, LDWF will keep an eye on the plant’s production to evaluate project performance and, if necessary, assist in directing corrective actions to achieve the goals and objectives of the project.
The management and protection of Louisiana’s plentiful healthy tools fall under the purview of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Visit us at website for more details. wlf. la. Gov. Sign up at http ://www.wlf .la.gov/signup to receive LDWF email alerts.