Oyster harvesters say nothing is wrong with their crop

By Crystal Price - bio | email

CAMERON, LA (KPLC) - A Norovirus outbreak in North Carolina prompted the Department of Health and Hospitals to close an oyster growing area in Calcasieu Lake Thursday.

DHH officials say the outbreak could be the result of oysters harvested in Area 29.

Phillip Dyson of Cameron harvests his oysters out of Calcasieu Lake on the opposite end of the area that was closed.

Dyson couldn't believe the news when he heard about the closure.

"They say they came from Calcasieu Lake," says Dyson. "But I've never seen any bad oysters come out of this lake."

As the oyster industry is big in Louisiana, Dyson says it would hurt his business if they were to close the West Cove area where he does most of his fishing.

"We'd lose the best part of the year," says Dyson. "Usually February, March and April are our best months for oystering."

Dyson says he'll continue following certain steps to make sure his harvest is safe.

"When you catch an oyster just try and keep them out of the weather," says Dyson. "When you cook them it kills the bacteria. That will keep you from getting sick."

The Department of Health and Hospitals will be evaluating the growing area through the weekend to determine whether the oysters are safe to eat.

DHH says Area 29 in Calcasieu Lake is expected to be sometime within the next 21 days.

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