Louisiana oysters make a comeback in SWLA

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The oyster business in southwest Louisiana is making a comeback for the first time since the oil disaster back in April 2010.

Lake area restaurants are starting to serve oysters again now that the prices steadily decreased.

Cajun Charlie's in Sulphur started serving oysters off the menu a couple of weeks ago.

"They look good and there's no problems with them, they taste good," said Mark Charlie, manager of Cajun Charlie's.

However, management at the restaurant said the price is still too high to serve the popular seafood on the buffet.

"The price for a bucket is still between $45 and $50 bucks," said Charlie. "That's still too high."

The seafood restaurant is currently cooking the oysters to order for now until the price of oysters goes down.

"As soon as the price drops a little bit where we can afford them, we'll put them on the buffet," said Charlie.

While oysters may be back, oyster harvesters are still seeing problems during this oyster season. Many oyster harvesters in Cameron are still trying to catch up with the profit they lost after the oil spill last year.

Lerlene Rodrigue has oyster harvested off the coast of Cameron for 30 years. Rodrigue said that after a tough shrimp season due to the oil spill, she is looking to make up for it through the oysters.

"If we have no shrimp season this is what we depend on," said Rodrigue. "This is for sure. You've just got to come out here and find your reef and fish it."

However, Rodrigue said finding a good place to oyster is becoming difficult with an increasing number of fishermen.

"The Big Lake area has been getting a little shelly and fished out," said Rodrigue. "There's a lot more fishermen in this year, and it's like every year we're growing more and more fishermen in the oyster business."

Rodrigue added that more areas need to be open for a more plentiful season for the harvesters and restaurants.

"I feel they need to open more parts like Commissary Point, and maybe get some more grounds for us to open on Big Lake side," said Rodrigue.

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