The quality of shellfish growing waters in the Gulf of Mexico. National estuarine inventory.
Broutman, Marlene A.; Leonard, D.L.
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This report examines the quality of shellfish growing waters in the Gulf of Mexico. Information is presented on the administration of state programs, status of classified waters, sources of pollution affecting harvest-limited waters, and trends in classification between 1971 and 1985. Results of this work show that: 1) most waters in the Gulf of Mexico do not meet standards for approved waters at all times; 2) the majority of approved waters are in the outer bays of Louisiana where salinities are high and oyster productivity low; 3) harvest is prohibited in 29 percent of waters around developed areas; and 4) an additional 27 percent of waters may not be harvested after heavy rainfall or when river stages are high. These conditionally approved waters are the most productive in the Gulf.