Ryan Guerra drags an oyster dredge along a lease 40 miles east of the Bonnet Carre Spillway in St. Bernard Parish.
He finds the vast majority of his oysters are dead.
The few that’s alive right now, they’re dying in the shell,” said the 43-year-old Guerra, who has been fishing these waters for a quarter of a century.
“Usually, you can take an oyster and do like that,” said Guerra, shaking an oyster. “It’s going to stay in the shell, but with it being rotten like that, it’s coming out easy.”
Guerra shows what appears to be Mississippi River mud within the shell of an oyster.
“I guess they can’t filter the mud that’s coming, the sand and the fresh water and that’s what kills them.”
The spillway, which has operated two separate times this year for a combined total of roughly three months, is not the only source of fresh water on the east bank of the Mississippi River.