BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says it is closing the oyster season on the east side of Calcasieu Lake more than a month early to protect against "sustained heavy harvest pressure" in the area.

The department announced Tuesday that it issued an emergency order to close the season in that area on March 25. The season opened on Nov. 15 and had been scheduled to close on April 30.

The department says its enforcement agents have found "numerous" oyster harvesting violations in the area and seized oysters and fishing equipment. State biologists believe continued harvesting may threaten the "long-term sustainability" of the area's oyster resources.

The west side of the Calcasieu Lake public oyster area is scheduled to remain open to harvesting until April 30.