Fishing

Get Out and Fish Louisiana!: Coming to a Lake Near You

Release Date: 11/19/2014

Get Out and Fish Louisiana!: Coming to a Lake Near You
Get Out and Fish Louisiana!: Coming to a Lake Near You
Get Out and Fish Louisiana!: Coming to a Lake Near You

(Nov. 19, 2014) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries celebrated the launch of its new Get Out and Fish! Program with its first fishing event last Saturday in Girard Park in Lafayette.  The Department’s long-term goal is that these events will translate into future avid anglers who enjoy, conserve and even one day manage our great resources here in Louisiana.
 
LDWF hosted the event in partnership with the City of Lafayette to promote the new community fishing location, and attendance far surpassed staff’s expectations with over 250 registered anglers.
 
“The positive response from event participants was overwhelming,” said Fisheries Program Manager Danica Williams.  “Anglers explained they often drive two or three hours simply to fish.  The convenience of the short drive, even walk for some, greatly appealed to those in search of a quality fishing destination close to home.”
 
The Get Out and Fish! Program seeks to increase the number of people with access to quality fishing.  The program intends to recruit new anglers to the sport of fishing and promote outdoor activities for future generations.  In order to accomplish this mission, public water bodies that meet the required specifications are chosen by LDWF biologists and stocked on a regular basis for up to one year.  LDWF will promote the launch of each new site with a Get Out and Fish! event, so be sure to stay tuned for upcoming announcements regarding your area of the state.
 
Girard Park Pond, the first waterbody chosen for the new program, was stocked with 800 pounds of adult channel catfish in preparation for the event.  LDWF will continue to stock the pond for up to one year, based on continued angler interest and participation.  Beginning in December through February 2015, the pond will be stocked with adult rainbow trout followed by a stocking of adult channel catfish in warmer months of March through June.
 
With help from numerous sponsors, including The Beaver Club of Lafayette, Buckfins-N-Feathers, CC’s Coffee, Cajun Guns and Tackle, HDR, Inc., Home Depot, The Lafayette Consolidated Government, Louisiana Nursery, Pure Fishing, Raising Cane’s and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Bass Fishing Team, families across Acadiana were introduced to a fun and free day of fishing.  The first 100 registrants received a complimentary rod and reel and goodie bag, and every participant was entered into a number of prize drawings held throughout the day.
 
The Get Out and Fish! Program is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The LWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fish resources.
 
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For more information, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov or (504) 628-7282.  For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

LDWF Recognizes Dedicated Volunteer Fish Taggers

Release Date: 11/17/2014

Tagger of the Year, wife accepting on behalf of Dr. Victor Tedesco, III
Top Redfish Taggers
Top Speckled Trout Taggers
Top Red Snapper Tagger, Andre Thomas
Women & Youth Taggers

(Nov. 17, 2014) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana honored volunteer fish taggers during their annual Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program’s awards banquet on Thursday, November 6 at the Petroleum Club in Lafayette, La.
 
The program relies on a group of volunteers who dedicated nearly 3,200 hours to fish tagging efforts this year.  The event honored those volunteers who tagged 20 or more fish during the season, which ran from July 2013 to September 2014.
 
Nearly 26,000 fish were tagged, more than doubling the amount of fish tagged in the previous season. The increased number of tagged fish can be attributed to more than 700 volunteers who tagged at least one fish during that timeframe. 
 
“The tagging program is only possible because of the anglers who volunteer their time to fish, tag, collect, and report data,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina. “We’re very lucky to have such an extraordinary group of volunteers who contribute to this important source of recreational fisheries data.”
 
Program officials recognized 57 volunteer anglers who out-competed their colleagues as members of the Century Club by tagging more than 100 fish during the season. 
 
Women and youth participation in the program is also growing in popularity. In recognition of their efforts, 24 women and youth anglers were awarded prizes during the event.
 
Top Fish Taggers include:
 
Tagger of the Year - Dr. Victor Tedesco, III
Most Tagged Fish Overall (1,574)
Most Tagged Fish Recaptured (77)
Most Volunteer Hours (446.5)
 
Most Tagged Redfish
1st Place - Donna Dearman (663)
2nd Place - Jeff Bavar (657)
3rd Place - Andre Thomas (526)
 
Most Tagged Speckled Trout
1st Place- Dr. Victor Tedesco, III (1,308)
2nd Place - Larry Shields (521)
3rd Place - Diane and Norman Norton (359)
 
Most Tagged Red Snapper
1st Place - Andre Thomas (43)
2nd Place - Mike Patrick (27)
3rd Place - Tommy Moore (23)
 
Fish tagging can provide a wealth of information, including data on migration patterns, growth rates, and population size. Since the program began in the 1980s, nearly 183,000 fish have been tagged and of those over 5,700 have been recaptured.
 
“One exciting thing we’ve learned through taggers’ data is most fish are recaptured very close to their original tagging location, explained Pausina.  “One redfish in particular was tagged, released, and then recaptured a record 4 times – all near the LDWF Fisheries Research Lab in Grand Isle, La.  In fact, only about 2 percent of tagged red drum and spotted seatrout are recaptured more than 50 miles from the location where they were originally tagged and released.”
 
The Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program is a cooperative effort between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, universities, non-profit organizations and volunteer anglers.  Program goals include educating anglers on fisheries management and conservation and opening communication between researchers and anglers.
 
LDWF urges interested saltwater anglers to join the program.  Tagging kits and program materials are provided at no charge.  For more information about the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Fish Tagging Program, contact us by calling 1-800-567-2182, via Facebook at www.facebook.com/tag/louisiana or email Fishtags@wlf.la.gov.
 
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.
 

Recovering Tuna Tags is Rewarding in More Ways Than One

Release Date: 11/13/2014

LDWF biologist Jennifer McKinney performs surgery on a yellowfin tuna to insert an internal archival tag.
A green dart tag at the base of the second dorsal fin indicates a tag is present and reward is available.

If you reel in a big one, you might catch more than just a trophy fish for dinner

(Nov. 13, 2014) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is actively implementing a research program that involves the insertion of electronic tracking devices in yellowfin tuna to better understand their behavior.  Fish tagging programs are typically designed by scientists, but any angler can contribute to this important research.
 
The most important action that anglers can take to aid tagging programs is to return tags and information.  In order for the Department to learn more about yellowfin tuna movements and habitat use in the Gulf of Mexico, biologists are requesting anglers return the internal archival tags when a tagged fish is caught.
 
“The holy grail of these electronic tags is the detailed data they record,” explained LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “But LDWF researchers can only access that level of information if they get the tag back.”
 
Not only can anglers expect a better-managed fishery, but the department is also offering up a reward for every tag returned.  Individuals who return an intact electronic tag will receive a $200 Academy Sports and Outdoors gift card.
 
Tuna included in this study are surgically implanted with an electronic tag in the abdominal cavity and can be identified by an external green and white conventional tag at the base of the second dorsal fin.
 
If you catch a tagged yellowfin tuna:
• Record date, time and catch location (GPS coordinates).
• Measure fork length, weight and take photos of the surgical site (when possible).
• Carefully remove the tag from the fish.  The light stalk, which can be seen protruding from the abdomen of the fish, must remain connected with the tag body inside the fish.
• Call the reward line at (855) 728-8247 or email sattag@wlf.la.gov to arrange pickup of the tag.
 
The internal archival tags are surgically implanted into the belly of the fish and record a range of parameters every 30 seconds including depth, light intensity, water temperature and the internal body temperature of the tagged tuna. 
 
Since the study began in June 2013, over 100 internal tags have been deployed with approximately a 10% recapture rate.   Thus far, the greatest movement of an internally tagged yellowfin is 155 nautical miles after 417 days at large.
 
The department will continue the study over the next few years, and resulting data can indicate habitat preferences and feeding and spawning behavior.  Findings will greatly improve the body of knowledge of the yellowfin tuna resource in the Gulf of Mexico and its connectivity with the Atlantic-wide population, resulting in improved stock assessments and fishery management. 
 
The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 
For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.
 

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Public/Private Oyster Grounds Committee to Meet

Release Date: 11/07/2014

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Public/Private Oyster Grounds Committee to Meet

1 p.m., Thursday, November 13, 2014

UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210, New Orleans 70122

AGENDA

 

I.  Call to Order

II.  Framework development for potential Vessel Monitoring System (VMS) legislation

III. Trip Ticket program discussion on coding for mini –sacks of oysters

IV.  Update on Grand Isle Oyster Hatchery

 

The meeting will be held in compliance with Louisiana’s Open Meetings Law as defined by Louisiana R.S. 42:11, et seq.  The public is invited to attend.

Those interested in listening in to the meeting via Webinar or telephone register at https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/8334104986830567425

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquiries please contact Ashley Roth, 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

To sign up for LDWF Alerts sent as text messages and emails directly to your mobile device click   here.

 

 

LWFC Establishes Fisheries Forward Program

Release Date: 11/06/2014

November 6, 2014 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a declaration of emergency that establishes the Louisiana Fisheries Forward program to meet the legislatively defined deadline for implementation of November 15.  This program implements certain training requirements for fishermen obtaining crab trap gear licenses who did not possess a commercial crab trap gear license in two out of the four years, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014.  This program was designed in close cooperation with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Louisiana Crab Task Force.  These rules will be effective as of November 15 and will remain in effect until the final program rules have been approved.

The training requirements are as follows:

•         Education in the proper fishing techniques necessary for the health and sustainability of crabs;
•         Proper techniques for the best capture and presentation of the crabs for marketability
•         Proper instructions regarding the placement, tending, and maintenance of crab traps to reduce potential conflicts with other user groups
•         Authorizes the program to include a mandatory apprenticeship program
Today’s action does contain a provision that allows LDWF to issue a conditional crab trap license to any applicant who completes their field training prior to the availability of the required training videos.  The training videos are expected to be complete in April of 2015.

For questions regarding the commercial crab trap gear license requirement contact Jason Froeba at jfroeba@wlf.la.gov or (225)765-0121.

For press inquiries, contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.
 

LDWF’s Get Out and Fish Louisiana! Launches in Lafayette

Release Date: 10/23/2014

(Oct. 23, 2014) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in partnership with the City of Lafayette, will launch its new Get Out and Fish! Program on Saturday, November 15 at Girard Park in Lafayette.  Join us for a fun fishing competition and educational activities for all ages.
 
LDWF biologists will demonstrate fishing fundamentals including bait and tackle selection tips to fish identification. Other activities will include knot tying, casting practice and an interative mobile touch tank.  LDWF’s mascot, Robbie the Redfish, will make appearances throughout the day to greet attendees and take photographs.

Fishing competition categories include heaviest catfish and heaviest “other” fish.  Age divisions include Little Angler (ages 10 and under), Junior Angler (ages 11-15) and Adult Angler (ages 16 and older). 
Prior to the event, Girard Park Pond will be stocked with adult channel catfish, so don’t forget to bring your own gear, bait and an ice chest to keep your fish.  Anglers 16 and older must possess a valid Louisiana fishing license. 
 
The event is free, and the first 100 registrants in attendance will receive a complimentary rod and reel, courtesy of Pure Fishing, and a goody bag.  In addition, every participant will be entered into raffle drawings throughout the day for a chance to win prizes from sponsors including Raising Canes, Louisiana Nursery, Home Depot, Buckfins-N-Feathers, Cajun Guns and Tackle and others.  Lunch will be provided courtesy of the Beaver Club of Lafayette.  Pre-registration is available online at www.wlf.la.gov/getoutandfish.

The Get Out and Fish! Program seeks to increase the number of people with access to quality fishing. The program intends to recruit new anglers to the sport of fishing and promote outdoor activities for future generations. In order to accomplish this mission, public water bodies that meet the required specifications will be chosen by LDWF biologists and stocked on a regular basis for up to one year. LDWF will promote the launch of each new site with a Get Out and Fish! event.

This event is hosted in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation.  The LWFF was formed to provide a means for individuals and corporations to become partners with the Department and Commission in the challenge of conserving Louisiana’s wildlife and fish resources.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at www.wlf.la.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information on Get Out and Fish! Program, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov or (504) 628-7282.  For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

Construction to begin this week on the “Pickets Reef”

Release Date: 10/16/2014

SS26 Pickets Platform

(Oct. 16, 2014) - Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana, Apache Corporation, Fieldwood Energy and the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will begin construction this week on an artificial reef system at the site of the recently removed structures in Ship Shoal 26, known by many Louisiana anglers as “the Pickets.” A dedication ceremony and media site visit will be conducted at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 21, at Coco Marina in Cocodrie, La.   
 
This cooperative effort calls for the deployment of roughly 14,000 tons of 4-inch limestone over three specially engineered artificial reefs.  The reefs will be designed to protect depressions in the seafloor that were created by the prevailing current flowing around and through the Pickets. In doing so, the reefs will maintain and enhance these scour holes, while providing additional habitat for marine life.
 
“This area has served as a trout fishing haven for many years, and we are extremely pleased that we are able to preserve this angling hot spot,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  "Speckled trout and redfish are typically associated with low- to mid-relief structures which provide a refuge from currents, where they can remain without expending energy while preying on food as it is carried across the structure. This makes this area a particularly important fisheries habitat.”
 
“There are many trout fishermen in this state who have fond memories of the Pickets," said David Cresson, executive director of Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana (CCA Louisiana.) “It’s unfortunate that we have to say goodbye to those structures, but we are grateful to have partners here who were committed to doing everything they could to maintain the area for future generations. The Pickets has been a special place, and this partnership is working to make sure it stays that way.”
 
Fieldwood acquired Apache's Gulf of Mexico shelf assets in 2013, including the Pickets structures and pilings located at Ship Shoal 26. As part of the acquisition, Fieldwood entered into a decommissioning agreement with Apache and is responsible for making sure the removal work at Ship Shoal 26, which is required by the federal government, is completed. From the outset, both companies understood the significance of the iconic structures and were committed to mitigating the impact of the removals on the fishery and the recreational angling community.
 
Obie O'Brien, vice president of Governmental Affairs for Apache Corporation, said, "Apache has operated in South Louisiana and in the Gulf of Mexico for decades. Hundreds of our employees and former employees live, work and raise their families along the coast. We were happy to be part of this effort to preserve, protect and enhance one of the iconic fishing spots in Louisiana. We understand the need for a strong and diverse environment because we live it every day."
 
John Seeger, Fieldwood's vice president of Decommissioning, noted, "The Pickets is an area that residents of Louisiana and Texas—including many of our employees at Fieldwood—have fished for decades. We are required by federal law to remove the structures but wanted to come up with a solution that would preserve this renowned fishing area for generations to come."
 
The $1.2 million project is being funded by Apache, Fieldwood, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Artificial Reef Trust Fund, and CCA’s Building Conservation Trust. The contractor for construction of the reefs, DLS Energy, and the company providing the materials for the reefs, G & H Barge, are providing significant in-kind services and materials for the project. Continuing support of CCA Louisiana’s Habitat Program is provided by the Paul Candies family.
 
The Pickets Reef is the 10th reef of its kind to be funded through the Louisiana Artificial Reef Trust fund in cooperation with CCA Louisiana.  Overall, this is the 14th reef built by CCA Louisiana since 2004.
 
“This project is a great example of industry, nonprofits and government coming together to create a positive outcome for our coast,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  “Our thanks goes out to Apache, Fieldwood, CCA and all of our partners for working with us to find a solution to this challenging issue.”
 
“This had the potential to be a sad ending to a storied fishing spot, but now we have a tremendous amount of hard structure going in to replace habitat that is required to be removed,” said John Walther, chairman of CCA Louisiana's Habitat Committee. “This is the best outcome that could be achieved, and Apache and Fieldwood should be commended. They didn't have to go the extra mile, but both companies wanted to make this right from the beginning and they certainly stepped up. We hope this can be a template for addressing marine habitat that stands to be lost due to the Idle Iron Policy.”
 
Marker buoys will be placed on the site after construction is completed so that anglers can locate the reefs.
 
After a short presentation at the Coco Marina at 10 a.m., Tuesday, members of the media will be taken by boat to the reef construction site.  Project organizers and partners will be available to the media throughout the event.
 
For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey, awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

Oyster Season Delayed in Portion of Public Seed Grounds

Release Date: 10/14/2014

October 14, 2014 The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has delayed the oyster season in a portion of the public oyster seed grounds until further notice in an effort to protect recently settled young oysters referred to as spat. 

The delay includes that area of the public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River and north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet, including Lake Borgne and Mississippi Sound.  The oyster season was originally set to open in this area on October 20.  Protection of the oyster spat is in the long-term best interest of oyster conservation in this area of the public oyster seed grounds as they represent the future oyster resource in an area where oyster stocks continue to be low and spatfall has remained below normal.

The Commission authorized LDWF Secretary Robert J. Barham to take emergency action to close areas, on an as-needed basis, based on biological data or if enforcement problems are encountered.  The Secretary was also authorized to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located. 

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

To view a map detailing today's action click here.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at www.wlf.louisiana.gov, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.
 

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

 

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