Fishing

Additional Red Snapper Opportunity Available to Wounded, Disabled Vets for the 2nd Consecutive Year

Release Date: 10/11/2019

For the second consecutive year, Gov. John Bel Edwards joins the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA), and the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana (CCA) in announcing a special red snapper season for wounded and disabled military veterans to help catch the remaining recreational red snapper allotment.

“Like last year, I hope our veterans will have fun and productive days on the water,” said Gov. Edwards. “It’s great to once again have the partnership of LDWF, LDVA, and CCA to make this happen for our veterans who have sacrificed so much for our country.”
 

Recent LA Creel landing estimates indicate that 49,315 pounds of the 816,439-pound quota are available for harvest. A portion of this remaining quota will be set aside for these veterans.

The fishing opportunity will be through permit only and is limited to state waters out to nine nautical miles from shore.

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said, “The Governor, my staff and these great partners are eager to help our wounded veterans in any way we can. Thank you for your service to our country.” 

LDVA Secretary Joey Strickland says he appreciates everyone that helped make this fishing opportunity available to veterans again this year. “We know that alternative therapy programs and outdoor activities, like fishing, have proven to be beneficial to both building veterans’ camaraderie and to their healing,” he said. 

“CCA and our members are honored to once again participate in this special program aimed at providing fishing opportunities to wounded veterans,” said David Cresson, CEO of CCA Louisiana.  “It is a privilege to give back to these heroes who have sacrificed so much for all of us.”

The final catch number estimates are based on the state’s Louisiana Recreational Creel Survey (LA Creel) which uses a combination of data gathered through interviews at public fishing areas and weekly phone and email surveys..

The fishing opportunity will end no later than Dec. 31, or when the remaining red snapper quota is caught.

Anyone wishing to assist or participate in this special opportunity for veterans can contact Collette Foret with the Wounded War Heroes organization via email at info@woundedwarheroes.org.  Please include the words “Red Snapper” in the subject line of the email.

 

 

Oyster Task Force Aquaculture Committee to Meet October 16, 10:00 a.m.

Release Date: 10/10/2019

Oyster Task Force Aquaculture Committee
Wednesday, October 16, 2019, 10:00 A.M.
Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building
2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70898
 
AGENDA
 
I. Call to Order
II. Pledge of Allegiance
III. Introductions
IV. Adopt the Agenda
V. To Discuss the Criteria for Designating Alternative AOC Leasing Areas- OTFAC
VI. To Hear an Update on the Oyster Lease Moratorium Lifting- OTFAC
VII. To Hear a Presentation on the Grand Isle Hatchery- LDWF/ Sea Grant
VIII. To hear a presentation on Rules for Trip Ticket Reporting and How to Fill Out Trip Ticket Forms - LDWF
IX. Public Comment
X. Set Next Meeting
XI. Adjourn
 
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. To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/2531164130152819211
 
The Louisiana 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. To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup. For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov.
 
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is committed to accommodating all reasonable special requests regarding access to our meetings. Please direct all sign language interpreting services or other accommodation needs to rlebreton@wlf.la.gov at least 72 hours prior to the meeting date.

Recreational Red Snapper Season to Reopen for the Next Three Weekends

Release Date: 10/09/2019

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet signed a declaration of emergency to reopen the recreational red snapper season for the next three weekends.  The Friday to Sunday dates will be:

 

  • 12:01 a.m. Friday, October 11 through 12:01 a.m. Monday, October 14
  • 12:01 a.m. Friday, October 18 through 12:01 a.m. Monday, October 21
  • 12:01 a.m. Friday, October 25 through 12:01 a.m. Monday, October 28

Recent LA Creel landing estimates indicate that 49,315 pounds of the 816,439-pound quota are available for harvest to our anglers, not including landings from the weekend of October 4-6, where landings are as yet not available.  However, early indicators of effort (electronic reporting of red snapper trips, numbers of dockside interviews of anglers in LA Creel surveys, offshore wave height, etc.) all indicate another weekend of landings low enough to allow this extension.

For more information on the 2019 red snapper season and detailed landing estimates, visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/red-snapper.

The department urges anglers’ voluntary participation in its electronic reporting program to improve recreational harvest data collection. To learn how to participate in voluntarily reporting your catch, please reference the appropriate link below, depending on the make of your cellular device.

ROLP mobile app (Android phone)
ROLP mobile app (iPhone)

The Louisiana 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 . To receive email alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup

 

LDWF Artificial Reef Program’s Master Plan Addresses Loss of Shallow-water Platforms Along Louisiana Coast

Release Date: 10/07/2019

(October 7, 2019) - Today, Gov. John Bel Edwards and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Jack Montoucet have announced the LDWF’s Artificial Reef Program will help Louisiana anglers by preserving offshore fishing in the Gulf of Mexico where oil and gas platforms in less than 100 feet of water are being removed. 

LDWF’s Artificial Reef Program (Reef Program) recently presented a master plan to the Louisiana Artificial Reef Development Council (Artificial Reef Council) that would preserve more of the platforms that remain and restore habitat that has been lost. With critical input of anglers and conservation partners, the Reef Program identified hundreds of potential artificial reef sites—both existing and lost platforms where anglers have been highly successful catching fish.

Platforms further offshore are prime fishing sites for red snapper, amberjack and grouper.  Species such as spotted seatrout, sheepshead, and croaker are often found around platforms in shallower waters.

These platforms provide hard structure that is attractive to fish and otherwise not easy to find in the northern Gulf.  But international law and federal regulation require their removal when production of oil and gas ends and the mineral lease expires.

The Reef Program accepts oil and gas platforms as artificial reefs, but it has been difficult to reef the platforms in less than 100 feet water, for technical and financial reasons.

The Reef Program established a quarter nautical mile development and buffer zone around each of the favorite sites to reduce potential impacts on shrimp trawling.  The Reef Program staff, led by Artificial Reef Program head biologist Mike McDonough, also analyzed shrimp trawl effort data to ensure historical trawl activity within the zones was minimal.

The master plan and shrimp trawl analysis were presented to the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force for comments and suggestions. Suggestions were minimal and adjustments were made.

The potential artificial reef sites stretch from Cameron Parish to Plaquemines Parish, from three miles to 58 miles from shore, and will likely take many years to complete.  However, the master plan is now in place and will serve as a guidance document for recreating and maintaining important fisheries habitat in shallow-water areas off the coast of Louisiana.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commissioner Chad Courville and Rad Trascher from the Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) of Louisiana assisted in developing the plan. Their work soliciting favorite platforms from anglers helped ensure the master plan reflected angler preference while keeping impacts to other user groups at a minimum.

The Artificial Reef Program has already established several shallow-water reefs in the Gulf of Mexico, recently completing the South Marsh Island 233 West & East Reefs, also known as the Beaulieau Reefs, and Vermilion 119 & 124 Reefs, also known as the Rawls Reefs, in partnership with CCA Louisiana and St. Mary Parish-based DLS Energy.  These reefs serve as initial steps in completing this plan with more projects to be developed in the future.

 

Bussey Brake WMA Renovation Nears Completion

Release Date: 09/26/2019

Bussey Brake WMA Renovation Nears Completion
Bussey Brake WMA Renovation Nears Completion

Progress continues on the Bussey Brake Wildlife Management Area renovation project in Morehouse Parish. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ plan for the project includes a complete overhaul of the waterbody and installation of access facilities.
 
Renovation work was initiated in 2016 and is near completion. Construction of the launch site is now complete, which includes a new mooring dock, handicap-accessible fishing pier, wavebreak and lighting. A new custom pump used to fill the lake with water was delivered last week and is currently being installed. The lake should begin to refill within the next few weeks, contingent on an adequate water supply in Bayou Bartholomew.
 
In 2012, the 2,000-acre freshwater reservoir was donated to the department by International Paper and later established as a wildlife management area. For more information, contact Ryan Daniel at rdaniel@wlf.la.gov
or 318-343-4044. 
 

Governor Edwards: U.S. Commerce Secretary Approves Gov. Edwards' Request for Federal Disaster Declaration Following Historic Mississippi River Flood-Fighting Efforts

Release Date: 09/25/2019

Baton Rouge — The U.S. Department of Commerce has approved Gov. John Bel Edwards’ request and declared a federal fishery disaster today, which is an important step in Louisiana’s effort to qualify for millions in federal assistance for the state’s fishing industry after it was severely damaged by historic flooding this year.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced today that he has declared a fisheries disaster after finding that a catastrophic regional fishery disaster occurred for Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama due to extreme flooding events in the Gulf of Mexico.

“I appreciate President Trump and Secretary Ross for this emergency declaration, which is critically important to our fishing industry in Louisiana," Gov. Edwards said. "Right now, we believe that brown shrimp and oysters are the areas where we qualify for assistance based on our demonstrated losses over the last 12 months. However, we will continue to work with NOAA to collect and analyze necessary data to determine economic impacts on additional fisheries that have been affected.  Our shrimpers, oyster farmers and fishers suffered greatly as Louisiana engaged in a historic flood flight this year, including two openings of the Bonnet Carré spillway, as the river was in flood stage for 211 days. In Louisiana, these industries not only support thousands upon thousands of jobs, they help provide some of the best seafood in the world to consumers.”

The declaration makes Louisiana available for existing disaster assistance through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). For fiscal year 2019, Congress appropriated $165 million through NOAA for declared fishery disasters. The Department of Commerce is determining the appropriate allocations of these funds to eligible fisheries.

Any declared fishery disaster can be included and extensive losses in the oyster industry, coupled with brown shrimp landings value decreasing by nearly 50 percent over the last 12 months, helped qualify these fisheries for the disaster declaration.

LDWF will be collecting more data on other fisheries such as commercial blue crab, finfish, and white shrimp, as well as charter for-hire and recreational fisheries, in order to ensure that all fisheries that qualify for assistance are included.  LDWF will also be developing a spending plan to be approved by NOAA that will describe how any disaster assistance may be used to help rehabilitate the fisheries impacted by the 2019 flood. 

LDWF Secretary Jack Montoucet said, “It is anticipated that the spending plan will be ready for submittal to NOAA within the next few weeks.  It is hoped that once approved, disaster assistance funding will quickly be made available to Louisiana.”

 

Shrimp Task Force Legislative Committee to Meet October 2

Release Date: 09/25/2019

Shrimp Task Force
Legislative Committee Meeting
Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 9:30a.m.
Terrebonne Council Meeting Room
8026 Main St. Houma, LA 70360
AGENDA
 
I. Call to Order
II. Pledge of Allegiance
III. Introductions
IV. To Discuss Increasing Violations for Certain Shrimp Penalties – STF
V. Public Comment
VI. Set next meeting
VII. Adjourn
 
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. To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7741141703921070091
 
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.
 
To sign up for LDWF commercial fishing alerts sent as text messages or as emails visit http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/signup.
 
For press inquiries please contact Rene LeBreton, 504-286-8745 or rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

Shrimp Task Force to Meet October 2, 2019

Release Date: 09/25/2019

Shrimp Task Force Meeting
The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force Meeting. The public is invited to attend.
Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 10:00 a.m.
Terrebonne Council Meeting Room
8026 Main Street, Houma, LA 70360
AGENDA
I. Pledge of Allegiance
II. Roll Call and Introduction of Guests
III. Approval of the July 31, 2019 Shrimp Task Force Meeting Minutes
IV. Approval of October 2, 2019 Meeting Agenda
V. Treasury Report
A. Budget Report‐ LDWF
B. Online Ethics Training Reminder
VI. Federal Shrimp Permit Report
VII. New Business
A. To Discuss the Shrimp Bycatch Study- LDWF
B. To Hear an Update on Nearshore Planning Areas- LDWF
C. To Hear an Update on the Sediment Diversion Program- CPRA
D. To Hear an Update on Bidding to Purchase a Drone to be used for Shrimp Enforcement- STF
E. To Discuss and Consider Funding for the Purchase of Shrimp Task Force Shirts- STF
F. To Discuss Fall Season Ride-Alongs- STF
G. To Hear an Update on the Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board’s Shrimp Industry Marketing Efforts- STF
H. To Consider Funding for Shrimp Industry Marketing and Advertising- STF
I. To Discuss Shrimp Prices- STF
J. To Discuss and Consider Funding for STF Travel and Upcoming Washington, D.C. Events- STF
K. To Discuss Funding for STF Travel to Washington, D.C. for 2019-2020 Hill Meetings- STF
VIII. Public Comment
IX. Set Next Meeting
X. Adjourn
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. To listen in to the meeting via webinar register at: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/4174019219671451915
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