Fishing

Commercial Fishing For Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks To Open In State Waters January 1st

Release Date: 12/10/2015

News Release
 
For Immediate Release
December 10, 2015
 
Contact: Rene LeBreton
Public Information
LDWF
(504) 286-8745
 
rlebreton@wlf.la.gov
 
Commercial fishing for Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks will open in Louisiana waters at 12:01 a.m. January 1, 2016.  Federal waters will also open in the Gulf of Mexico at this time.
 
The commercial and recreational season for the harvest of all sharks in Louisiana state waters will be closed from 12:01 a.m. April 1, 2016 until 12:01 p.m. July 1, 2016 per an existing fixed seasonal closure to protect shark pupping.   The commercial season will remain open in Federal waters until 80 percent of the federal quota for a given fishery has been harvested or is projected to be harvested in the Gulf of Mexico.
 
During the open season, commercial harvest of Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Sharks and Pelagic Sharks are regulated by the existing federal and state rules regarding trip limits, allowable species, and requirements for permits and landings, as laid out in federal and state regulations. 
 
The Non-Sandbar Large Coastal Shark group is composed of the great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse shark, blacktip shark, bull shark, lemon shark, silky shark, spinner shark, and tiger shark.  While sandbar shark are a member of the Large Coastal Shark group, only specifically designated federally permitted vessels may take sandbar shark while operating under conditions of that research permit. Commercial fishing for Large Coastal Sharks will remain open until 80 percent of the federal quota (769,421 pounds dressed weight) has been met.
 
Commercial fishing for Small Coastal Sharks will resume in Louisiana waters on January 1, as well, through December 31, 2016, or until 80 percent of the federal quota (236,603 pounds dressed weight) has been met.  The Small Coastal Shark fishery consists of the commercial fisheries for blacknose and non-blacknose small coastal sharks.  Blacknose sharks are a member of the Small Coastal Shark group; however they are managed under a separate quota that is linked to the overall Small Coastal Shark quota.  The Small Coastal Shark group is composed of bonnethead shark, Atlantic sharpnose shark, blacknose shark and finetooth shark and remained open for all of 2015. 
 
There is no allowable harvest at any time for all Prohibited Species, which include Basking shark, white shark, bigeye sand tiger, sand tiger, whale shark, smalltooth sawfish, largetooth sawfish, Atlantic angel shark, Caribbean sharpnose shark, smalltail shark, bignose shark, Caribbean reef shark, dusky shark, Galapagos shark, narrowtooth shark, night shark, bigeye sixgill shark, bigeye thresher shark, longfin mako, sevengill shark and sixgill shark.
 
For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504)284-2032 or jadriance@wlf.louisiana.gov. 
 
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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

LDWF Enhances Spawning Habitat on False River

Release Date: 12/09/2015

(Dec. 9, 2015) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in cooperation with the Pointe Coupee Parish Police Jury recently completed the installation of the three gravel beds on False River near New Roads to enhance fish spawning habitat on the lake. Siltation had previously covered much of the lake’s natural hard bottom, essential for nesting sportfish.
 
Approximately 24 yards of gravel provided by the police jury were distributed throughout three locations. These beds play an important role in the restoration of False River and promote the spawning of bass, bream and sac-a-lait.
 
Each spawning bed is roughly 400 square feet, measuring in strips of 20-foot by 20- foot or 10-foot by 40-foot, and measuring in thickness of about four inches of gravel. 
 
Alterations that occurred primarily during the 1970s and 80s along and within this oxbow lake’s watershed resulted in deterioration of the water quality, aquatic vegetation and fisheries. A watershed management plan was drafted in 2013 to address issues within the watershed. The plan draws from the expertise of many parish, state and federal agencies, including LDWF, the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Environmental Quality, the Department of Health and Hospitals, the Department of Agriculture and Forestry, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, as well as other local stakeholders.
 
With the completion of this project, a total of ten artificial reef beds were installed on the lake as part of the False River Restoration Plan.
 
For video footage of gravel bed installation, click here.  

Harvest of Seed Oysters to Close On Public Oyster Seed Grounds East of MS River and South of MRGO

Release Date: 12/07/2015

News Release

For Immediate Release
December 4, 2015

Contact: Rene LeBreton
Public Information
LDWF
(504) 286-8745
rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced that the harvest of seed oysters for bedding purposes shall close in all public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River and south of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), including the Bay Gardene Public Oyster Seed Reservation, at one half hour after sunset on Friday, December 11, 2015.  This public oyster area remains open for the harvest of oysters three inches in length or greater for market purposes. These public oyster seed grounds hold a limited oyster supply and harvest pressure during the oyster season, which opened on October 19, has depleted the seed oyster resource and removed excessive amounts of non-living reef material.  Protection of the remaining oyster reef resources is in the long-term best interest of oyster conservation in this area. 

The Commission authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ 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.

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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

Oyster Harvest to Close On Public Oyster Seed Grounds East of MS River and North of MRGO

Release Date: 12/04/2015

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has announced that the harvest of oysters shall close in all public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River and north of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), including Lake Borgne, at one half hour after sunset on Monday, December 7, 2015.  Oyster harvest south of the MRGO will remain open until further notice.

Since the season opened on October 19, 2015, excessive undersize oyster violations have occurred in this area indicating that the vast majority of the remaining oyster resources are sub-market size (less than three inches in length).  The closure is necessary to protect undersized oysters, allowing growth for future harvest opportunities.  Protection of the remaining oyster reef resources is in the long-term best interest of oyster conservation in this area.

The Commission authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ 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.

Independence Island Artificial Reef Expansion Completed in Barataria Bay

Release Date: 12/04/2015

 

News Release
For Immediate Release
December 4, 2015

Contact: Ashley Wethey
Public Information
LDWF
(504) 286-8733
awethey@wlf.la.gov

 

Independence Island Artificial Reef Expansion Completed in Barataria Bay


Offloading material from barge

Depositing material onto reef site


Limestone material

 


Site location map

Enhancement of the Independence Island artificial reef site north of Grand Terre in Barataria Bay was completed early this week. This newest enhancement is another partnership between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana and will provide additional hard bottom relief in this popular fishing area. 

An addition of 6,700 tons of limestone was added to a previously barren portion in the northeast section of the 50-acre artificial reef planning area. The limestone added created two parallel mounds, providing refuge for fish in this area with strong tidal flow. This hard material will create complex structure and habitat for a variety of aquatic organisms including popular recreational species like redfish, speckled trout, black drum, sheepshead and flounder.  

Independence Island is one of many examples of former marsh islands that have slipped beneath the waves due to coastal land loss. Now a shoal, the submerged island provides limited natural reef habitat for aquatic species. In 2011, the Department in partnership with CCA Louisiana began enhancement to the area through the establishment of a roughly four acre artificial reef comprised of 8,000 tons of crushed limestone. The initial Independence Island reef was an essential effort to rebuild areas along our coast damaged by erosion, thus replenishing aquatic habitats for our coastal species.

The Independence Island reef site is located approximately 1.5 miles east of Queen Bess Island in the southwestern portion of Barataria Bay. Nearest launch locations are Sand Dollar Marina in Grand Isle and Bridge Side Marina in Grand Isle. Coordinates for the expansion are 29° 18' 32.15", 89° 55' 52.40”.

For more information, including reef locations and maps, visit the Louisiana Artificial Reef Program site here.

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 or www.FishLA.org.

 

Independence Island Artificial Reef Expansion Completed in Barataria Bay

Release Date: 12/04/2015

 

News Release
For Immediate Release
December 4, 2015

Contact: Ashley Wethey
Public Information
LDWF
(504) 286-8733
awethey@wlf.la.gov

 

Independence Island Artificial Reef Expansion Completed in Barataria Bay


Offloading material from barge

Depositing material onto reef site


Limestone material

 


Site location map

Enhancement of the Independence Island artificial reef site north of Grand Terre in Barataria Bay was completed early this week. This newest enhancement is another partnership between the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana and will provide additional hard bottom relief in this popular fishing area. 

An addition of 6,700 tons of limestone was added to a previously barren portion in the northeast section of the 50-acre artificial reef planning area. The limestone added created two parallel mounds, providing refuge for fish in this area with strong tidal flow. This hard material will create complex structure and habitat for a variety of aquatic organisms including popular recreational species like redfish, speckled trout, black drum, sheepshead and flounder.  

Independence Island is one of many examples of former marsh islands that have slipped beneath the waves due to coastal land loss. Now a shoal, the submerged island provides limited natural reef habitat for aquatic species. In 2011, the Department in partnership with CCA Louisiana began enhancement to the area through the establishment of a roughly four acre artificial reef comprised of 8,000 tons of crushed limestone. The initial Independence Island reef was an essential effort to rebuild areas along our coast damaged by erosion, thus replenishing aquatic habitats for our coastal species.

The Independence Island reef site is located approximately 1.5 miles east of Queen Bess Island in the southwestern portion of Barataria Bay. Nearest launch locations are Sand Dollar Marina in Grand Isle and Bridge Side Marina in Grand Isle. Coordinates for the expansion are 29° 18' 32.15", 89° 55' 52.40”.

For more information, including reef locations and maps, visit the Louisiana Artificial Reef Program site here.

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 or www.FishLA.org.

 

Louisiana Fisheries Forward to Host Crab Industry Workshop

Release Date: 12/03/2015

(Dec. 3, 2015) - Louisiana Fisheries Forward, a Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and Louisiana Sea Grant collaborative program, will host a free, crab industry workshop next week in Madisonville.
 
Workshop topics include shedding problems and solutions, crab license information, water quality, value-added products and more. These presentations are designed to help those in the crab industry thrive in a constantly changing marketplace.
 
The workshop is scheduled as follows:
 
Wednesday, December 9, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Lake Pontchartain Basin Maritime Museum
133 Mabel Drive
Madisonville, La.
 
LFF was established with the goal of improving the economic success of Louisiana’s commercial fishing industry by showcasing new technology and best practice methods.
 
To register or for more information, contact Carol Franze (985) 543-4129 or Julie Anderson (225) 578-0771.
 
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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.
 
Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant (www.laseagrant.org) has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant College Program, a network of 33 university-based programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico.

LWF Commission Modifies Rules for Commercial Large Coastal Shark Harvest

Release Date: 12/03/2015

 

News Release
 
For Immediate Release
December 3, 2015
 
Contact: Rene LeBreton
Public Information
LDWF
(504) 286-8745
rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

LWF Commission Modifies Rules for Commercial Large Coastal Shark Harvest

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission took action on a Declaration of Emergency to modify the commercial harvest possession limits for non-sandbar, large coastal sharks. The commercial possession limit will increase from 36 to 45 for 2016 commercial harvest. 
 
Earlier in 2015, the National Marine Fisheries Service promulgated rules establishing this increase. Today’s action will provide consistency with federal regulations and increased opportunity for Louisiana shark fishermen.
 
The Declaration of Emergency also allows the Secretary of the Department to modify the possession limit during the 2016 commercial season if he is notified by NMFS that the federal possession limit has been changed in-season. 
 
In a related action, the Commission also took action on a Notice of Intent to permanently modify the commercial non-sandbar large coastal shark possession limits. 
 
The non-sandbar large coastal sharks group includes great hammerhead, scalloped hammerhead, smooth hammerhead, nurse, blacktip, bull, lemon, silky, spinner and tiger sharks. Sandbar sharks are included in the large coastal sharks group; however, harvest and possession is prohibited without a special federal shark research permit issued by NMFS.
 
Interested persons may submit comments relative to the proposed rule to Jason Adriance, Fisheries Division, Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via e-mail to jadriance@wlf.la.gov prior to March 3, 2016.
 
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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

 

Shrimp Task Force to Meet December 9th

Release Date: 12/01/2015

 

News Release
 
For Immediate Release
December 1, 2015
 
Contact: Rene LeBreton
Public Information
LDWF
(504) 286-8745
rlebreton@wlf.la.gov

Shrimp Task Force Meeting Set for December 9th

 
Mark Abraham, Chairman
The following is the agenda for the Louisiana Shrimp Task Force Meeting. The public is invited to attend.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015, 10:00 a.m.
Terrebonne Council Meeting Room
8026 Main Street, Houma, LA 70360
 
AGENDA

  1. Roll call and introduction of guests
  2. Approval of September 14, 2015 meeting minutes and December 9, 2015 agenda
  3. Treasury Report
  4. Old Business
    A. Sustainability update- Damon Morris
  5. New Business
    A. Shrimp enforcement and penalties- Andy Gibson
    B. Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority (CPRA) recommendations on Mississippi River Diversions
    C. Officer Elections
  6. Public Comment
  7. Set Next Meeting
  8. 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/4448837722159705602
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 or www.FishLA.org. To receive recreational or commercial fishing email and text alerts, signup at http://www.wlf.la.gov/signup.

 

LDWF Urges New Orleans Area Families to Get Out and Fish!

Release Date: 11/24/2015

(Nov. 24, 2015) - Join the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, St. Bernard Parish and the St. Bernard Sportsman’s League at Sidney D. Torres Memorial Park in Chalmette on Saturday, December 12 for the next installment of our Get Out and Fish! community fishing event series. Prior to the event, the Department will stock 600 pounds of rainbow trout donated by Greer’s National Fish Hatchery.
 
This free event offers fun fishing activities for all ages including a mobile touch tank, casting inflatable and more. The first 100 pre-registered participants will receive a free goody bag.  In addition, every participant will be entered into a raffle drawing to win prizes. The St. Bernard Parish Fire Department will provide lunch.
 
Fishing competition categories include heaviest rainbow trout and heaviest “other” fish. Age divisions include Little Angler (ages 8 and under), Junior Angler (ages 9-15) and Adult Angler (ages 16 and older). Anglers 16 and older must possess a valid Louisiana fishing license.
 
Online registration is available here. Participants should bring their own gear, bait, tackle and ice chest to keep fish caught.
 
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.
 
Sponsors for the event include Hook and Line Sporting Goods, Studio Inferno, St. Bernard Sportsman’s League, St. Bernard-Arabi Kiwanis, Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation, St. Bernard Fire Department and the Coastal Conservation Association of Louisiana.
 
For event information, contact Danica Williams at dwilliams@wlf.la.gov or (504) 628-7282.
 
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.
   

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