Fishing

State Closes Two Oyster Harvest Areas, Allows Some Oyster Relocation

Release Date: 05/13/2011

Special Bedding-Only Oyster Season Map

Precautionary closures protect human health; relocation of oysters helps prevent further damage to commercial industry

May 13, 2011 -- Today Louisiana officials announced precautionary closures of two oyster harvesting areas that are receiving large amounts of freshwater intrusion from the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway and from the Mississippi River.

Officials also announced that oysters in some areas east of the Mississippi River may be relocated from beds that will be inundated with fresh water to other seed grounds or oyster leases out of the way of the flood waters coming through the spillway into Lake Pontchartrain and into the Gulf of Mexico. A special permit is required for relocation of oysters from an area closed for traditional harvest to an area specifically for bedding purposes. The permit is not required if the harvest area is open for harvest.

Closures

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals is closing oyster harvest areas 1 and 7. The closures will take effect at sunset, Saturday, May 14, 2011. Area 1 is in Lake Borgne in Orleans and St. Bernard parishes, and Area 7 in Plaquemines Parish. Both oyster harvesting areas are on the east side of the Mississippi river.

Louisiana State Health Officer, Jimmy Guidry, M.D., and Department of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce D. Greenstein signed the orders today. The closures will remain in effect until officials are able to verify the safety of the resource for human consumption. 

DHH is monitoring all impacted oyster beds and doing routine water testing to ensure public health. State officials have notified local oyster harvesters that work in the affected areas, as well as the Louisiana Oyster Task Force.

Resource Relocation

A special bedding-only season has also been announced by state officials today. At an emergency Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting, the commission voted to open a special "bedding-only" oyster season for public seed grounds in the Lake Borgne and Mississippi Sound area in St. Bernard Parish. The special season, which will open at one-half hour before sunrise on Saturday, May 14, 2011 and shall close at one-half hour after sunset on May 31, will allow the oyster industry an opportunity to relocate oysters ahead of possible freshwater impacts from the opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway. 

This special oyster season allows the harvest of seed oysters for bedding purposes only in the public oyster seed grounds within:

  • Harvest area 1
  • Harvest area 2
  • That portion of Harvest area 3 located north of a line of latitude 30 degrees 00 minutes 00.0 seconds N and east of a line of longitude 89 degrees 22 minutes 50.0 seconds W.

The special "bedding-only" season described above shall be opened with the following provisions:

1. All oysters on board a vessel actively harvesting oysters in the public seed grounds described above shall be presumed to have been taken from the public seed grounds described above.
2. No oyster harvester who is actively harvesting oysters in the public seed ground described above shall have on board his vessel any sacks or containers which may be used to hold oysters for transport to market.
3. No harvester shall sell, or transport with his vessel, oysters intended for market sales on the same day that he harvested seed oysters from the public seed grounds described above.

Harvestable quantities of oyster resources exist on these public oyster seed grounds. The opening of the Bonnet Carre Spillway places those resources in imminent peril. As significant oyster mortalities could be experienced due to the anticipated depression, the special season is a necessary step to protect and preserve Louisiana's oyster resources. 

The Commission gave the Secretary of the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Robert Barham, authorization to take emergency action as necessary to open or close public oyster areas based on the best available biological data.

Beginning Sunday, May 15, 2011, harvesters that seek to participate in the oyster relocation or "bedding-only" season in Harvest Area 1 must have a special permit that requires notification of where transplanted oysters will be relocated. A permit is not required on Saturday, May 14, 2011, because Harvest Area 1 will still be open. Oysters harvested and relocated to a new lease may not be harvested for consumption or for the public marketplace for at least 14 days -- ample time for the oysters to filter any contaminants. Permits can be obtained at the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Office of Public Health Commercial Seafood Program, located at 628 North 4th St., room 156, in downtown Baton Rouge. The special permit requires a $5,000 bond. 

The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals strives to protect and promote health statewide and to ensure access to medical, preventive and rehabilitative services for all state citizens. To learn more about DHH, visit http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov. For up-to-date health information, news and emergency updates, follow DHH's blog, Twitter account and Facebook page.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with maintaining 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 emergency updates from the State of Louisiana, visit emergency.louisiana.gov or follow along on Twitter at @GOHSEP and Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/gohsep.

Cabela's "Wanna Go Fishing For Millions" Partners with LDWF

Release Date: 05/12/2011

Fish worth up to $2.2 million could soon be swimming in Louisiana waters

May 12, 2011 – Get out your shiny lures and round up your fishing gear.  Cabela’s announced Wanna Go Fishing for Millions?, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win millions of dollars in cash and prizes by enjoying one of America’s favorite pastimes – fishing.

Cabela’s is tagging hundreds of fish in selected waters in states that have Cabela’s retail stores – including Louisiana – and every one of them is a winner.  Among the winning fish, there are grand prize winners that may qualify for additional bonuses based on the winning angler using or wearing sponsors’ products when they catch a tagged fish.

LDWF is Cabela’s state partner and will tag fish in selected waters, which will be publicly announced on May 14, the official start of the contest.  The contest runs through July 14.

“This competition is a great way to generate angler interest,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “We encourage anglers of all ages and skill levels to experience the sport of fishing and enjoy the beautiful resources Louisiana has to offer.”

Winning is as easy as baiting a hook.  Go to LDWF’s website for contest information at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/fishing/recreational-fishing.  Anglers need to pre-register and hit their local waters between May 14 and July 14 for their chance at winning a fish worth $2.2 million.  Anglers also need a valid fishing license in order to participate in the contest.  To purchase a Louisiana fishing license, visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/licenses/fishing.

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.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

 

For more information contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

TOP FISHING DESTINATION NEXT STOP ON LOUISIANA SALTWATER SERIES TOURNAMENT TRAIL

Release Date: 05/10/2011

 

(May 10, 2011) -The Louisiana Saltwater Series Fishing Tournament, hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), heads to popular fishing destination Venice, La., on May 14, 2011, at the Venice Marina.  The series is dedicated to catch-and-release saltwater angling through a series of agency-sponsored fishing tournaments.

The series was developed by LDWF in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to promote conservation of Louisiana’s saltwater sport fish resources and targets one of Louisiana’s most valuable sport fish, redfish.  

The grassroots-based tournament provides anglers with the opportunity to give back to the resource.  Contestants vie for cash prizes and test their skill while enjoying the thrill of the competitive sport. 

Thus far, the competition has attracted over 175 local anglers and more than 180 fish have been tagged.

Each series includes two-man teams with a $200 entry fee for each event. For teams consisting of three members, only two of the members may be 16 or older.  The tournament is a 100 percent payout series.

This year, a youth division was established to introduce young anglers to the sport of fishing, and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation. Participants under 16 years of age will compete against one another in a separate category for trophy catch; all youth anglers will be recognized. 

The 2011 series is comprised of six fishing events and a championship. Tournament locations are scheduled across the coast.  The 2011 tournament schedule is as follows: 

  • April 2 Lafitte, Seaway Marina;
  • April 30 Lake Calcasieu, Calcasieu Point Landing;
  • May 14 Venice, Venice Marina;
  • June 18 Delacroix, Sweetwater Marina;
  • July 23 Slidell, Dockside Bait and Tackle/The Dock;
  •  August 20 Port Fourchon, Moran’s Marina; and
  • Championship October 7 and 8 Empire, The Delta Marina.

Online registration for the tournament will close on Thursday, May 12 at noon, but those interested in participating can register at Venice Marina from 5 to 6 a.m., the morning of the event.  Only cash or checks will be accepted for payment of registration fees the morning of the event. 

Venice Marina will provide food during weigh-in for all registered participants. 

For complete information, including rules, regulations and entry forms go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com

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.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

 

LDWF Reminds Commercial Fishermen of Spring Shrimp Season Dates

Release Date: 05/09/2011

2011 spring shrimp season

Seasons remain unchanged for now

May 9, 2011 – Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries officials remind fishermen the 2011 Spring Shrimp Season will remain unchanged.  The season for Louisiana waters was set at last week’s Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission meeting. 

The 2011 Louisiana shrimp season will open as follows:

Shrimp Management Zone 1

  • The portion of Zone 1 from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the northern shore of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) will open at 6 a.m., May 23.
  • The portion of Zone 1 from the northern shore of the MRGO to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to open at 6 a.m. May 16.

Shrimp Management Zone 2

  • The portion of Zone 2 west of the western shore of Bayou Lafourche to open at 6 a.m., May 13.
  • The portion of Zone 2 from Bayou Lafourche to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to open at 6 a.m., May 16.
  • The portion of Zone 2 from the Atchafalaya River to the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island open last Friday May 6, at 6 a.m. and remains open.

Shrimp Management Zone 3

  • All of Zone 3, from the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island to the Louisiana/Texas state line, to open at 6 a.m. May 16.

 

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 the latest information on rising levels Mississippi River visit www.emergency.la.gov

 

LDWF Officials Remind Public, Commercial Fisheries Remain Open

Release Date: 05/08/2011

 

Officials urge commercial and recreational fishermen to follow all public safety advisories.

May 8, 2011 - In anticipation of the opening of the Bonnet Carre and Morganza spillways, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) officials reaffirm that commercial fisheries with active seasons will remain open. Officials also remind commercial and recreational fishermen, and boaters to follow all safety guidance from the US Coast Guard, LDWF enforcement officers and the Louisiana State Police. 

Currently, there is a special shrimp season open in Vermilion Bay and details may be found here. Officials have also authorized the start of the spring shrimp season in stages across the Louisiana coast. Details on the season, which shall open in some areas on May 13, 2011, may be found here.  The oyster season on public seed grounds remains closed. 

High water levels in the Mississippi River have warranted boating advisories from officials throughout Louisiana. LDWF enforcement agents are patrolling high water areas to ensure traffic and wakes do not impact houses or camps where ever possible.

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 atwww.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information contact Olivia Watkins at owatkins@wlf.la.gov or at (225) 610-8660.

 

LDWF Announces Spring Shrimp Season

Release Date: 05/05/2011

Spring Shrimp Season Opening Dates Map

May 5, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2011 Louisiana spring shrimp season. The opening dates were set based on recommendations made by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and public comments. The commission also granted LDWF Secretary Robert Barham the authority to adjust these season dates based upon biological/technical data and/or threats to the resource caused by high river stages or the opening of the Bonnet Carre spillway or Morganza spillway.

The 2011 Louisiana shrimp season will open as follows:

Shrimp Management Zone 1

  • The portion of Zone 1 from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the northern shore of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) will open at 6 a.m., May 23.
  • The portion of Zone 1 from the northern shore of the MRGO to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to open at 6 a.m. May 16.

Shrimp Management Zone 2

  1. The portion of Zone 2 west of the western shore of Bayou Lafourche to open at 6 a.m., May 13.
  2. The portion of Zone 2 from Bayou Lafourche to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to open at 6 a.m., May 16. 
  3. The portion of Zone 2 from the Atchafalaya River to the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island was ordered to open by the Secretary effective May 6, at 6 a.m.

Shrimp Management Zone 3

  1. All of Zone 3, from the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island to the Louisiana/Texas state line, to open at 6 a.m. May 16.

Development of LDWF management recommendations for spring inshore opening dates utilize criteria which project the date when a minimum of 50 percent of the inshore brown shrimp population sampled reach sizes of 100 count (per pound) or larger. 

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 more information, please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-2363.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Meeting May 10 in Baton Rouge

Release Date: 05/04/2011

May 4, 2011 – Next Tuesday, May 10 at 1 p.m. the Louisiana Oyster Task Force will meet at the Capitol Park Welcome Center in Baton Rouge, located at 702 N River Road. 

The agenda for tomorrow’s meeting is as follows:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of  March 29, 2011 MINUTES
  3. Treasury Report
    1. Oyster Tag Sales
    2. LOTF Financial Report
  4. Committee Reports
    1. Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee – (Buddy Pausina)
    2. Enforcement   - (Keith Lacaze)
    3. Legislative - (Jakov Jurisic)
    4. Research – (John Supan)
    5. Coastal Restoration – (Dan Coulon)
    6. Marketing - (Dana Brocato)
    7. Health – (Glenn Cambre)
  5. Old Business
    1. Public Oyster Reef Evaluation & Shell Plant – Patrick Banks
    2. BP Oil Spill Remediation
      1. Claims Process
      2. Public Reef Remediation
      3. Oyster Lease Remediation
    3. Oyster Lease Moratorium Update
    4. Sabine Lake Oyster Reefs Update
  6. New Business
    1. Oyster-Related Legislative Bills Review
    2. Trip Tickets:  Adding Oyster Lease and Vessel Information – Dana Brocato
  7. Set Next Meeting
  8. Adjourn

This meeting is open to the public.

For more information contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504)286-8735.

Winners Announced for Second Stop on Louisiana Saltwater Series Tournament Trail

Release Date: 05/03/2011

May 3, 2011 – On Saturday, April 30, 2011, the second annual Louisiana Saltwater Series made its second stop on the tournament trail at Calcasieu Point Landing in Lake Charles, La., with 26 boats entered and over $4,000 awarded in cash prizes.

The series was developed by LDWF in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to promote conservation of Louisiana’s saltwater sport fish resources and targets one of Louisiana’s most valuable sport fish, redfish.  

Taking home first place overall were Blake Champion and Mike Lambert with a two fish total weight of 11.7 pounds.

A total of 69 redfish were tagged and released during Saturday’s event.  The results of the tagging will aid conservation efforts for redfish in the future, helping to ensure healthy populations and a successful recreational fishing industry.

Visit www.lasaltwaterseries.com for more information including event photographs and a complete listing of results, and be sure to mark your calendars for our next tournament on May 14 at Venice Marina.  Each series includes two-man teams with a $200 entry fee for each event. For teams consisting of three members, only two of the members may be 16 or older.  The tournament is a 100 percent payout series.

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.louisiana.gov on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

*Photos available upon request. 

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