Fishing

LDWF WMAs and Refuges Reopening Sept. 1, Habitat Damage Assessment Continues

Release Date: 08/31/2012

Aug. 31, 2012 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will reopen 21 state wildlife management areas (WMAs) and refuges on Sept. 1. All had been closed in advance of Hurricane Isaac’s landfall. Flood waters and access roads blocked by storm debris are still preventing site openings in some areas.

Sites opening Sept. 1 include: The Acadiana Conservation Corridor, Atchafalaya Delta, Attakapas, Biloxi, Grassy Lake, Hutchinson Creek, Lake Boeuf, Marsh Island, Pass a Loutre, Pointe au Chenes (except Point Farms area), Pomme de Terre, Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge (except East End boat launch construction area), Salvador-Timken, Sandy Hollow, Sherburne, Spring Bayou, State WMA, Tangipahoa, Thistlethwaite, Tunica Hills and White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area.

Sites that remain closed until further notice include the following WMAs and refuges: Elm Hall (Assumption Parish); Elmer’s Island (Jefferson Parish); Joyce (Tangipahoa Parish); Lake Ramsey (St. Tammany Parish); Manchac (St. John the Baptist Parish); Maurepas Swamp (Ascension, Livingston, St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes); and Pearl River (St. Tammany Parish).

The Waddill Outdoor Education Center in Baton Rouge is closed due to storm impacts, but will reopen on Sept. 4.

Habitat and facility damage assessments are ongoing at sites impacted by storm winds and rain, and the public is advised to proceed with caution when accessing WMAs and refuges by boat or vehicle.

For a complete list of state WMAs and refuges, go to: http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/wma.

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.

LDWF Closes Elmer's Island Due to TS Isaac

Release Date: 08/26/2012

Aug. 26, 2012 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announces the temporary closing of Elmer's Island, located on the southwestern tip of Jefferson Parish. The National Weather Service in New Orleans has issued a hurricane watch for coastal areas of Louisiana. As a precautionary and preparedness  measure Elmer's Island will remain closed until further notice.

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 contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or 225-721-0489.

[CORRECTION] EMERGENCY CLOSURE OF SHRIMP SEASON IN PORTIONS OF INSIDE WATERS WITHIN LAFOURCHE AND TERREBONNE PARISHES

Release Date: 08/24/2012

Shrimp Closure map

[This announcement corrects information contained within an earlier news release.] 

August 24, 2012 -- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham, announced an emergency closure of the fall shrimp season in portions of inside waters within Lafourche and Terrebonne Parishes beginning at 6:00 pm August 27 and ending at 6:00 pm September 10.

The closure includes state inside waters from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the channel red buoy westward to the eastern shore of Bayou Lafourche.

Recent biological samples taken by Office of Fisheries biologists in that portion of state inside waters to close indicate that large numbers of small sublegal size shrimp are present in these waters and the season is being temporarily closed to allow sufficient time for these shrimp to grow to marketable sizes. All remaining state inside waters shall remain open to shrimping.

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, contact Martin Bourgeois at (985) 594-4130 or mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-2396 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

 

Chicot Lake Drawdown Scheduled

Release Date: 08/21/2012

Aug. 21, 2012 – The water control structure on Chicot Lake near Ville Platte, La., will be opened soon after Labor Day to allow for a lake drawdown.  The action is part of an integrated management plan developed to control submerged vegetation. 

In addition to the drawdown, the Department will continue herbicide applications, and triploid (sterile) grass carp will be introduced this winter.

Drawdowns on Chicot Lake will be conducted annually to mimic natural water fluctuation.  The target level for this year’s drawdown is two feet below pool stage.  Future drawdowns will be three foot below pool stage.

The lake will not be closed to fishing during the drawdown, but caution is advised of boaters during the low water period as boat lanes will not provide normal clearance for underwater obstructions. 

For further information regarding the drawdown, contact Jody David, LDWF Biologist Manager, at (337) 948-0255 or at jdavid@wlf.la.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.louisiana.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(225) 765-2396.

Commercial King Mackerel Season to Close August 22

Release Date: 08/21/2012

Aug. 21, 2012– Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the commercial season for king mackerel in Louisiana waters will close at noon on Wednesday, August 22, 2012.

The National Marine Fisheries Service will also close the commercial season for king mackerel in federal waters on Wednesday at noon.

The closure was made based on data gathered by LDWF biologists and the National Marine Fisheries Service that the annual quota for king mackerel of 1.01 million pounds for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico would soon be met. 

Each year, a commercial quota is established for Gulf of Mexico group king mackerel by NMFS based on recommendations by the Gulf and South Atlantic Fishery Management Councils. That figure is then divided into allocations for various zones and fisheries.  According to the best information available, the 1.01 million pound commercial quota of king mackerel for the western zone of the Gulf of Mexico will be harvested by August 22, 2012.

While there are relatively few king mackerel harvested or targeted by Louisiana recreational anglers, a substantial commercial fishery does exist, which typically lands 800 to 900 thousand pounds annually at Louisiana ports.  A significant portion of the king mackerel landed in Louisiana ports is shipped to markets in the northeast United States.

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504)284.2032 or jadriance@wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-2396 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

Shrimping in Portions of the Pontchartrain Basin to Close Saturday, July 14

Release Date: 07/10/2012

Spring Closure Map

(July 10, 2012) – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2012 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 a.m. on Saturday, July 14 in the remainder of state inside waters east of the Mississippi River except for the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line.

Effective with this closure, all state inside waters are closed to shrimping except for the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds.  All state outside waters also remain open to shrimping; however, certain areas are still closed to commercial fishing and certain recreational fishing activities due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Maps of the areas that remain closed to recreational and commercial fishing are posted to the LDWF website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicates increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp within these waters. The decision to close these areas was made in an effort to protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes.

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, contact Martin Bourgeois at (985) 594-4130 or mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-2396 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

Shrimp Season to Close Monday July 9 in Additional Portions of Inside Waters

Release Date: 07/02/2012

LA. Spring Shrimp Season Closures 7/9/12

July 2, 2012  – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the 2012 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 a.m. on Monday, July 9 in portions of the Pontchartrain Basin and all of the Mississippi River, Barataria and Mermentau River basins.

This shrimp season closure includes:

State inside waters from the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal westward to the eastern shore of the Calcasieu Ship Channel, and

State inside waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line westward to the eastern shore of Bayou Lafourche except for the following waters:

  • Lake Pontchartrain
  • Rigolets Pass
  • Chef Menteur Pass
  • Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO)
  • The part of Lake Borgne seaward of a line extending one-half mile from the shoreline
  • The portion of Mississippi Sound beginning at a point on the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary at 30 degrees 09 minutes 39.6 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west longitude; thence due south to a point at 30 degrees 05 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west longitude; thence southeasterly to a point on the western shore of Three-Mile Pass at 30 degrees 03 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 22 minutes 23.0 seconds west longitude; thence northeasterly to a point on Isle Au Pitre at 30 degrees 09 minutes 20.5 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 11 minutes 15.5 seconds west longitude, which is a point on the double–rig line as described in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2; thence northerly along the double–rig line to a point on the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary at 30 degrees 12 minutes 37.9056 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 10 minutes 57.9725 seconds west longitude; thence westerly along the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary to the point of beginning
  • The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line.

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicates increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp within these waters. The decision to close these areas was made in an effort to protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes.

In addition to Lake Pontchartrain, Chef and Rigolets Passes, Lake Borgne, MRGO and Mississippi, Breton and Chandeleur Sounds, the inshore shrimp season will remain open until further notice in the following areas:

  • State inside waters from the eastern shore of the Calcasieu Ship Channel westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line
  • All State outside waters

Certain areas are still closed to recreational and commercial fishing due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Maps of the areas still closed to recreational and commercial fishing are posted on the LDWF website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.

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, contact Martin Bourgeois at (985) 594-4130 or mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-0489 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

LWFC Approves Changes to Calcasieu Lake Oyster Harvester Permits

Release Date: 07/02/2012

July 2, 2012 – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved several rule changes concerning Calcasieu Lake Oyster Harvester Permits as required by Act 541 of the 2012 Louisiana Legislative Session. 

The changes include the removal of the limitation on the number of permits the Louisiana Department of Wildlife Fisheries (LDWF) can issue at any one time.  In addition, the qualifications for obtaining a permit are now the same for all permit applicants, which include holding current and valid commercial fisherman oyster harvester licenses.

The permit remains free of charge and is a requirement for anyone seeking to commercially harvest oysters in Calcasieu Lake.  Permits will now be issued on a calendar year basis and will be valid for one year.  Initial application for a permit must be made at the LDWF point of sale windows in Baton Rouge.

Harvest vessels in Calcasieu Lake are required to have the permit onboard the vessel at all times while commercially harvesting oysters. 

Public comments on the proposed rule will be accepted until August 20, 2012.  Comments may be submitted to Patrick Banks, Office of Fisheries, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email to pbanks@wlf.la.gov.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant 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 Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.govor (225) 721-0489.

LWFC Approves Two New Data Collection Measures for the Recreational Harvest of Reef Fish

Release Date: 07/02/2012

July 2, 2012 – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved two notices of intent regarding the recreational harvest of reef fishincluding new reporting requirements and the utilization of a free, Offshore Recreational Landings permit. 

The two new measures are the Department’s first steps in a movement towards regional management.  The Department will use this information to collect essential angler and harvest data, which will in turn provide additional liberties and flexibility for recreational fishermen.  

Current management of reef fish involves not only LDWF, but also the federal government.  Management decisions are set for the entire Gulf of Mexico, rather than specific seasons and limits for each fishery at a regional or state level.  These decisions are based upon limited data, often unavailable on a timely basis.  The notices of intent passed today by the Commission will allow data to be readily available shortly after being collected. 

The first notice of intent expands the use of the Offshore Recreational Landings Permit to include all species of amberjack, grouper, hind and snapper, with the exception of gray snapper.  The Offshore Recreational Landings Permit was ratified by the Commission earlier this year and was originally approved for tuna, billfish and swordfish.  This free permit will soon be available to the public. 

In a related action, the Commission also approved a notice of intent that modifies current reef fish regulations.  Regulations will now require reporting and validation for certain recreationally landed reef fish.  Reef fish included in the expanded reporting requirements are: red snapper, greater amberjack, gag grouper, red grouper, black grouper, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, scamp, rock hind and red hind.  The reporting requirements for reef fish would be similar to those approved for yellowfin tuna earlier this year by the Commission. 

Future modifications to reef fish regulations would allow the LDWF Secretary to close, open, reopen or reclose any reef fish season if state or federal landings allocations are met. 

Public comments on both notices of intent will be accepted until Thursday, October 4, 2012.  Comments may be submitted to Jason Adriance, Office of Fisheries, LDWF, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000 or via email at jadriance@wlf.la.gov.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant 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 Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 721-0489.

Recreational Fishing for Gray Triggerfish to Close in Louisiana Waters

Release Date: 07/02/2012

July 2, 2012 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced recreational fishing for gray triggerfish will close in Louisiana waters on July 4, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. and will remain closed until January 1, 2013.

NOAA Fisheries has determined that the recreational quota of 217,000 pounds was met, and the closure is necessary to prevent further overfishing.  NOAA Fisheries closed the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico on June 11. 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham was authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at today’s meeting to change or modify opening and closing dates for the recreational gray triggerfish season in Louisiana waters to comply with changes or modifications in season dates in federal waters.  This action ensures that regulations in state waters will be consistent with regulations for federally managed waters.

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.govon Facebook at www.facebook.com/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Jason Adriance at (504) 284-2032 or jadriance @wlf.la.gov.  For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-2396 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

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