Fishing

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet Next Tuesday

Release Date: 01/20/2011

The Louisiana Oyster Task Force will meet next Tuesday January 25 at 1 p.m. at the UNO Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in suite 210 in New Orleans, LA.
The agenda is as follows:

Agenda

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of Nov 30, 2010 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 – Patrick Banks
    2. BP Oil Spill Remediation
      1. Claims Process
      2. Public Reef Remediation
      3. Oyster Lease Remediation
    3. ISSC 2011 Board / VMC Meeting Report
    4. Oyster Lease Moratorium Update – Jerome Zeringue
  6. New Business
    1. Washington Walk on the Hill 
  7. Election of Officers
  8. Set Next Meeting
  9. Adjourn

This meeting is open to the public.

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. 

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet Next Tuesday

Release Date: 01/20/2011

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet Tuesday, January 25, 2011. The meeting will convene at 10:30 a.m. in Suite 200 of the University of New Orleans Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in New Orleans. The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting is as follows:

  1. Approval of Minutes From August 27, 2010 Meeting
  2. Hearing of New Appeals
    1. Henry Martin
  3. Set next meeting date
  4. Adjourn

This board was established for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries to hear and consider appeals of vessel permit denials. For more information, please contact Laura Deslatte at 225-610-2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov.

Three Louisiana Men Found In Possession of 146 Speckled Trout

Release Date: 01/13/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents assigned to the Statewide Strike Force charged three men for allegedly taking 146 speckled trout on Jan. 12, in Golden Meadow in two separate cases.

Strike Force agents cited Lebron Shelby, 46, and Linkton Arnold Jr., 72, both of Raceland, and Michael Musco, 38, of Golden Meadow for taking over the legal daily limit of speckled sea trout. Louisiana law allows 25 speckled trout per day per fisherman.

Agents setup surveillance and observed Shelby and Arnold Jr. catching several trout from their boat and then transferring the fish to their truck. The subjects would then continue fishing. After observing the subjects complete their fishing trip, the agents approached Shelby and Arnold Jr. to conduct a license and creel compliance check. The two men were found to have taken 109 speckled trout ranging from 12 to 17 inches in length.

In a separate case in the same area, agents observed Musco taking 35 speckled trout.

For taking over the daily limit of spotted trout, Shelby and Arnold Jr. faces fines between $400 and $950, or up to 120 days in jail, or both plus a $25 per fish restitution charge for every fish over the limit. Musco faces a fine between $100 and $300, or up to 60 days in jail, or both plus a $25 per fish restitution charge for every fish over the limit.

Agents involved in the cases were Sgt. Todd Laviolette, Sgt. Ezekiel Talbert, Senior agent Michael Williams and Agent Ronnie Engelhard.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Crab Task Force to Discuss Industry Issues at Jan. 13 Meeting

Release Date: 01/12/2011

The Louisiana Crab Task Force will meet on Thursday, January 13, 2011 at 4:30 p.m. in the Louisiana Room of the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Headquarters Building in Baton Rouge.

The Task Force will discuss industry issues, including the status of Blue Crab MSC Certification, a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation grant proposal for the Derelict Crab Removal Program, and Task Force vacancies. The Task Force will also address issues faced by the blue crab industry related to BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill, marketing and promotion efforts, and the election of a chairman and a vice-chairman.

The Louisiana Crab Task Force is an industry group comprised of fishermen, soft crab shedders, and dealers and processors, as well as state agency and university representatives. The Task Force advises the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission on matters pertaining to the management and development of the Louisiana blue crab industry. 

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 (225) 610-2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov.

SIX MEN FOUND IN POSSESSION OF 94 RED DRUM

Release Date: 01/10/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents assigned to the Statewide Strike Force charged six men with possessing 94 red drum on Dec. 27, 2010 in Fourchon.

Strike Force agents cited Eric R. Wood, 23, of Ethel; John M. Calhoun III, 22, of Zachary; Anthony M. Guidry, 32, of Larose; Tad M. Gaspard, 40, of Lockport; John M. Calhoun Jr., 46, of Greenwell Springs; and Ted Joseph Gaspard, 50, of Lockport; for possessing more than 10 red drum each.

Agents received a complaint from a confidential informant in reference to several subjects angling from the bank near Flotation Canal located in Fourchon.

Agents arrived on scene to setup surveillance and observed the subjects catching several red drum and placing the fish in a boat that was in the bed of a truck. After observing the subjects for more than an hour, agents approached the subjects to conduct a license and creel compliance check.

The six men were found to be in possession of 94 red drum ranging from 16 inches to 25 inches in length. Louisiana law allows five red drum per day per fisherman and 10 fish for the possession limit per fisherman.

Wood was issued an additional citation for angling without a resident saltwater license. Calhoun III was issued additional citations for angling without resident basic and saltwater licenses.

The six men were also issued civil restitution citations for the value of the red drum.

If convicted of the over limit of red drum, the men face fines between $400 and $950, or jail time up to 120 days, or both plus court cost.

Agents involved in the case were Lt. Joseph Arnaud and Senior Agent Michael Williams, along with the assistance of Lafourche Parish Sheriff’s Office Water Patrol Sgt. Jeff Prevost and Deputy Kent Matherne.

Agents seized and donated the 94 red drum to the Larose/Cutoff Youth Center.

For more information, contact Adam Einck at 225-765-2465 or aeinck@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Closes State Waters to Harvest of Gag Grouper

Release Date: 01/06/2011

Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the recreational harvest of gag grouper in state waters will be prohibited effective immediately.  The latest stock assessment for the species indicates that gag grouper in the Gulf of Mexico are overfished.  

Federal fisheries managers recently announced a temporary rule that closes Gulf federal waters to recreational fishing for gag grouper.  The closure will remain in place while they develop long-term measures to improve gag grouper populations.  

The commission's actions allow regulations in state waters to complement regulations of the National Marine Fisheries Service for federally managed waters.  NMFS and the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council typically request consistent regulations for Louisiana waters to enhance effectiveness and enforceability of regulations.

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

Shrimping Closure in Portion of State Offshore Waters Takes Effect at Sunset, Today Dec. 21

Release Date: 12/21/2010

Portion of Zone 1 where shrimp season has been extended
Portion of State Offshore Waters to close to shrimping at sunset on 12/21/2010

Closure helps protect smaller shrimp so they may increase in size, value; closure previously approved at Dec. 2 Commission meeting

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close a portion of state offshore waters to shrimping at sunset today, December 21, 2010.

The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission authorized this closure at its Dec. 2 meeting but also provided authority to LDWF Secretary Robert Barham to delay the closure if marketable quantities of white shrimp were available for harvest. However, current biological sampling data indicate that significant numbers of small white shrimp are found in these waters so these waters will be closed to shrimping.

That portion of state outside waters, south of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line as described in LA R.S. 56:495, from the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at 92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude to the U.S. Coast Guard navigation light off the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at 29 degrees 03 minutes 10 seconds north latitude and 90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude will close to shrimping at sunset today, Dec. 21.

Provisions in state statute temporarily exempt the minimum possession count of 100 (whole shrimp) count per pound on white shrimp from October 15 through the third Monday in December. Following Dec. 20, it became illegal to possess white shrimp smaller than 100 count per pound onboard a vessel.

All state outside waters east of the U.S. Coast Guard navigational light off the northwest shore of Caillou Boca, as well as state outside waters west of Freshwater Bayou Canal will remain open to shrimping. The Department will continue monitoring the sizes and abundance of shrimp in these offshore waters, so that other actions to close or re-open waters may be taken based on the availability of harvestable shrimp in these areas, while protecting the large numbers of very small white shrimp.

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 additional information please contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov or (225) 765-5113.
 

LDWF and State Officials Finalize $2.56 Million Agreement with BP for Fishing License Revenue Losses

Release Date: 12/21/2010

Funds will cover decline in recreational fishing license sales, associated federal funds and oyster tag revenue losses

Yesterday, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham and state officials finalized plans with British Petroleum to pay $2.56 million to LDWF for lost revenue associated with the decline in recreational fishing license sales, associated federal funds and oyster tag sales.

“This marks a critical step on the road to recovery for LDWF and Louisiana’s fishing communities. These funds are especially crucial now, more than ever, as our Department continues to fulfill its mission, while also working to help fishing communities rebound from the impact of the BP oil spill,” said Secretary Barham. “We are open for business here in Louisiana. I encourage all anglers to visit us for some of the best fishing in the world.”

The agreement with BP was finalized yesterday after discussions between BP officials, LDWF and representatives from the Louisiana Attorney General’s office.

As a result of BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil spill that began in April 2010 and significant fishing closures, LDWF suffered a loss of almost $1.7 million from a decline in recreational fishing license sales. The Department also saw a loss of nearly $450,000 in federal funds from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and more than $200,000 in revenue from a decline in oyster tag sales in 2010.

Historically, June through October is the high season for recreational fishing license sales. These sales decreased from nearly $7.3 million in the period from April 21 through November 30 in 2009, to approximately $5.5 million in 2010 for the same time period – roughly a 24 percent decrease.

BP analyzed revenue from recreational fishing license and oyster tag sales in March and April of 2009 to determine a trend that was applied to projected sales in 2010. This figure demonstrated what revenues would have been but for the BP oil spill. BP officials then subtracted the actual revenue from the projected amount to determine lost revenue.

Officials with LDWF continue to work with BP on claims to fund an oyster cultch program and a saltwater hatchery. The Department previously announced agreements with BP for a $13 million fisheries impact study and $18 million for seafood safety monitoring and testing, and $30 million for seafood safety marketing efforts.

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 Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov. 

Shrimp Season to Remain Open in Certain Waters East of the Mississippi River and Close in a Portion of State Offshore Waters

Release Date: 12/13/2010

Portion of Zone 1 where shrimp season has been extended
Portion of State Offshore Waters to close to shrimping at sunset on 12/21/2010

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham has extended the fall inshore shrimp season in a portion of state inside waters east of the Mississippi River that was scheduled to close December 21, 2010. Biological sampling data and trip ticket reports indicate that marketable quantities of white shrimp still remain available for harvest in these waters. Typically, the inshore shrimp season closes in late December when only smaller, less valuable shrimp are being caught by recreational and commercial fishermen. However, extended closures in state waters throughout the summer and into fall prevented the shrimp stock from being harvested at levels seen in previous years. The area to remain open to shrimping is that part of Shrimp Management Zone 1 in Lake Pontchartrain, Chef Menteur Pass, Rigolets Pass, the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), that part of Lake Borgne seaward of a line extending one-half mile from the shoreline, and a portion of Mississippi Sound. The Wildlife and Fisheries Commission had earlier ordered that the fall inshore shrimp season in the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the “double-rig” line close March 31, 2011.

The Commission at its December 2 meeting approved closing a portion of state offshore waters to shrimping effective at sunset December 21, but authorized LDWF Secretary Barham to keep these waters open if necessary to allow continued harvest of shrimp by commercial and recreational fishermen.

The offshore area typically closed to shrimping each year is unique as it typically serves as a refuge to a large number of small over-wintering white shrimp. Additionally, provisions in state statute temporarily exempt the minimum possession count of 100 (whole shrimp) count per pound on white shrimp from October 15 through the 3rd Monday in December. Following December 20, it becomes illegal to possess white shrimp smaller than 100 count per pound. As temperatures drop, smaller sized white shrimp that had been occupying coastal lakes or bays migrate into these waters. Closures during the winter help to protect smaller shrimp so they may grow to larger, more valuable sizes.

As water temperatures warm in spring, large numbers of these over-wintering white shrimp re-enter coastal lakes and bays and quickly grow to very large sizes evidenced by reported statewide white shrimp landings of 11 million pounds in May 2009, worth approximately $14 million.

The offshore closure, if instituted on December 21, would include the portion of state outside waters, south of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line as described in LA R.S. 56:495, from the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at 92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude to the U.S. Coast Guard navigation light off the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at 29 degrees 03 minutes 10 seconds north latitude and 90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude.

If allowed to take effect, the closure will become effective Tuesday, December 21 at sunset.

All state outside waters east of the U.S. Coast Guard navigational light off the northwest shore of Caillou Boca, as well as state outside waters west of Freshwater Bayou Canal will remain open to shrimping. The Department will continue monitoring the sizes and abundance of shrimp in these offshore waters, so that other actions to close or re-open waters may be taken based on the availability of harvestable shrimp in these areas, while protecting the large numbers of very small white shrimp.

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 additional information please contact Martin Bourgeois at mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2401.

Louisiana Recreational Saltwater Fishing Task Force to Meet December 13

Release Date: 12/10/2010

The Louisiana Recreational Saltwater Fishing Task Force will meet at 10 a.m. on Monday, December 13, 2010, in the third floor conference room at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.
The agenda is as follows:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of October 13, 2009 Minutes
  3. Update on Marine Bait Fish Contract (Dr. Chris Green)
  4. Update on Cocahoe Disease Contract (Dr. John Hawke)
  5. Presentation on Artificial Reefs (inshore/offshore) (Doug Peters)
  6. Update on Best Fish Handling Practices (Ed Chesney)
  7. Discussion of Saltwater Hatchery (LDWF)
  8. Introduction of the Outreach Staff (LDWF)
  9. Other Business
  10. Set Dates for Next Meeting
  11. Adjournment

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

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