Fishing

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. 

First Issue of Louisiana Conservationist Online Magazine Available Now

Dear Louisiana Hunters and Anglers,

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is excited to announce that the first online issue of Louisiana Conservationist is available now. Each issue will contain the same great stories and photography that was the hallmark of our printed magazine — available at http://louisianaconservationist.org/ as Web pages that are viewable in any browser, or at http://louisianaconservationist.org/current in an electronic book format featuring a familiar magazine-style layout.

Oyster Season Will Remain Closed for Public Seed Grounds

Release Date: 12/03/2010

Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will re-evaluate season opening in January

The 2010/2011 oyster season will remain closed for public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi and in Hackberry Bay. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission did not take action to open the season, which was originally scheduled to open on November 15, 2010. The Commission originally made the decision to keep the season closed for public grounds in order to help rebuild the natural resource for future use by the commercial and recreational industries.

Biologists with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) recommended to the Commission that the 2010/2011 season for these public seed grounds remain closed in order to allow for a reproductive event currently taking place in some waters east of the Mississippi River to continue. This reproductive event has lead to the a large number of spat (young oysters less than one inch in length) in some areas. Allowing the spat to mature will aid in rebuilding the area’s oyster resource.

LDWF biologists documented high mortality rates in some harvesting areas throughout the summer months, which added to the depletion oysters in these public seed grounds. The public grounds east of the Mississippi River contribute approximately 28% of all oyster harvest in Louisiana on an annual basis.

The Commission with re-evaluate whether or not to open the 2010/2011 oyster season at its next meeting on January 6, 2011.

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.

Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Meeting

Date: 
Tue, 12/07/2010

 

Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council
Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010 - 1:30 p.m.
Louisiana 4th Floor Conference Room
Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries Headquarters
2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, La.  70808

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of Minutes of Sept. 21, 2010
  3. Welcome and Opening Comments
    Woody Crews, Chairman
  4. Organization Overview: LSU AgCenter
    Dr. Donald Reed
  5. Enforcement Division Report: Boating Safety Course Compliance
    Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne
  6. Office of Fisheries: Tilapia Control in Plaquemines Parish
    Dr. Tom Lorenz, University of New Orleans
  7. Whooping Crane Re-introduction Project
    Robert Love, Office of Wildlife, CNR Division
  8. 2010-11 Duck Season Update
    Larry Reynolds, Office of Wildlife, Wildlife Division
  9. Sector Separation
    Woody Crews, Chairman
  10. Set Next Meeting Date
  11. Receive Public Comments
  12. Adjournment

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Announce Dec. 7 Meeting Agenda

Release Date: 12/02/2010

Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council
Meeting Agenda
Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010 - 1:30 p.m.
Louisiana 4th Floor Conference Room
Louisiana Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries Headquarters
2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, La.  70808

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of Minutes of Sept. 21, 2010
  3. Welcome and Opening Comments
    Woody Crews, Chairman
  4. Organization Overview: LSU AgCenter
    Dr. Donald Reed
  5. Enforcement Division Report: Boating Safety Course Compliance
    Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne
  6. Office of Fisheries: Tilapia Control in Plaquemines Parish
    Dr. Tom Lorenz, University of New Orleans
  7. Whooping Crane Re-introduction Project
    Robert Love, Office of Wildlife, CNR Division
  8. 2010-11 Duck Season Update
    Larry Reynolds, Office of Wildlife, Wildlife Division
  9. Sector Separation
    Woody Crews, Chairman
  10. Set Next Meeting Date
  11. Receive Public Comments
  12. Adjournment

For more information, contact Bo Boehringer at 225-765-5115 or bboehringer@wlf.la.gov.

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet Next Tuesday

Release Date: 11/22/2010

The Louisiana Oyster Task Force will meet next Tuesday, November 30 at 1:00 PM at the UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, suite 210 in New Orleans, LA.

The agenda is as follows:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of August 27, 2010 MINUTES
  3. Approval of October 19, 2010 MINUTES
  4. Treasury Report
    1. Oyster Tag Sales
    2. LOTF Financial Report 
  5. 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)
  6. Old Business
    1. Public Seed Grounds Oyster Season – Update
    2. BP Oil Spill Update
      1. Claims Process
      2. Public Reef Damages
      3. Oyster Lease Damages
      4. NRDA Sampling of Private Oyster leases
    3. Oyster Lease Moratorium – Jerome Zeringue
  7. New Business
    1. Public Relations – Oyster Industry and Coastal Restoration
    2. Sherwood Gagliano-Restoration of Oyster Grounds and industry in St. Bernard Parish (Dana Brocato)
    3. ISSC Meeting (Al Sunseri)
  8. Set Next Meeting

The public and private oyster grounds committee will meet at 10 AM, prior to the Oyster Task Force meeting, to discuss relocation of non- renewed leases and relocation sites for leases in the public seed ground.
These meetings are open to the public.

For more information please contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2335. 

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