Fishing

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet July 27 in New Orleans

Release Date: 07/27/2010

The Louisiana Oyster Task Force is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. at the UNO Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210 in New Orleans. The agenda for the July 27 meeting is below.

I. Roll Call

II. Approval of  May 25, 2010 minutes

III. Treasury Report

              a. Oyster Tag Sales

              b. LOTF Financial Report

IV.   Committee Reports

a. Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee

b. Enforcement

c. Legislative

d. Research

e. Coastal Restoration

f. Marketing

g. Department of Health and Hospitals

h. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

1. Public Oyster Seed Ground Stock Assessment Report and Possible Oyster Season Framework-Patrick Banks

i. Department of Natural Resources

j. Governor's Office of Coastal Affairs.

V.   Old Business

A.   Oyster Lease Surveying Delays ? Dan Coulon

B.  LDWF update on experiments request at the LOTF May 25, 2010 meeting to have the DWF Oyster Biologists test growing water and oyster meats for contaminants, and check for spawning capability of oysters using contaminated growing water as well as using the reef the oysters came from, to check spat catch ability in the new DWF lab at Grand Isle.- Al Sunseri

VI.  New Business

B.   Deep Horizon Oil Spill Update, Response, and Actions

                       A.   Proposal for revised DHH closures-Dan Coulon

                       B.   Oyster Crop Insurance - Robert Cerda

                       C.   Discussion of Farm Bureau Meeting-Buddy Pausina

VII.  Set Next Meeting

VIII.  Adjourn

For additional information, please contact Ashley Wethey at 225.765.5113 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

2010-224

Last Day for Recreational Fishing for Red Snapper Friday, July 23

Release Date: 07/21/2010

Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the recreational fishing season for red snapper in state and federal waters will close at 12:01 AM on July 24, and will remain closed until June 1, 2011.  LDWF chose to enact the same action for Louisiana waters to enhance the effectiveness and enforceability of NOAA regulations and to ensure the recreational red snapper quota is not exceeded in the 2010 fishing year. 

All red snapper must be landed and on shore no later than 12:01 a.m. July 24, no possession on the water after that time is allowed. 

NOAA continues to monitor the recreational catch statistics for the Gulf of Mexico, should additional fish be available for recreational harvest under the established quota, an additional season could be announced in federal and state waters. 

Approximately 97 percent of all red snapper landed in Louisiana are caught in federal waters.    

Secretary Barham was authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at their January, 2010 meeting to change or modify opening and closing dates for the recreational red snapper 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 of NMFS for federally managed waters.

For more information contact Laura Deslatte at 225.610.2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov

2010-223

L.W.D.F. Reviewing Trip Ticket Information

Release Date: 07/19/2010

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) routinely reviews every trip ticket received from the commercial fishing industry to ensure that the most accurate data are collected and properly reflect the important role the state of Louisiana plays in the production of seafood.

These reviews are critical to ensure that commercial fishermen and wholesale/retail dealers are appropriately credited with landings in the event of compensation that results from a natural disaster such as Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 and the current BP oil spill.

BP is requesting commercial fishermen to provide landings information from 2007-09 to determine eligibility for financial assistance. LDWF is providing a landings data report back to commercial fishermen, when requested, to assist with this eligibility process.

The review of trip tickets has become even more critical during this time period considering that the previous years are being used to establish eligibility for assistance. Any trip tickets from previous years are being subjected to another layer of review by LDWF staff to confirm their validity.

"The information provided on a trip ticket is the best way for the department to establish the value of Louisiana fisheries and the importance of those fisheries to the nation. Trip ticket data also plays a key role in the managing of fisheries in Louisiana to ensure sustainability," said Michelle Kasprzak, LDWF Trip Ticket Program administrator. "We ask that trip tickets be completed accurately and submitted on time as required. Inaccurate or embellished trip tickets will be investigated by the department's Law Enforcement Division."

Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne with LDWF's Law Enforcement Division said, "We want to ensure our commercial fishermen and dealers are compensated fairly by using accurate trip ticket information. We do not want to see commercial fishermen or dealers tempted to commit felony violations by falsifying trip ticket documents."

Trip tickets are filled out at the first point of sale between a commercial fisherman and wholesale/retail dealer or fresh product license holder and are due on the 10th of every month. Trip tickets are then entered into LDWFs Trip Ticket Program's database.

Commercial fishermen and wholesale/retail dealers may request their trip ticket landings by following the instructions on the LDWF Web site at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill or calling the trip ticket section at 225-765-2399. 

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

2010-219

Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board to Meet

Release Date: 07/19/2010

 

The Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board will meet on Tuesday, July 27, 2010.  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.  

Agenda items for the meeting of the Public Oyster Seed Ground Vessel Permit Appeals Board are as follows:

1.    Approval of Minutes From May 25, 2010 Meeting

2.    Hearing of Previously-Deferred Appeals

a.    Donald Joost

b.    Tonci Gabre

c.    Lawrence Peterson

3.    Set next meeting date

4.    Adjourn

This Board was established by Act 922 of the 2008 Regular Legislative Session for the purpose of hearing appeals of vessel permit denials by LDWF.  Act 922 requires that anyone commercially harvesting oysters on the public oyster seed grounds and reservations, except Calcasieu Lake and Sabine Lake, must do so from a vessel holding a public oyster seed ground vessel permit issued by LDWF and no new applications for such vessel permits shall be accepted after December 31, 2009.

For more information, please contact Ty Lindsey at 225-765-2387 or tlindsey@wlf.la.gov.

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

2010-220

Shrimp Seasons to Close in Portions of Zones 1 and 3

Release Date: 07/16/2010

 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced today the 2010 spring inshore shrimp season in Shrimp Management Zones 1 and 3 will close at 6:00 A.M. on Tuesday, July 20, except in those areas designated below. The state outside waters south of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line, as described in R.S. 56:495, shall also remain open to shrimping. However, portions of these waters where the shrimp season is extended as well as portions of state outside waters remain closed to commercial fishing due to the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig accident. Commercial shrimping in these waters is prohibited until authorized by the Secretary or the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission.

Zone 1

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  • Lake Pontchartrain including Rigoletes Pass from the mouth of Lake Pontchartrain extending eastward to the western side of the CSX Railway Bridge
  • Chef Menteur Pass from the mouth of Lake Pontchartrain southeasterly to the mouth of Lake Borgne
  • The portion of Mississippi Sound beginning at a point on the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary at latitude 30 degrees 09 minutes 39.6 seconds north and longitude 89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west; thence due south to a point at latitude 30 degrees 05 minutes 00.0 seconds north and longitude 89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west; thence southeasterly to a point on the western shore of Three-Mile Pass at latitude 30 degrees 03 minutes 00.0 seconds north and longitude 89 degrees 22 minutes 23.0 seconds west; thence northeasterly to a point on Isle Au Pitre at latitude 30 degrees 09 minutes 20.5 seconds north and longitude 89 degrees 11 minutes 15.5 seconds west, which is a point on the double?rig line as described in LA R.S. 56:495.1(A)2; thence northerly along the double?rig line to a point on the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary at latitude 30 degrees 12 minutes 37.9056 seconds north and longitude 89 degrees 10 minutes 57.9725 seconds west; 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 (LA R.S.56:495.1)

Zone 3

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  • The Calcasieu Ship Channel originating at a line between Channel Markers 85 and 86 southward to a point originating along the inside/outside shrimp line at Calcasieu Pass and including East Pass from its origin at the Calcasieu Ship Channel to the south end of Calcasieu Lake and West Pass from its origin at the Calcasieu Ship Channel to the south end of West Cove
  • The portion of Cameron Parish west of Calcasieu Lake

Zone 1 includes state waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River and Zone 3 includes state waters from the western shore of Vermilion Bay and Southwest Pass at Marsh Island westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line. It is important to note this closure is based on biological recommendations made by LDWF Office of Fisheries biologists and is not related to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The latest data gathered by LDWF biologists indicates the presence of an increased number of juvenile white shrimp. This area is being closed in an effort to protect this developing crop. The closures in Shrimp Management Zone 2 remain in effect, along with all other recreational and commercial closures issued by LDWF. 2010-218 For more information contact Marty Bourgeios at 225-765-2401 or mbourgeios@wlf.la.gov

Update on Oiled Wildlife and Marine Life Recovered Along Louisiana's Coastline

Release Date: 07/14/2010

 

The rescue of oiled wildlife impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill continues to be an important mission for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF). Working closely with state, federal and contracted forces assembled to rescue birds, sea turtles and marine mammals, LDWF biologists patrol coastal waters and marshes daily searching for wildlife in distress.

Wildlife rescue forces also respond to calls received via the oiled wildlife response hotline at 1-866-557-1401.

Through Wednesday, July 14, rescue numbers include the following breakdown:

BIRDS (Overview for duration of response) -

2,986 total birds collected within the five-state impact area (LA, MS, AL, FL, TX).

Louisiana bird collections only:

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  • 1,555 total birds processed in LA through Fort Jackson rehabilitation center in Buras, LA.
  • 837 birds collected alive.
  • 718 birds dead on arrival at rehabilitation center, euthanized due to extent of injury or dead after rehabilitation efforts unsuccessful.
  • 461 birds treated and released. 
    MARINE REPTILES & MAMMALS (Overview for duration of response) --

660 sea turtles collected in the five-state impact zone.

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  • 106 sea turtles of the total above were collected in LA waters (9 recovered alive; 97 dead).
  • 64 dolphins have been collected in the five-state impact area -
  • 35 dolphins were from LA waters (1 recovered alive; 34 dead).

Wildlife impact numbers are reported to the Unified Area Command from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, incident area commands, rehabilitation centers, and other authorized sources operating within the Deepwater Horizon/BP incident impact area.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us onwww.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts athttp://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

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

2010-214

LDWF and Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Announce Large-scale Opening to Recreational Fishing

Release Date: 07/14/2010

Today Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham and the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced significant openings to recreational fishing.  With this action, approximately 86 percent of recreational fishing in Louisiana will be open immediately today, July 14.

"The measures taken today by the Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will allow recreational anglers, including recreational shrimping, crabbing and fishing, to resume," said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham.  "While I am pleased and fully support today?s action, I caution all fishermen to exercise caution while fishing in areas closed to commercial fishing."

This opening includes licensed charter boat guides and bait fishermen or dealers who harvest for and sell to recreational fishermen exclusively.

Recreational fishing is being allowed subject to continual testing and monitoring, as this activity is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.  To date the Environmental Protection Agency?s near shore water tests have shown chemical contamination levels below public health concern.

"I consider today's action the first step in opening state waters to all fishing, both recreational and commercial," added Barham.

Although recreational fishing will be allowed in portions of the previously closed fishing areas, certain delineated areas, including heavily oiled areas, areas associated with boom and areas of active cleanup continue to be closed to recreational fishing.

It is advised that recreational fishermen avoid areas where oil is observed, respect oil cleanup and removal activities and stay clear of areas being protected by boom material.  Smell and examine catch closely to ensure that there are no obvious oil or chemical residues.  Recreational fishermen fishing in areas closed to commercial fishermen do so at their own risk.

All previously issued commercial fishing closures remain in place.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us onwww.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts athttp://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information contact Marianne Burke at mburke@wlf.la.gov or 225-765-2917.

2010-215

Documents: 

LOUISIANA WILDLIFE AND FISHERIES COMMISSION CALLS SPECIAL MEETING

Release Date: 07/13/2010

 

NOTICE OF SPECIAL MEETING:

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has called a special meeting for 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, 2010 to consider opening areas closed to all fishing due to the BP oil spill to recreational fishing only. The meeting will be held in the Louisiana Room at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.

The agenda is as follows:

1.    Roll call

2.   Consideration of Declaration of Emergency and Notice of Intent to allow recreational fishing only in those areas closed to all fishing due to the BP oil spill.

3.   Receive public comments

4.   Adjournment

2010-213

Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Overturns Decision to Allow Recreational Catch and Release Fishing in Closed Areas

Release Date: 07/08/2010

 

Today the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission chose to reinstitute a complete closure to recreational fishing in all Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries closure areas.  This action by the commission reverses the Secretary of the Department?s decision earlier this week to allow the recreational catch and release of finfish in closed areas.

Fishermen may continue to transit through closed areas with fish legally harvested from open waters but may not fish in any closed area.

Precautionary closures of recreational and commercial fishing have been implemented by the Secretary based on the best information the Secretary of the department receives from field biologists, staff and trajectory models from NOAA.

The Secretary's authority for these closures limits the duration of his actions to seven days following the next scheduled monthly commission meeting and requires the Commission to revisit the Secretary's action to extend the effective date . The Commission heard extensive public testimony before voting to remove the allowance of recreational catch and release fishing in the closed areas.

LDWF continues to work closely with DHH in an effort to assess all opportunities to resume normal fishing activities on Louisiana's coast and guarantee the safety of Louisiana's seafood.

For more information and maps on current LDWF closures go to www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.

For more information, please contact Marianne Burke at (225) 765-2917 or mburke@wlf.la.gov.

2010-211

Lake Bistineau July 7, 2010 Update

 

The department has requested DOTD’s assistance to close the Lake Bistineau water control gates on Wednesday, July 14, 2010.  Fisheries staff are beginning to observe giant salvinia accumulating in some areas of the lake and agreed that it’s time to initiate some water fluctuation and attempt to strand plants.  Of course, present water levels need to rise in order to initiate this method.  Opening the gates in the future will depend on rain events and plant accumulations. 

It will not necessarily be our goal to allow the lake level to rise to pool stage in order to initiate water fluctuation.  We plant to alert the public a week in advance of either opening or closing the gates. 

While the lake has been down, fisheries staff have been evaluating salvinia re-emergence and assessing the lake bed.  Aspects of the plan remain incomplete pending the completion of this work.  Central to our efforts include a lake bed contour map and identifying areas for “dirt work” and tree removal.  Some of this work is best completed while the lake is down.  Allowing the lake to rise at this point is not expected to complicate these efforts.

Spray crews have treated some salvinia accumulations with herbicide spray applications.  As the lake level rises, our crews will have easier access to shallow areas and our efforts will increase.   

In addition, some areas have been designated to evaluate SONAR treatments.  These treatments, similar to Galleon treatments, require that water volume remain constant for several weeks to obtain desirable results.  Applications are expected in July.

Our website is presently being overhauled and our communication diminished in the last few weeks.  Our new site will be up soon.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

Mark McElroy
Fisheries Biologist

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