Fishing

Four New Orleans Men Cited for Federal Fisheries Violations

Release Date: 10/19/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Enforcement Division agents cited four New Orleans area residents for allegedly possessing over the legal daily bag limit of cobia on Oct. 15.

Agents found Toan Van Tran, 60, Thanh Van Tran, 28, and John Truong Vu, 28, all of New Orleans, and Anthony Anduc Nguyen, 45, of Gretna, fishing off the coast of Plaquemines Parish in federal waters, known as the Exclusive Economic Zone, or EEZ.

The LDWF Agents were on a Joint Enforcement Agreement patrol for the National Marine Fisheries Service when they observed the men fishing at a rig located in West Delta Block 44. During a fisheries compliance inspection, the men were found to be in joint possession of 13 cobias, as well as other species of offshore fish.

The daily bag limit for cobia is two fish per person with a minimum size limit of 33 inches.

The penalties for possessing over the limit of cobia is a fine between $100 and $350, or jail time up to 60 days, or both plus court costs. Agents seized the five cobia that were over the limit and donated them to the Ozanam Inn in New Orleans, an organization that feeds the area homeless.

The agents involved in the case were Sgt. Jason Russo and Agent Terrence Hicks.

For more information, contact Capt. Stephen McManus at 504-284-2023 or smcmanus@wlf.la.gov. 

2010-E59

Louisiana Oyster Task Force Enforcement Committee to Meet October 19

Release Date: 10/15/2010

The Louisiana Oyster Task Force Enforcement Committee is scheduled to meet at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, October 19, prior to the 1 p.m. Oyster Task Force Meeting, at the UNO Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210 in New Orleans.

Items for discussion include:

Possible legislation and current laws related to the enforcement of a standard sack measurement on board vessels and dockside.

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

2010-290

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet October 19

Release Date: 10/15/2010

The Louisiana Oyster Task Force is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, October 19 at the UNO Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210 in New Orleans.
The agenda is as follows:

  1. Roll Call
  2. Approval of August 27, 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)
  5. Old Business
    1. Public Oyster Reef Evaluation – Patrick Banks
    2. BP Oil Spill Update
      1. Claims Process
      2. Public Reef Damages
      3. Oyster Lease Damages
  6. New Business
    1. Relocation of Oyster Leases – Byron Encalade
    2. Oyster Lease Moratorium Update - DWF
    3. Damages to Public Seed Grounds by Coastal Permitting – DWF
    4. Burlap Bags-Buddy Pausina
    5. Oyster Lease Moratorium-Buddy Pausina
  7. Set Next Meeting
  8. Adjourn

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

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LDWF Announces Fishing to Resume in Portions of State Waters in the Barataria Basin

Release Date: 10/14/2010

Recreational Map
Commercial Map

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the FDA and NOAA, has ordered an emergency reopening of all fishing in portions of state waters within the Barataria Basin previously closed due to the BP oil spill. Following today’s action, 96 percent of all saltwater areas of the state are open to recreational and commercial fishing.

Commercial fishing will reopen immediately today, October 14, to the harvest of finfish, crabs and shrimp in portions of state waters between Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River and Bayou Lafourche. The openings also include the recreational harvest of shrimp and crabs.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered these openings following the completion of comprehensive testing by the FDA. The FDA has advised that following extensive sensory testing and analytical chemistry results, the fish tissue samples tested from these previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

State inside and outside territorial waters will remain closed to commercial fishing until further notice in the following areas:

1) The Mississippi River delta south of the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds north latitude westward to the western shore of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River

2) A portion of Barataria Bay north of Grand Isle east of the Barataria Waterway and west of 89 degrees 50 minutes 00 seconds west longitude between 29 degrees 30 minutes and 29 degrees 26 minutes north latitude

3) An area from near Quatre Bayou Pass westward including Grand Terre Island, to Barataria Pass as shown in the detail map will remain closed to commercial fishing until further notice.

While LDWF continues to work closely with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to ensure the safety of Louisiana’s seafood, these openings do not include the harvest of oysters, as this activity is regulated by DHH. 

For additional information, please contact Joey Shepard at (225) 765-2384 or jshepard@wlf.la.gov.

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Anglers Aren't the Only Big Winners at the Louisiana Saltwater Series Championship

Release Date: 10/11/2010

The Louisiana Saltwater Series, hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, closed this weekend at Delta Marina in Empire with some monster catches at its championship tournament.  The 2010 fishing season was a banner year for the series, to promote the conservation of Louisiana’s saltwater sport fish resources through six tag and release redfish tournaments. 

Overall weight determined the grand prize winner going to the team of Bobby Abruscato and Scott Ritter, with a winning total weight of 34.11 pounds, and their largest fish weighing 9.2 pounds.   With the win, the duo was awarded a cash prize of over $2,700.

However, this tournament series serves a much larger purpose than hashing our prize money for trophy catches.  The department hopes the tournaments will create awareness and participation in their tag and release program. 

In its inaugural year, LDWF safely tagged and released 368 redfish caught throughout the series.  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.

“It’s not just the tournament itself, but being able to provide fish for LDWF to tag and hopefully track,” explained participating angler Christopher Bush.  “It’s definitely a win-win situation.”

Turnout for the series was excellent, with participation averaging over 30 teams for each tournament and 22 teams qualifying for the championship.  These two-angler teams qualified for the no-entry-fee championship by fishing a minimum of three Saltwater Series tournaments.     

“In light of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, we were very pleased with overall participation,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.  “We hope that these events will again create enthusiasm for fishing in Louisiana and will unite anglers and their families in this recreational pastime.”

The 2011 Louisiana Saltwater Series hopes to continue to draw redfish anglers from the Gulf Coast, offering two –angler teams the opportunity to compete in six different tournaments, including a championship.  With low entry fees, these tournaments allow anglers to fish close to home and compete for cash prizes while simultaneously giving back to the resource through tag and release fishing.

“With the oil spill behind us, we’re excited about the possibilities for next year and anticipate the tournaments to be even larger and more successful,” said Pausina.   

Participating anglers can expect a significant increase in cash and prize payouts.  The department also plans to add a few changes to the tournament format that should make it even more exciting, including a youth division. 

The department urges interested anglers to sign up for the Louisiana Cooperative Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program. Through this program, volunteer anglers provide information that is difficult, often impossible, and expensive to obtain by other means.   The target species for LDWF’s tagging program are red drum “redfish” and spotted seatrout “speckled trout.”  For additional information, interested anglers can contact fishtagging@ccalouisiana.com.

Information about the 2011 Louisiana Saltwater Series will soon be available at lasaltwaterseries.com.

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

*Photos and footageavailable upon request.    

 

LDWF Issues the 2010 Atchafalaya Basin Fishing Survey

Release Date: 10/07/2010

In an effort to better capture the requests of the fishing community of the Atchafalaya Basin, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries began mailing surveys out this week to 2,000 Louisiana resident recreational fishermen within 60 miles of the basin.  
 
This survey will collect general information about fishing practices in the Atchafalaya Basin, Henderson Lake and the Lake Verret/Grassy Lake/Lake Palourde areas.  Information will also be gathered on recommendations for current LDWF regulations in these areas.  
 
Data gathered will be compiled with biological data gather by local LDWF fisheries biologists, to assess what current regulations might be modified to reflect the wishes of the areas anglers.  Fishermen who receive the survey are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to voice their opinion on fisheries management in the Atchafalaya Basin and surrounding areas.
 
For additional information, please contact Michael Lee Buckner at 225-763-5508 or Jack Isaacs at 225-765-2605.

2010-281

NOAA Reopens More than 5,000 Square Miles of Federal Waters Just in Time for Red Snapper Season

Release Date: 10/01/2010

Today the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced the reopening of 5,628 square miles of Gulf federal waters west of the Mississippi River to commercial and recreational fishing. This reopening accompanies the start of a special recreational red snapper season announced by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) just last week. The season began today, Oct. 1, 2010, and will remain open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout Sunday, November 21. The season will then remain closed until June 1, 2011.
 
The NOAA reopening of additional federal waters today is the seventh reopening since July 22. Federal waters in the Gulf of Mexico are now 89 percent open. NOAA reports that no oil or sheen has been documented in the area since August 6.
 
The additional recreational red snapper season opening was requested by NOAA Regional Administrator Roy Crabtree in a letter sent a letter to LDWF Secretary Robert Barham last week to match the federal season reopening. Today’s reopening of federal waters opens up a crucial portion of the Gulf in which recreational red snapper fishing occurs. This may also help boost launches, marinas and private camps out of Grand Isle, Cocodrie and Venice, as they both provide close access to the newly opened area.
 
NOAA officials chose to reopen the season for red snapper due to the significant fishing closures issued this summer as a result of the Deepwater Horizon incident.  Figures suggest the recreational red snapper quota was not met at the July 24, 2010 closure date and that approximately 2.3 million pounds of the 3.4 million pound quota remains.  
 
All regulations established for recreational harvest of red snapper will be in effect for this special season.  
 
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 coincide with regulations for federally managed waters.
 
For additional information on the NOAA reopening, visit http://sero.nmfs.noaa.gov/deepwater_horizon_oil_spill.htm .

For more information, contact Olivia Watkins at owatkins@wlf.la.gov or 225/765-2396.

 

2010-279

LDWF ANNOUNCES RETURN TO NORMAL FISHING ACTIVITY EAST OF THE MISSISSIPPI

Release Date: 09/23/2010

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries, has ordered an emergency reopening of all fishing in 559 square miles of state waters east of the Mississippi River previously closed due to the BP oil spill. With today's action 92 percent of state waters are open.

Commercial fishing will reopen immediately today, September 23, to the harvest of finfish, crabs and shrimp in all state waters east of the Mississippi River north of the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds north latitude. The openings also include the recreational harvest of shrimp and crabs.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered these openings following the completion of comprehensive testing by the FDA. The FDA has advised that following extensive sensory testing and analytical chemistry results, the fish tissue samples tested from these previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

State inside waters in the Mississippi River delta south of the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and adjacent state outside waters south of 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds north latitude westward to the western shore of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River and portions of state waters in the Barataria and Terrebonne Basins will remain closed to commercial fishing until further notice.

While LDWF continues to work closely with the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals to ensure the safety of Louisiana's seafood, these openings do not include the harvest of oysters, as this activity is regulated by DHH.

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

 

2010-274

Lake Bistineau Update - Sept. 22, 2010

Several weeks ago, the gates at the control structure on Lake Bistineau were closed in an effort to slowly increase water levels.  Unlike last year, there has been very little precipitation in the watersheds, resulting in no water level increase above the 7 foot drawdown capacity.  

As expected, giant salvinia, especially in protected areas/pockets has increased in coverage.  

The gates will remain closed until water levels rise and salvinia coverage is evaluated at the increased water levels.  When water levels allow, we plan to initiate water level fluctuations to strand the salvinia.  Please note that water fluctuation efforts may occur prior to the lake reaching pool stage.   Rain events drive water levels in the lake.  Therefore, the department cannot provide a timeframe for fluctuation events based on this unknown.  

Part of our plan also includes continued herbicide applications on the lake.  However, maneuvering equipment for these treatments is tedious and dangerous due to low lake levels and stumpage.  Currently, some shallow areas appear to be inundated with the plant.  Many of these areas remain inaccessible to herbicide treatments, but once lake levels rise, the salvinia will disperse over a much larger space.  As the plants move to new areas, we anticipate they will be more susceptible to stranding due to water level manipulation in combination with herbicide treatments.  

Webster Parish has submitted a funding assistance request to develop a new boating access facility at the Port of Bistineau to allow boating access during drawdown periods.  The department will consider this request once parish officials submit a finalized application.  

Those interested in removing cypress trees during the drawdown period are asked to contact James Seales (318) 371-3063 in our Minden office.  We will consider issuance of a permit on a case by case basis, based on the need.   We require that all trees be cut to the mud line and removed from the lake.  

Mapping of the lake bottom is not expected to be complete until the lake level reaches pool stage sometime this winter.  A contour map is necessary to finish our assessment of shallow lagoons in preparation of our request to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to conduct specific dirt work.  These lagoons serve as an exceptional habitat for salvinia growth.  In our plan, we discuss the need to address those areas cut off from draining during drawdown events.  

A fly-over of the lake is planned in the near future to help us understand more about giant salvinia coverage during the drawdown and identify those areas cut off from draining.

Please continue to use our Website to submit your comments and questions.  Your input is important to us, and we encourage everyone to stay actively engaged.
   
Mark McElroy

Fisheries Biologist
 

Red Snapper Season to Reopen on Weekends Beginning October 1

Release Date: 09/22/2010

Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced recreational fishing for red snapper will reopen in state waters on Friday, October 1, 2010.  The season will remain open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday throughout Sunday, November 21.  The season will then remain closed until June 1, 2011.
 
NOAA Regional Administrator, Roy Crabtree, sent a letter to LDWF Secretary Robert Barham this week, requesting the reopening of red snapper season in state waters to match the federal season reopening.  
 
NOAA officials chose to reopen the season for red snapper due to the significant fishing closures issued this summer as a result of the Deepwater Horizon incident. Figures suggest the recreational red snapper quota was not met at the July 24, 2010 closure date and that approximately 2.3 million pounds of the 3.4 million pound quota remains.  
 
All regulations established for recreational harvest of red snapper will be in effect for this special season.  
 
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 coincide with regulations for federally managed waters.

For more information, contact Harry Blanchet at hblanchet@wlf.la.gov or 225/765-2889.

 

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