Fishing

LDWF's Management Efforts Result in Record Catches at the 2011 Bassmaster Classic

Release Date: 02/23/2011

Classic scheduled to return to the Sportsman’s Paradise in 2012

Feb. 21, 2011 - Across the state, anglers are landing trophy-size bass as a result of management efforts by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Bassmaster Classic competitors were no exception this past weekend as record stringers were brought to the scales. The heaviest weights were caught by tournament winner and bass fishing superstar, Kevin Van Dam.

Van Dam wowed the crowds with a cumulative weight of over 69 pounds, the heaviest ever in a Classic with a 5-fish daily limit. He primarily fished the waters of Lake Cataouatche, a popular fishing spot previously stocked by the LDWF with Florida largemouth bass.

Years ago, the freshwater lake fell on hard times after tropical storm systems pushed brackish water into the area. The lake’s productivity was minimal, especially in terms of a bass population. Through stocking efforts, in conjunction with fertile Mississippi River waters, through the Davis Pond Freshwater Diversion Project, the department was able to stimulate a productive ecosystem and generate a lively bass population in the lake. The spot’s productivity amazed even the best bass anglers in the world at this year’s Classic.

Throughout Louisiana, anglers routinely report trophy bass exceeding 10 pounds. This was not always the case. The department’s management efforts, including the Florida bass stocking program, are largely responsible for this surge in production.

Bass fishing opportunities in Louisiana rank in the top tier nationwide. However, it’s the diversity of fishing experiences that makes Louisiana special. The Louisiana Delta, site of the Bassmaster Classic is a great example. “Fishing in coastal Louisiana is an experience that’s unique from all other waters in the country,” said Mike Wood, LDWF’s Director of Inland Fisheries. “On any given cast, anglers can tangle with a red drum, flounder, and maybe even a trophy largemouth bass.

Perhaps this is the reason the Sportsman’s Paradise was selected as the host site for the Classic again in 2012. Shreveport will welcome the 42nd annual Bassmaster Classic next February.

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

LDWF Hosts Second Annual Louisiana Saltwater Series Fishing Tournament

Release Date: 02/18/2011

More than 380 redfish already tagged; series features six rodeos, plus championship

Feb. 16, 2011 - The Louisiana Saltwater Series will soon return to the Gulf Coast for the tournament’s second year. Hosted by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), the series is dedicated to catch-and-release saltwater angling through a series of agency-sponsored fishing tournaments.

The series was developed by LDWF in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to promote conservation of Louisiana’s saltwater sport fish resources, including one of Louisiana’s most valuable sport fish, redfish.

“This series is a critical part of ensuring the health and future of our natural resources and the coastal economy because it promotes the management and preservation of our redfish stocks for future generations,” said LDWF Assistant Secretary Randy Pausina.

Each series includes two-man teams with a $200 entry fee for each event. For teams consisting of three members, only two of the members may be 16 or older. The tournament is a 100 percent payout series. There is a 90 percent payout for the first six events with 10 percent retained for the championship. Payout is determined separately for each event based upon the total number of boats entered.

Participants may register online for the tournament at www.LaSaltwaterSeries.com.

This year, a youth division was established to introduce young anglers to the sport of fishing, and to teach the catch-and-release approach to conservation. Participants under 16 years of age will compete against one another in a separate category for trophy catch; all youth anglers will be recognized.

Data collected from tournament entries serve as valuable tools for LDWF fisheries managers and biologists to improve their understanding of marine sport fish movements, patterns of habitat use and estimate population size. Since 2004, over 15,000 redfish have been tagged through Louisiana’s Cooperative Marine Sport Fish Tagging Program.

“Fish tagging can yield a wealth of information. Years ago, most tagging was done by scientists or trained biologists, but today recreational anglers are encouraged to join the effort as volunteers,” explained Pausina. “Utilizing volunteer taggers allows us to tag a greater number of fish from a wider geographic area.”

In last year’s series alone, anglers tagged a total of 380 fish. The recapture rate from the Slidell tournament was as high as 21 percent. Overall weight determined last year’s winners, with Richard Rutland taking home the monster catch of the series, a 9.66 lb red drum.

The 2011 series is comprised of six fishing events and a championship. Tournament locations are scheduled across the coast. The 2011 tournament schedule is as follows:

  • April 2 Lafitte, Seaway Marina; 
  • April 30 Lake Calcasieu, Calcasieu Point Landing; 
  • May 14 Venice, Venice Marina; 
  • June 18 Delacroix, Sweetwater Marina; 
  • July 23 Slidell, Dockside Bait and Tackle/The Dock; 
  • August 20 Port Fourchon, Moran’s Marina; and 
  • Championship October 7 and 8 Empire, The Delta Marina. 

Sponsorships for the Saltwater Series are still available. All sponsorship dollars will go towards the cost of planning, production and prize money.

For complete information, including rules, regulations and entry forms go to www.lasaltwaterseries.com.

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

Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board to Meet Wednesday Feb. 16

Release Date: 02/15/2011

Feb. 15, 2011 – The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board will meet tomorrow, February 16, 2011 at 1 p.m. at the UNO Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive in Suite 210, in New Orleans.

The agenda for tomorrow’s meeting is as follows:

  1. Call to order
  2. Roll call
  3. Approval of minutes from December 15, 2010
  4. Reports
    1. Guest Presentations
      1. Jeffry Zehnder- Zehnder Communications. Boston booth, new photography and social media update
      2. Mark Schexnayder-WLF- certification and traceability update. Disaster recovery grant programs update.
    2. Executive Directors Report
    3. Treasurers Report
      1. update on BP funds
  5. New Business
    1. Sub Committee discussion (Executive, Funding, Legislative, Education and Marketing).
    2. Boston Seafood Show
    3. Updates List of Events
    4. Samuel H. Green School and the edible garden
    5. School lunch programs
    6. Foodways Texas Symposium – Kim Chauvin
  6. Set Next Meeting
  7. Adjourn

This meeting is open to the public.

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 more information contact Laura Deslatte at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-2363.

State Rolls Out Nearly $8 Million to Seafood Dealers

Release Date: 02/15/2011

Feb. 15, 2011 - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), in coordination with the Office of Community Development (OCD) - Disaster Recovery Unit, and the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF), began distributing nearly $8 million last month for the Wholesale, Dealer, Broker Grant Program, a federally funded program aimed at aiding certain fisheries-related businesses that were affected by hurricanes Gustav and Ike.

“Our fishing communities have spent the last five years battling back from disaster after disaster. Each time, they find a way to rebuild and get back to work. This program is an incredible opportunity to help our fishing communities continue to recover from hurricanes Gustav and Ike,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. “We are grateful to our state and industry partners for helping us make distributing assistance funds a reality.”

The $8 million Wholesale, Dealer, Broker Grant Program was designed to assist certain fishery-related businesses that were in the industry in 2008 and currently remain in business. In order to qualify, businesses were required to provide supporting tax documentation and to be able to document a minimum $15,000 tangible loss or decline in business. Once grant qualifications were met, applicants became eligible for a grant of the amount of their loss, not to exceed $100,000.

“The fishing and seafood industry is a vital part of Louisiana’s economy, and the state is committed to helping local fishermen continue to recover from hurricanes Gustav and Ike,” said Commissioner of Administration Paul Rainwater. “The funds from the Wholesale, Dealer, Broker Program, along with the upcoming grants through the Commercial Fisheries Program, will help Louisiana’s fisherman and help boost seafood businesses.”

Louisiana also created a Commercial Fisherman Grant Program to assist Louisiana fishermen who held a commercial fishing license in 2008, are still licensed, and continue to recover from the impacts of hurricanes Gustav and Ike. It is anticipated this program will begin in early March.

"The Louisiana Agricultural Finance Authority under the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry was already set up to help distribute relief funds for our agricultural producers," LDAF Commissioner Mike Strain said. "We were asked to help LDWF and LAFA was the perfect fund-distribution mechanism for the program. We got the money in the hands of seafood dealers quickly and efficiently."

Individuals who held both a Wholesale/Retail Dealer license and a Commercial Fishing license were only allowed to participate in one program.

Both programs are funded using Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) funds, which were set aside for aid to the fishing industry after it suffered more than $750 million in losses in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina, Rita Gustav and Ike. In total, Louisiana received more than $1 billion in CDBG funding for recovery from hurricanes Gustav and Ike, most of which the state has allocated directly to parishes for community recovery activities.

LDWF, OCD and LDAF hosted a series of outreach meetings during the spring of 2010 in coastal communities to provide more information to interested individuals.

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.

The Disaster Recovery Unit within the Office of Community Development is dedicated to helping Louisiana's citizens recover from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. As the state's central point for hurricane recovery, the OCD-DRU manages the most extensive rebuilding effort in American history, working closely with local, state and federal partners to ensure that Louisiana recovers safer and stronger than before.

For more information from the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, please contact Laura Deslatte at (225)610-2363 or at ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov. For more information from the Office of Community Development, please contact Christina Stephens at (225) 603-3896 or Christina.stephens@la.gov. For more information from the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, please contact Sam Irwin at (225) 922-1256 or sirwin@ldaf.state.la.us

Commercial King Mackerel Season to Close Friday

Release Date: 02/09/2011

Feb. 9, 2011 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the commercial season for king mackerel will close in state water this Friday, February 11, at noon. The decision was made by LDWF Secretary Robert Barham, based on data gathered by LDWF and National Marine Fisheries Service biologists, anticipating the set quota of approximately 1 million pounds had been met.

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

The season is expected to resume on July 1, 2011.

On average, Louisiana lands approximately 90 percent of the quota set for king mackerel in the western Gulf of Mexico. A significant portion of the species landed in Louisiana is shipped to markets in northeast United States.

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 atwww.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

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

LDWF Works with Local Parish to Remove Abandoned Crab Traps

Release Date: 02/08/2011

Closure Map

Feb 8, 2011 - The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission has authorized an emergency crab trap closure over an eight day period, from 6 a.m. February 26, 2011 through 6 a.m. March 5, 2011, in a portion of Plaquemines Parish west of the Mississippi River.

All crab traps must be removed from the designated area during the closure period. Any remaining crab traps within the closure area will be considered abandoned and subject to removal.

Removing derelict crab traps from fishing grounds reduces navigational risks and threats to public safety, while potentially increasing the number of crabs available for harvest, by preventing crab mortalities in abandoned, out-of-use traps.

Since 2004, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with local volunteers, has successfully removed and disposed of more than 18,000 abandoned and derelict crab traps.

For more information on volunteer opportunities, please contact Martin Bourgeois with LDWF at (225) 765-2401 or mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov or visit the Derelict Crab Trap Removal Program website at www.derelictcrabtrap.net.

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

Documents: 

Public Hearing on Lake Caney, Jan. 31

Release Date: 01/27/2011

LDWF officials will discuss vegetation issues, sampling results

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will hold a public hearing on Caney Lake issues, including an overview of vegetation issues and current sampling results. LDWF established a management plan for Caney Lake in 2006, which provides annual public hearings to update the public on ongoing projects. Current issues include stocking of Florida bass, control of aquatic vegetation and fish population sampling.

Who: LDWF Officials

What: Public Hearing on Caney Lake

When: January 31, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

Where: Jimmie Davis State Park
  Group Camp building
  1209 State Park Road
  Chatham, LA 71226

For more information, contact Evan Thames (318)339-4282 or Jesse Bahm at(318)343-4045.

Fall Inshore Shrimp Season to Close in Parts of Zone 1, Jan. 29 At Sunset

Release Date: 01/26/2011

The fall inshore shrimp season will close in parts of Shrimp Management Zone 1 at sunset on January 29, 2011. This closure accompanies a previous closure made by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in portions of Zone 1 on December 21, 2010. Not included in the new closure are Breton and Chandeleur sounds as described by the double-rig line (LA R.S.56:495.1.(A)2); those waters will remain open until 6:00 a.m., March 31.

All inshore shrimp harvesting was scheduled to close on December 21, but some waters were kept open due to a large quantity of marketable size shrimp. However, the remaining white shrimp populations in these waters are now averaging smaller than the minimum possession limit of 100 count per pound. Closing the season allows shrimp an opportunity to grow to larger and more valuable sizes.

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 more information please contact Olivia Watkins at (225)765-2396 or at owatkins@wlf.la.gov

White Lake Fishing Lottery Applications Available

Release Date: 01/24/2011

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now accepting applications for a lottery drawing for fishing permit access to the White Lake Wetlands Conservation Area (WCA) between March 15 and Aug. 15, 2011.

A total of 100 permits will be issued following the lottery drawing and winning applicants will be notified of their opportunity to purchase a permit for $40. White Lake WCA is located south of Gueydan in Vermilion Parish.

The area open for fishing will be limited to the Florence Canal and Oil Field Location canals off of the Florence Canal. There will be no fishing in any of the WCA’s marsh areas or in the main camp canal or other areas that are marked "NO FISHING." Successful applicants will be provided a map of the fishing area. Boats used by permitees will be limited to the use of motors with 40 horsepower or less. Additional rules and regulations are outlined in an attachment to the application.

Each completed application must include a non-refundable administrative fee of $5 in the form of a check or money order made payable to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Individuals will be allowed to submit only one application. Submission of more than one application by any one individual will result in disqualification of the applicant. Completed applications must be received by LDWF by close of business, 4:30 p.m. CST, on Feb. 17, 2011.

Applications may be mailed to LA Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Attention: White Lake Fishing, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898. They can also be delivered to room 458 at the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters, located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. Persons interested in obtaining an application may call the department at 225-765-2806 or download a copy from the department’s Web site at www.wlf.louisiana.gov.

For more information, contact Wayne Sweeney at 337-479-1894 or sweeneykw@bellsouth.net.

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. 

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