Fishing

2010-2011 Louisiana Oyster Season Modified by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

Release Date: 11/04/2010

2010-2011 Louisiana Oyster Season Modified by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission

The 2010-2011 oyster season for public oyster seed grounds east of the Mississippi River and in Hackberry Bay was delayed by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission in an effort to protect and enrich oysters for future harvest. These public oyster areas were originally scheduled to open on November 15, 2010. 

Biological data gathered by LDWF biologists indicates the presence of a recent reproductive event in some areas east of the Mississippi River resulting in the presence of significant numbers of oyster spat (young oysters less than one inch in length). Harvest in these areas was postponed to allow these juvenile oysters appropriate time to mature and become viable for future harvests. 

Significant oyster mortalities were also documented during biological sampling in some areas which has further decreased an already reduced oyster resource. The commission took action to delay the season in order to protect and conserve the remaining oyster resources located in these areas. The public grounds east of the Mississippi River contribute approximately 28 percent of all oyster harvest in Louisiana on an annual basis.

The remaining public oyster areas throughout the coast will continue with the current oyster season framework as set by the commission at their August 2010 meeting. Most of these areas will open on November 15, 2010.

The commission authorized Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries’ Secretary Robert J. Barham to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended and to open areas if substantial oyster resources are located.

Public notice of any opening, delay, or closure of a season will be provided at least 72 hours prior to such action, unless such closure is ordered by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for public health concerns.

 For more information, contact Patrick Banks at 225.765.2370 (pbanks@wlf.louisiana.gov).

Documents: 

LDWF Opens Additional State Waters to Shrimp and Finfish Harvest

Release Date: 10/28/2010

LDWF Opens Additional State Waters to Shrimp and Finfish Harvest
LDWF Opens Additional State Waters to Shrimp and Finfish Harvest

State waters now 98.5 percent open to recreational and commercial fishing; reopening coincides with federal reopening

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) has ordered the reopening of additional state waters with the Mississippi River Delta to commercial and recreational shrimp and finfish harvest effective immediately. This reopening of waters previously closed to fishing due to the BP oil spill, is done in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered the reopening as comprehensive sensory and chemical testing by the state and the FDA concluded that seafood from these areas is safe for consumption. Including the current reopening, 98.5 percent of state waters are now open to commercial and recreational fishing.

Commercial fishing for the harvest of finfish and shrimp is immediately open today, October 28, seaward a minimum distance of one-quarter mile or more from the shoreline between the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds westward to the western shore of Southwest Pass and 89 degrees 25 minutes 00 seconds west longitude. This reopening includes waters in the following areas:

  • Pass a Loutre,
  • North Pass,
  • Northeast Pass,
  • Southeast Pass,
  • South Pass and
  • Southwest Pass.

Portions of the following areas are also being reopened:

  • Blind Bay,
  • Redfish Bay,
  • Garden Island Bay and
  • East Bay.

Additional portions of state outside territorial waters between Pass a Loutre and Southwest Pass are also included in the reopening. 

This reopening does not extend to the harvest of crabs and oysters as LDWF officials are still awaiting hydrocarbon test results on crabs, and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals regulates the harvest of oysters.

The following state waters, however, will remain closed to commercial fishing until further notice:

  • The area south of the southern shore of Pass a Loutre extending westward to the eastern shore of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River inside of a line extending a minimum of one-quarter mile or more seaward from the shoreline except for Pass a Loutre, North Pass, Northeast Pass, Southeast Pass and South Pass;
  • 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; and
  • An area from near Quatre Bayou Pass westward including Grand Terre Island to Barataria Pass.

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.

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Documents: 

L.D.W.F. to Close Greater Amberjack Commercial Fishery at 12:01 a.m., October 28

Release Date: 10/27/2010

NOAA predicts quota will be met; fishery will reopen January 1, 2011.

Baton Rouge (October 27, 2010) - The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will close the greater amberjack commercial fishery in state waters at 12:01 a.m., October 28. LDWF Secretary Robert Barham signed the closure, which coincides with the federal closure issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

NOAA predicts that the 2010 commercial quota will be met by October 28, and, as a result, has requested that the state match the closure in federal waters.

After the closure, all commercial harvest, possession, purchase, barter, trade, sale or attempt to purchase, barter, trade or sell greater amberjack is prohibited until 12:01 a.m., January 1, 2011, the date set for the opening of the 2011 season. The prohibition on the sale or purchase of greater amberjack during the closure does not apply to those that were harvested, landed ashore and sold prior to the effective date of the closure and were held in cold storage by a dealer or processor provided appropriate records in accordance with R.S. 56:306.5 and 56:306.6 are properly maintained.

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/pages/Baton-Rouge-LA/Louisiana-Department-of-Wildlife-a... or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, please contact Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov.

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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.

2010-288

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.

 

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