Fishing

Shrimp Seasons to Close in Portions of Zones 1 and 3

Release Date: 07/15/2010

 

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

    http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/img/7x9/orange_arrow.gif); ">
  • 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

    http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/img/7x9/orange_arrow.gif); ">
  • 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: 07/13/2010

 

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:

    http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/img/7x9/orange_arrow.gif); ">
  • 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.

    http://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/img/7x9/orange_arrow.gif); ">
  • 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: 07/13/2010

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: 07/12/2010

 

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: 07/07/2010

 

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

LDWF Announces Fishing Opening in a Portion of Plaquemines Parish East of the Mississippi River to Fishing

Release Date: 07/06/2010

 

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the following opening to recreational and commercial fishing in a portion of Plaquemines Parish effective 6 a.m., tomorrow July 8, 2010.

The portion of state inside waters east of the Mississippi River in Plaquemines Parish south of 29 degrees 38 minutes 12 seconds north latitude near Mozambique Pt. and north of the eastern shore of the Mississippi River from the Twin Pipeline Canals at 89 degrees 42 minutes 32 seconds west longitude eastward to the double-rig line and 89 degrees 28 minutes 06 seconds west longitude near Sable Island.

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

Once reports of oil are received, LDWF initiates a field survey and immediate seafood testing in the suspected areas. Closures are subsequently made with the intent to be as safe as possible, while not closing any fishing areas unnecessarily. As test results come back clearing the area, effected waters are then reopened.

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 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, 225-765-2917 or mburke@wlf.la.gov.

2010-210

Documents: 

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

Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery

Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery
Hand Painted Mural
Ponds at Booker Fowler
Raceways and Hatchery Building
Visitors Center

About the Hatchery:

Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery, located in central Louisiana, is the department's primary fish production facility. This facility primarily produces freshwater sportfish fingerlings to assist fisheries managers with achieving statewide management objectives. Since its first year of fish production in the spring of 1997, Booker Fowler has released over 41 million fish into public water bodies throughout Louisiana.

Interested in visiting us?

The Booker Fowler Fish Hatchery is home to a Visitors Center boasting over 10,000 gallons of aquaria. Native Louisiana fish, reptiles, amphibians, and crustaceans can all be found on display. If the animals aren’t enough of a draw, there are extensive wall murals hand-painted by local artists, Gene Dupuis and Paul Wallace, depicting natural Louisiana habitats.

The Visitors Center is free to the public and open, Monday through Friday from 9AM to 3PM year round. The best time to visit is mid-March through mid-May. That time of year is when the largemouth bass are spawning and you can view the various stages of egg development.

 

Contact Information:

10 Joan Stokes Rd.
Forest Hill, LA 71430
Phone: (318) 748-6914
Fax: (318) 748-6930

 

 

 

Seismic Exploration Activity Program

Public Notices

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries requires the following information in order process applications to permit seismic exploration activity in the state of Louisiana. LDWF regulations pertaining to seismic exploration are contained in LAC 76:I.301 of the Louisiana Administrative Code (LAC).

Historical Note: The Seismic program was created in 1939 specifically to protect oysters, fish, shrimp, and other wildlife from injury due to seismic exploration. The section continues to monitor these activities and develop new ways to reduce impact.

Required Submissions:

1. The company must first request for a permit in writing from the LDWF Seismic Section.

2. The seismic company must provide proof of liability insurance in the amount of $1,000,000.

3. The seismic company must furnish the Department with a surety bond of $75,000 from a bonding company licensed to do business in the state of Louisiana.

4. The seismic company must also sign a "Conditions of Letter of Permission to Conduct Seismic Activity in the State of Louisiana" form which will be provided to the company by the Department.

If the Department grants a permit, there are other steps that must be taken before seismic activity can begin. The seismic company must request a Natural Heritage review from the Department as indicated in LAC 76:I.301.B.4, and complete a Notification of Beginning of Seismic Exploration form. The seismic company is also required to hold a public meeting prior to beginning work. Notice of this public meeting must be advertised in the parish paper of record for at least 30 days.

Additional forms required by the Department for Seismic Exploration Activity.

Continuing Seismic Exploration Insurance Bond
Natural Heritage Approval/Notification
Notification of Beginning of Seismic Exploration
Payment Information Form
Daily Report Form

Contact:

Joe Maryman (jmaryman@wlf.la.gov)
Phone: 225-765-2380
 

Artificial Reef Program

Program

Oil & Gas PlatformsThe Louisiana Artificial Reef Program was established in 1986 to take advantage of obsolete oil and gas platforms which were recognized as providing habitat important to many of Louisiana's coastal fishes. Federal law and international treaty require these platforms to be removed one year after production ceases. The removal of these platforms results in a loss of reef habitat.

Rigs-to-Reef toppled structureSince the program's inception in 1986, 71 oil and gas related companies have participated in the program and donated primarily the jackets of oil and gas structures. In addition to the material, companies also donate one half their realized savings over a traditional onshore removal into Louisiana's Artificial Reef Trust Fund. In 1999, the Louisiana Program created the world's largest artificial reef from the Freeport sulfur mine off Grand Isle Louisiana. The sulfur mine, with over 1.5 miles of bridgework, is composed of more than 29 structures. The reef is in 42-50 feet of water and has 27 feet of clearance. For safety of navigation it is marked by 5 lighted buoys. Forty (40) Armored Personnel Carriers (APC's) and one offshore tug are also deployed within two offshore artificial reefs.                                

Limestone DeploymentThe reef program has also developed 30 inshore reefs in Louisiana's state waters, primarily low profile reefs composed of shell or limestone. Eight inshore artificial reefs  have been constructed using reef balls.  Recylced concrete from the decommissioning of the old I-10 Twin Span bridges and other concrete sources  have been utilized to develop new inshore reefs.  Seven inshore reefs were constructed by LDWF and twenty-three others were constructed in partnership with public conservation, private groups and other governmental entities.

 

 The Oil & Gas Industry

Rigs-to-Reef habitatLouisiana's offshore oil and gas industry began in 1947 when the first well was drilled out of sight of land south of Terrebonne parish. Over 7,000 offshore oil and gas platforms have been installed in the Gulf of Mexico which have supplied natural gas and oil to the United States. In addition to meeting the world's energy needs, these structures also form one of the world's most extensive de-facto artificial reef systems. However, Federal regulations require that these structures be removed within one year after the lease is terminated. Since 1973, 4,100 of these platforms have been decommissioned. Disposal of obsolete offshore oil and gas structures is not only a net financial liability for private industry but can be a public loss of productive marine habitat.

Rigs-to-Reef toppled structureThe Louisiana Fishing Enhancement Act was signed into law in 1986, creating the Louisiana Artificial Reef Program. This program was designed to take advantage of fishing opportunities provided by these obsolete platforms. Since the program's inception, 71 offshore reefs utilizing the jackets of 320 obsolete platforms, have been created off Louisiana's coast. Gulfwide, over 400 obsolete platforms have been converted into permanent artificial reefs.

Rigs-to-Reef habitatThe use of obsolete oil and gas platforms in Louisiana has proved to be highly successful. Their large numbers, design, longevity and stability have provided a number of advantages over the use of traditional artificial reef materials. The participating companies also save money by converting the structure into a reef rather than abandoning it onshore and are required to donate a portion of the savings to operate the state program.

Rigs-to-Reef: almaco jackOne disadvantage, however, is that their large size restricts the distance to shore where these platforms can be sited. To achieve the minimum clearance of 85 ft as required by the Coast Guard regulations, the platforms must be placed in waters in excess of 100 ft. Waters compatible with reef development are generally found between 30 and 70 miles off Louisiana's gently sloping continental shelf, making them accessible to anglers with offshore vessels.

Rigs-to-Reef toppled structureFunds generated by the program can be used to develop reefs closer to shore using alternative low profile materials.

Oil and gas development in the Gulf of Mexico region has and will continue to contribute to the Gulf's position as the nation's most productive and popular offshore marine fishing zone.

 

Artificial Reef Maps & Coordinates

 

 

 

 

Multi-beam Reef Survey Imagery & Coordinates

The surveying of the offshore reefs has been completed.  Click the links to view or download PDFs containing imagery of the reefs and coordinates for the structures.

Offshore Reefs by Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas:


For more information contact:

Mike McDonough
LA Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
PO Box 98000
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
225-763-5418
Email: mmcdonough@wlf.la.gov

Syndicate content