Fishing

LDWF Secretary Enacts Two-Week Delay of Oyster Season to Allow for Ongoing NRDA Sampling

Release Date: 10/11/2011

 

October 11, 2011 – Today, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham made effective a delay of the 2011-2012 Oyster Season on certain public seed grounds for up to two weeks to allow for continued sampling as part of the BP Deepwater Horizon Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA).

Last week, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission gave authority to Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham to postpone the season opening on public seed grounds for up to two weeks, from October 17 to October 31, 2011. An official authorization of that delay was issue today by the Department. 

Officials with LDWF continue to work with NRDA teams to ensure that sampling efforts are completed as quickly as possible. If sampling is completed before the end of the two-week delay period, Secretary Barham will open the season following a 72-hour public notice.

Sampling efforts of oysters on public seed grounds are ongoing as part of the NRDA process to assess injuries caused by the 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.  The NRDA sampling currently taking place is intended to collect a number of data sets, including oyster density, size frequency, biomass and sediment samples, in an effort to assess injuries to oysters as a result of the spill.

The 2011-2012 Oyster Season on public seed grounds was set to open October 17, 2011, with the exception of Calcasieu and Sabine lakes. No other changes have been made to the season opening dates established by the Commission at its September meeting.

The oyster season in the west cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (Department of Health and Hospitals’ harvest area 30) is scheduled to open at one-half hour before sunrise on Tuesday, November 1, 2011.  The sack limit during this time period is set at 10 sacks per person per vessel per day.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us atwww.wlf.louisiana.gov on Facebook atwww.facebook.com/ldwffb or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

 

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

 

LDWF Celebrates National Hunting & Fishing Day Outdoor Festivals Sept. 24

Release Date: 09/22/2011

LDWF Celebrates National Hunting & Fishing Day Outdoor Festivals Sept. 24
LDWF Celebrates National Hunting & Fishing Day Outdoor Festivals Sept. 24
LDWF Celebrates National Hunting & Fishing Day Outdoor Festivals Sept. 24

Sept. 22, 2011 - Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) will host its annual celebrations of National Hunting and Fishing Day Outdoor Festivals on Saturday, Sept. 24.  LDWF invites citizens of all ages to attend these free events and enjoy time outside with family and friends. There are four events held across the state in Baton Rouge, Monroe, Minden and Woodworth.  Admission is free at all four locations with a wide variety of activities to enjoy.

“These events offer the best opportunities for our citizens to experience first hand what Louisiana offers in recreational outdoor sports,” said LDWF Secretary Robert Barham. "Hunting, fishing and other outdoor sports are fun, healthy activities for everyone, from the toddler to the grandparent.  We offer something for everyone at National Hunting and Fishing Day.”

Admission is free at all locations.  Some of the demonstrations include bow-hunting, fly-casting and tying, bait casting, Labrador retrieving, falconry and cannon nets (capturing wildlife.) The activities include skeet shooting, air rifles, canoeing, fishing, youth fishing contest and much more. Many of the education displays include live animals. The Baton Rouge event will include a 1400-gallon aquarium. 

There is great local food at all locations.  At the Baton Rouge event, local chefs are preparing seafood and wild game.  Chef Celeste Gill, Chef James Window and the Louisiana Culinary Institute will be on hand preparing shrimp, catfish, wild boar and venison for everyone to taste. 

To find out more about National Hunting and Fishing Day Outdoor Festival in your area, visit LDWF at www.wlf.louisiana.gov or contact one of the LDWF offices listed below.   To watch the 2011 National Hunting and Fishing Day Outdoor Festival video click here!

Baton Rouge

Waddill Outdoor Education Center

4142 N. Flannery Road

(225)765-2800


 

Minden

Bodcau Wildlife Management Area


1700 Bodcau Dam Rd.


Haughton, LA.  71037


(318) 371-3050

 

Monroe

LDWF District 2 Office


368 Centurylink Dr.


Monroe, LA.  71203


(318) 343-4044

 

Woodworth

Woodworth Outdoor Education Center


661 Robinson Bridge Rd.


Woodworth, LA.  71485


(318) 484-2212

 

Drawndown Underway at Eunice City Lake

Release Date: 09/20/2011

(Sept. 20, 2011) – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is currently lowering the water level of Eunice City Lake as part of a $1 million rehabilitation project.  The Department will completely drain the lake in order to remove the existing fish population and will restock it with bass, bluegill, redear sunfish and sac-a-lait. 

The water level in the lake will remain lowered for approximately 18 months in order to complete the project.

The Department, in cooperation with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation and the city of Eunice,are launching a project to rehabilitate Eunice City Lake after a Union Pacific Railroad explosion in May 2000 potentially released hazardous materials and chemicals into the surrounding area.  Although it was determined that there were no health risks involved in eating fish from the lake, concerns about fish contamination discouraged recreational use of the lake. 

Other site improvements include the construction of a deck and pier, restroom facility, picnic pavilions, nature walk, welcome center and asphalt road, and parking.  Repairs will be made to the existing fishing and boat dock, boat slip and the existing lake control structure will be replaced. 

Existing facilities will also be revitalized to accommodate those seeking an outdoor recreational refuge within the community.  A large pavilion will be constructed as a revenue-generating space available to the community for private outdoor events.

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 press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

LDWF Sets Public Meetings to discuss Drawdown for Anococo Lake

Release Date: 09/14/2011

(Sept. 14, 2011)– The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the Vernon Parish Lake Commission will hold two public meetings in Leesville, La., to discuss a drawdown for Anacoco Lake in Vernon Parish.  The meetings are being held to provide additional information and address public concerns. 

The lake will be lowered approximately 18 feet below pool stage beginning January 9, 2012, and will remain lowered until November 1, 2012.

The drawdown is being conducted to reduce muddy water and renovate the lake bottom.  It will also allow property owners the opportunity to conduct shoreline and property maintenance. 

The meeting dates, times and locations are as follows:

  • Sept. 20 – 6:30 p.m. at the Vernon Parish Fairgrounds Auditorium, 276 HM Stephens Blvd., Leesville
     
  • Oct. 11 – 6:30 p.m. at the Vernon Parish Government Complex Building, 300 S. Third St., Leesville

For further information regarding the drawdown, contact Eric Shanks, LDWF Inland Fisheries Manager, at (337) 491-2577.

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 press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at awethey@wlf.la.gov (225) 765-5113.

Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council Scheduled to Meet Sept. 13, 2011

Release Date: 09/09/2011

The Hunting and Fishing Advisory Education Council will meet Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 1:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge.

The agenda for Tuesday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:

1.  Roll Call

2.  Approval of Minutes of June 14, 2011

3.  Chairman Welcome and Opening Comments

4.  Enforcement Division Report

5.  Office of Fisheries Report

  • Atchafalaya Basin Fishing Survey
  • Pearl River Spill Update
  • Texas-LA Border Fishing Regulations Agreement
  • Tilapia Update

6.  Office of Wildlife Report

  • Kisatchie National Forest Deer-dog Hunting
  • WMA Expansion: Sites Adding Acreage
  • Limited Access Areas Providing Hunter Options

7.  Set Next Meeting Date

8.  Receive Public Comments

9.  Adjournment

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

 

Saltwater - Freshwater Line

Saltwater - Freshwater Line

For the purposes of regulating certain fisheries the legislature recognized the historic division of the state into saltwater and freshwater areas based on the variations of flora and fauna found within these two divisions. The legislature further recognized that the exact line of demarcation cannot be precisely located due to constant changes in water salinity caused by winds, tides, and rains. The legislature therefore legally defined the freshwater and saltwater areas by describing a line from the Texas state line, easterly to the Mississippi state line. The areas south of the described line, plus a number of saltwater lakes and waterways, were designated as saltwater areas and all other areas north of the described line were designated as freshwater areas.

Louisiana Saltwater Line Definition

Title 56, Section 322-The Intracoastal waterway from the Texas- Louisiana boundary to its junction with Louisiana Highway 27 at Gibbstown, and then south to Louisiana Highway 82 and then east to its junction with the Intracoastal Waterway at Forked Island, the Intracoastal Waterway from Forked Island to Bayou Barataria to the Harvey Canal, the Harvey Canal to the Mississippi River, the Mississippi River to the Industrial Canal, the Industrial Canal to the Intracoastal Waterway, the Intracoastal Waterway to the Rigolets in Orleans Parish to the Louisville & Nashville Railroad bridge, the Louisville & Nashville Railroad right-of-way from the Orleans Parish line to the Mississippi state line.

The areas south of the above described line, plus the saltwater lakes known as Lake Maurepas, Lake Pontchartrain, Lake St. Catherine, Chef Menteur Pass (except that seven- tenths of a mile section from Bayou Sauvage south to the Intracoastal Waterway), the Rigolets, Unknown Pass, Pass Manchac, Intracoastal, and that portion of the Calcasieu Ship Channel from the Intracoastal Waterway south to the Gulf of Mexico, shall be designated as saltwater areas.

Persons fishing and/or possessing saltwater fish in these areas are required to have in addition to the basic fishing license a saltwater fishing license.

Federal Waters (EEZ)

A very easy way to tell if you are in state or federal waters is to pull up to the nearest platform. If the platform is in state waters it will have a placard with a State Lease Number. If the platform is in federal waters it will be designated with an OCS number. By utilizing a block map you can alsoestimate your position. The platform will be designated with an area and block number. For instance if you see ST-128 X, OCS 00498 you will be in federal waters at South Timbalier 128 platform X.

Saltwater Creel and Size Limits

Common Coastal Species

Species Size Limit Bag and Posession Limit
Cobia (Ling or Lemon Fish)  33” min fork length  2 daily per person 
Drum, Black  16” min total length  5 daily per person - bag and possession
No more than one over 27” max total length 
Drum, Red (Redfish) 1 16” min total length 5 daily per person - bag 2 No more than one over 27” max total length 
Flounder, Southern  none  10 daily per person (for each consecutive day on the water) 
Mackerel, King 24” min fork length  2 daily per person 
Mackerel, Spanish 12” min fork length  15 daily per person 
Mullet, Striped  none  100 lbs. daily 
Seatrout, Spotted (Speckled Trout) 12” min total length  25 daily per person - bag 2; 15 daily per person with no more than two over 25” (in specified areas) 

Highly Migratory Species 5

Marlin, Blue  99” min lower jaw fork length  none
Marlin, White  66” min lower jaw fork length   
Sailfish  63” min lower jaw fork length   
Shark, Atlantic Sharpnose and Bonnethead none  1 daily per person - possession 
Shark, Others (EXCEPT prohibited, silky and sandbar) 54” min fork length  1 in aggregate per vessel per trip - possession. No silky or sandbar sharks or prohibited species. 
Swordfish

29” min carcass length or 33 lbs. min dressed weight 

5 per vessel per trip 
Tuna, Bigeye 27” min curved fork length  none 
Tuna, Bluefin none   
Tuna, Yellowfin 3 daily per person   

Reef Fish3

Grouper, Black and Gag 9, 10, 12 22” min total length  5 daily in aggregateNo more than one speckled hind and one Warsaw grouper per vessel and not more than one red grouper per person included in the bag limit. 3, 9 
Grouper, Red and Yellowfin 9, 10  20” min total length   
Grouper, Scamp 9, 10  16” min total length   
Grouper, Goliath and Nassau  Take Prohibited  Take/Possession prohibited 
Snapper, Red 10, 11  16” min total length  2 daily per person
Snapper, Mutton  16” min total length  10 daily per person in aggregate

Snapper, Queen, Blackfin, Silk and Wenchman 

none   
Snapper, Schoolmaster, Cubera, Gray (mangrove), Yellowtail, Dog and Mahogany 

12” min total length 

 

 
Snapper, Lane  8” min total length  20 daily per person in aggregate 3
Snapper, Vermilion  10” min total length   
Alamo Jack  none   
Gray Triggerfish  14” min fork length   
Tilefish, Goldface, Blackline, Anchorand Blueline Tilefishes  none   
Amberjack, Greater 10 30” min fork length  1 daily per person
Amberjack, Lesser and Banded Rudderfish 

14” min fork length

22” max fork length 

5 daily per person in aggregate 
Hogfish  12” min fork length  5 daily per person 
Seabass, Black  8” min total length  none 

1 Red Drum (Redfish), and Spotted Seatrout (Speckled Trout): Recreational saltwater anglers may possess a two day’s bag limit on land; however, no person shall be in possession of over the daily bag limit in any one day or while fishing or while on the water, unless that recreational saltwater angler is aboard a trawler engaged in commercial fishing for a consecutive period of longer than 25 hours. Take or Possession of red drum in federal waters is prohibited.

2 Two days’ bag limit allowed in possession off of the water, not while fishing or in a boat.

3 Two day limit allowed in possession only on charter vessels and headboats on multi day trips, if the vessels have two licensed operators as required by the U.S. Coast Guard for trips more than 12 hours, and if each angler has in possession a receipt issued on behalf of the vessel verifying the length of the trip.

4 Seatrout, Spotted (Speckled Trout): 12” minimum total length. 25 fish per person daily bag limit.
Except: 15 fish daily take and possession limit, with no more than two spotted seatrout exceeding 25” total length, regardless of where taken, in a defined area of Cameron and Calcasieu Parishes in southwestern Louisiana. Within those areas described here, including coastal territorial waters: south of Interstate 10 from its junction at the Texas- Louisiana boundary eastward to its junction with Louisiana Highway 171, south to Highway 14, and then south to Holmwood, and then south on Highway 27 through Gibbstown south to Louisiana Highway 82 at Creole and south on Highway 82 to Oak Grove, and then due south to the western shore of the Mermentau River, following this shoreline south to the junction with the Gulf of Mexico, and then due south to the limit of the state territorial sea, under the authority of the provisions of R. S. 56:325.1(A), the daily take and possession limit shall be 15 fish, regardless of where taken, with no more than two spotted seatrout exceeding 25 inches total length. Those spotted seatrout exceeding 25” in length shall be considered as part of the daily recreational take and possession limit.

5 Highly Migratory Species: All owners/operators of vessels fishing recreationally for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish) in the Atlantic Ocean, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, must obtain an Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) permit. Similar to Atlantic tunas permits, 2010 Atlantic HMS permits will be valid from the date of issuance through December 31, 2010.
Federal regulations currently require a federal HMS angling permit for all owners/operators of recreational vessels fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (Atlantic tunas, sharks, swordfish and billfish) in the federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Those regulations also require an Atlantic HMS Charter/ Headboat permit for all charter or headboat fishing for and/or retaining regulated Atlantic HMS in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. For information contact the National Marine Fisheries Service Permitting Office at 1-888-USATUNA (1-888-872-8862) or visit NMFS Permit Shop at: http://www. nmfspermits.com/initialapp.asp. Recreational tournament operators: A person conducting a tournament involving scorekeeping or awards for highly migratory species including Atlantic billfish, swordfish, tuna and sharks (whether or not retained), must register with the NOAA Fisheries Permit Office, 263 13th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL, 33701 or by FAX to 727-824- 5398. The registration must be in writing, at least four weeks prior to commencement of tournament fishing. A tournament registration form is available upon request from the above address or can be requested by FAX to 727-824-5398. NOTE: Federal regulations currently require registration of all fishing tournaments involving the catch and/or landing of any HMS in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

6 Sharks: Closed Season: All Louisiana state waters out to the seaward boundary of the Louisiana Territorial Sea shall be closed to the recreational and commercial harvest and possession of all sharks between April 1 and June 30 of each year.
Small Coastal Sharks: Atlantic sharpnose shark; bonnethead shark; blacknose shark; finetooth shark 
Large Coastal Sharks: blacktip shark; nurse shark; smooth hammerhead; bull shark; sandbar shark*; spinner shark; great hammerhead; scalloped hammerhead; tiger shark; lemon shark; silky shark* *Note: Recreational harvest of sandbar and silky sharks (ridgeback sharks) is not allowed.
Pelagic Sharks: blue shark; porbeagle shark; thresher shark; oceanic whitetip shark; shortfin mako
Prohibited Species:
No person shall take, possess, purchase, sell, barter, exchange or attempt to possess, purchase, sell, barter or exchange any of the following species or parts thereof:
Atlantic angel shark; Caribbean sharpnose shark; sand tiger shark; basking shark; dusky shark; sevengill shark; bigeye sand tiger shark; Galapagos shark; sixgill shark; bigeye sixgill shark; largetooth sawfish; smalltail shark; bigeye thresher shark; longfin mako; smalltooth sawfish; bignose shark; narrowtooth shark; whale shark; Caribbean reef shark; night shark; white shark.
Sharks taken under a recreational bag limit shall not be sold, purchased, exchanged, bartered or attempted to be sold, purchased, exchanged or bartered. A person subject to a bag limit shall not possess at any time, regardless of the number of trips or the duration of a trip, any shark in excess of the bag limits mentioned above. The practice of “finning,” that is, removing only the fins and returning the remain-der of the shark to the sea, is prohibited within and without Louisiana waters. Notwithstanding other provisions of this part, a person may fish for, but not retain, white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) with rod and reel only under a catch and release program, provided the person releases and returns such fish to the sea immediately with a minimum of injury.

7 Swordfish: Recreational fishing vessels shall not possess more than five swordfish per vessel per trip. Swordfish taken under a recreational bag limit shall not be sold, purchased, exchanged, bartered, or attempted to be sold, purchased, exchanged or bartered. No person aboard any vessel shall transfer or cause the transfer of swordfish between vessels on state or federal waters.

8 Tuna: Person subject to the jurisdiction of the state, fishing for tunas within or without Louisiana state waters, are subject to both state and federal laws, rules and regulations. Federal regulations on recreational harvest of tunas change often, especially for bluefin tuna. Prior to harvest of tuna, be aware of the most current federal regulations on harvest, including sizes, bag limits and closed seasons. The “Atlantic Tunas Regulations Brochure” is available at http://hmspermits.noaa.gov/library. asp and announcements of changes may be accessed via the web at http:// hmspermits.noaa.gov/news.asp.
All bluefin tuna must be reported within 24 hours of landing to NMFS by calling 888-872-8862 or visiting www.hmspermits.noaa.gov. For further information regarding angling category permits please call the NMFS HMS Division at 888-872- 8862.
Permanent Louisiana regulations on tuna harvest may be superseded by seasonal changes within the federal regulatory system. See websites referenced above for current federal regulations.

9 Grouper: NOTE: A closed season has been established for recreational harvest of gag, black and red grouper, effective Feb. 15 - March 14 of each year in Louisiana state waters. As of the publication date of this pamphlet, modified rules on bag limits were being considered.Other seasons and rules are currently in place in Federal waters off of Louisiana. Please check those rules at http://www.gulfcouncil.org/ under “Fishing Regulations.”

10 No harvest of red snapper, greater amberjack or grouper of any species is allowed for the captain and crew of vessel, under charter (their creel limit is zero).

11 Snapper, Red: A federal recreational quota for red snapper is in effect. The recreational season for harvest of red snapper is scheduled to open June 1.

12 Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission Closes State Waters to Harvest of Gag Grouper

Freshwater Creel and Size Limits

Species Size Limit Bag and Posession Limit
Bass, Black (Largemouth, spotted)*  no size limits EXCEPT as follows  10 daily, of any size EXCEPT as follows: 
  Toledo Bend Reservoir  largemouth - 14” min total length spotted* - no size limit  8 daily in aggregate 
  Eagle Lake  16” min total length  10 daily 
  Caddo Lake (Caddo Parish)  14” to 18” protected slot limit***  8 daily No more than four over 18” total length 
  Poverty Point Reservoir  15” to 19” protected slot limit***  8 daily No more than one over 19” total length 
Caney Creek Lake ( Jackson Parish)  15” to 19” protected slot limit***  8 daily No more than two over 19” total length 
  False River (Pointe Coupee Parish)  14” min total length  5 daily 
  Spanish Lake (St. Martin and Iberia par-ishes)  16” to 21” protected slot limit***  8 daily No more than two over 21” total length 
  Black Bayou (Bossier), Chicot Lake (Evangeline), Cross Lake (Caddo), Lake Rodemacher (Rapides), John K. Kelly-Grand Bayou Reservoir (Red River) and Vernon Lake (Vernon)  14” to 17” protected slot limit***  8 daily No more than four over 17” total length 
Bass, Striped or Hybrid Striped (or any combination thereof)  n/a  5 daily No more than two over 30” total length 
Bass, White  none  50 daily, EXCEPT 25 at Toledo Bend 
Bass, Yellow  none  50 daily, EXCEPT no limit at Toledo Bend 
Bowfin (Choupique)  16” min total length  No limit 
Buffalo Fish (or their hybrids)  16” min total length  25 per day 
Catfish, Blue  12” min total length  See Catfish Possession Limit section for more information 
Catfish, Channel  11” min total length   
Catfish, Flathead  14” min total length   
Crappie  none  50 daily, EXCEPT 25 at Poverty Point 
Crawfish  none  150 pounds daily 
Freshwater Drum (Gaspergou)  12” min total length  25 per day 
Frogs and Turtles  none  See Reptiles and Amphibians section 
Paddlefish  30” max lower jaw fork length  Two per person (see Paddlefish Possession Limits section for specific rules) 
Shad  none  50 pounds daily 
Sturgeon  n/a  No legal harvest or possession 
Other Freshwater Game Fish  none  No limit 
*NOTE: For enforcement purposes, a spotted bass is defined as a black bass with a tooth patch on the tongue. **See official 2009 Louisiana Fishing Regulations Pamphlet for area descriptions. ***Fish falling within a protected slot limit must be immediately released.     

 

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