Fishing

LDWF Reminds Residents to Report Tropical Storm Lee-Related Fish Kills

Release Date: 09/03/2011

Sept. 3, 2011 - Officials with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) are reminding residents in areas that may be impacted by Tropical Storm Lee that fish kills may occur as a result of the storm. Residents who encounter a fish kill are encouraged to call 1-800-442-2511 immediately to report this fish kill. 

Large amounts of rainfall across Southern Louisiana may cause fish kills, particularly in the Lake Verret Complex, Lake Fausse Point or other natural waterbodies surrounded by lands converted from forests to agricultural land. High levels of rainfall may erode organic matter, carrying it into bayous and canals connected to lakes. Organic matter may consume high amounts of dissolved oxygen in the water "suffocating" aquatic life.

Fish kills may also be caused by the rapid mixing of stratified waters or layers of warm oxygenated water over cooler anoxic water. In some instances, the result will be that the water can no longer support underwater life.

In the past, tropical storms have caused fish kills in these types of waterbodies. Localized fish kills may also occur in the Atchafalaya Basin. 

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 Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov.

 

Crab Seasons

The crab fishery stays open throughout the year in Louisiana waters.

Saltwater Finfish Seasons

All recreational anglers possessing or landing the following species or species groups: tunas, billfish, swordfish, snappers, amberjacks, groupers, hinds, cobia, wahoo, and dolphin must obtain a Recreational Offshore Landing Permit, except those anglers on a paid-for-hire trip where the captain holds a permit.  A Permit, available at no cost, as well as more information can be obtained at www.wlf.la.gov/rolp.

Black grouper, red grouper, yellowfin grouper, yellowmouth grouper, rock hind, red hind and scamp have an annual closed season from February 1 through March 31, seaward of 20 fathoms. 

*NOTE IMPORTANT CHANGES TO RECREATIONAL RED SNAPPER*

Recreational Red Snapper – Currently Open.

  • Currently open in state waters and closed in federal waters.
  • State waters only season is open daily.
  • Daily bag limit in state waters during the state waters red snapper season is 2 fish per person at a 16 inch minimum length.
  • As our department continues to fight the battle for regional management of our fisheries, regulations may have the potential to change throughout the season.  We urge anglers to visit this webpage or our online fishing regulations pamphlet prior to your trip to ensure you are compliant.

Recreational Gag Grouper Season – Currently Open

  • Season scheduled to open from July 1 through December 31
  • Bag limit changed to 2 fish per person per day
  • Get more information here.

Recreational Greater Amberjack – Currently Closed

  • Annual closed season from June 1 – July 31
  • Season re-opens August 1
  • Limits managed through a federal quota
  • Get more information here.

Recreational Gray Triggerfish – Currently Closed

  •     Open as of January 1, 2014
  •     Recreational bag and possession limit is 2 gray triggerfish.
  •     Closed season from June 1 through July 31.
  •     Limits managed through a federal quota
  •     Get more information here.

Recreational Bluefin Tuna- Closed

  • There is no directed or targeted recreational fishing for bluefin tuna allowed in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • One bluefin tuna over 73 inches curved fork length, caught incidentally, may be kept per vessel per year during open seasons.
  • Seasons subject to close at any time, get more information at www.nmfs.noaa.gov/sfa/hms .
  • Federal HMS Angling Permit and Louisiana Recreational Offshore Landing Permit needed.
  • Incidental Trophy Season closes at 11:30 p.m. Friday, April 11, 2014 and is scheduled to re-open January 1, 2015.

Commercial Greater Amberjack –Currently Open

  • Annual closed season from March 1 – May 31
  • 2,000 pound trip limit
  • Limits managed through a federal quota
  • Get more information here.

Commercial Large Coastal Sharks – Closed.

  • Season opened January 1, 2014
  • Annual closed season from April 1 – June 30
  • State and Federal Daily trip limit – 36 Large Coastal Sharks
  • Harvest is regulated by a federally established quota
  • State Shark Permit required to commercially harvest shark; Federal Permit required when fishing in Federal waters
  • Large Coastal Sharks are : great hammerhead shark, scalloped hammerhead shark, smooth hammerhead shark, nurse shark, blacktip shark, bull shark, lemon shark, sandbar shark*, silky shark, spinner shark, and tiger shark.
  • *Sandbar shark may only be harvested with a special Federal Research Permit
  • Get more information here.

Commercial Small Coastal Sharks – Currently Open

  • Season Open
  • Season will close when quota is harvested or projected to be harvested
  • Annual closed season from April 1 – June 30
  • Harvest is regulated by federally established quota
  • Small Coastal Sharks are : Atlantic sharpnose shark, bonnethead shark, blacknose shark, and finetooth shark
  • Get more information here.

Commercial Gray Triggerfish – Currently Closed

  • Closed season from June 1 through July 31
  • Commercial trip limit of 12 gray triggerfish.
  • Reopens August 1
  • Limits managed through a federal quota
  • Get more information here.

Get creel and size limits before you hit the water here.

Oyster Seasons

   

Aug. 7, 2014– Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2014/2015 oyster seasons based on the annual oyster stock assessment provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments received from members of the public, including the oyster industry.

The following opening dates were set for the upcoming oyster season:

  • Wednesday, September 3, 2014 - the Little Lake, Barataria Bay, Deep Lake, Lake Tambour, and Vermilion/East and West Cote Blanche/Atchafalaya Bay Public Oyster Seed Grounds will open at one-half hour before sunrise.  No harvest of oysters for market sales is allowed on any public oyster area prior to the second Monday in October.  Therefore, any and all vessels harvesting on the open public oyster seed grounds between September 3, 2014 and October 12, 2014 shall be harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes only and shall not have sacks or other containers typically used to hold oysters on board the harvest vessel.
  • Monday, October 20, 2014 - all remaining public oyster seed grounds and reservations, including Lake Borgne, Bay Junop, Lake Mechant, the Lake Machias/Fortuna sacking-only area and the Bay Long sacking-only area, and a sacking-only area in Mississippi Sound (St. Bernard Parish) west of a line of longitude at 89 degrees 22 minutes 50.0 seconds W and east of a line of longitude at 89 degrees 29 minutes 0.0 seconds W, will open at one-half hour before sunrise. 
  • Monday, October 27, 2014 - the oyster season in the west cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (DHH Harvest Area 30) will open at one-half hour before sunrise. 

During the 2014/2015 open oyster season, the following provisions shall be in effect:

  1. Any vessel from which any person(s) takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds and reservations described above shall:
    1. Be limited to a daily take and possession limit not to exceed 50 sacks of oysters per vessel, except for Lake Mechant and Bay Junop in Terrebonne Parish where the limit shall be 40 sacks per vessel, and except for the West Cove of Calacsieu Lake where the limit shall be 10 sacks of oysters and daily trips limited to 1 per person or per vessel per day.  A sack of oysters for the purposes of this declaration of emergency shall be defined as the size described in R. S. 56:440.  The daily take and possession limit shall not apply to vessels harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes.  The possession limit shall not apply to vessels operating under a valid Oyster Cargo Vessel Permit.
    2. Be limited to either harvesting market oysters for direct sale (sacking) or harvesting seed oysters for bedding purposes on any one day and is specifically prohibited from doing both on the same day.
  2. If any person on a vessel takes or attempts to take oysters from the public oyster seed grounds or reservations described above, all oysters contained on that vessel shall be deemed to have been taken from said seed ground or reservation from the time harvest begins until all oysters are off-loaded dockside.

The following areas shall remain closed for the 2014/2015 oyster season:

  • Bay Gardene Public Oyster Seed Reservation
  • Hackberry Bay Public Oyster Seed Reservation
  • Sister Lake Public Oyster Seed Reservation
  • Lake Chien and Lake Felicity Public Oyster Seed Grounds
  • The east side of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (LDHH Harvest Area 29)
  • Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area
  • 2011 cultch plant in California Bay within the following coordinates:

California Bay (2011) – Plaquemines Parish

  1. 29 degrees 30 minutes 40.42 seconds N

            89 degrees 34 minutes 03.19 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 30 minutes 27.18 seconds N

            89 degrees 33 minutes 21.85 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 29 minutes 54.99 seconds N

            89 degrees 33 minutes 20.24 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 30 minutes 02.74 seconds N

            89 degrees 34 minutes 03.93 seconds W

  • 2012 cultch plants in Lake Fortuna, and Bay Crab, and the 2013 cultch plants in 3-Mile Pass and Drum Bay within the following coordinates:

Bay Crab (2012) – Plaquemines Parish

  1. 29 degrees 34 minutes 41.72 seconds N

            89 degrees 36 minutes 22.86 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 34 minutes 31.45 seconds N

            89 degrees 35 minutes 48.68 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 34 minutes 08.12 seconds N

            89 degrees 36 minutes 07.94 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 34 minutes 23.03 seconds N

            89 degrees 36 minutes 43.20 seconds W

Lake Fortuna (2012) – St. Bernard Parish

  1. 29 degrees 39 minutes 08.04 seconds N

            89 degrees 30 minutes 28.93 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 38 minutes 33.31 seconds N

            89 degrees 29 minutes 15.45 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 38 minutes 10.57 seconds N

            89 degrees 29 minutes 40.71 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 39 minutes 04.41 seconds N

           89 degrees 30 minutes 32.61 seconds W

3-Mile Pass (2013) – St. Bernard Parish

  1. 30 degrees 03 minutes 56.09 seconds N

            89 degrees 22 minutes 32.52 seconds W

  1. 30 degrees 03 minutes 56.70 seconds N

            89 degrees 22 minutes 15.40 seconds W

  1. 30 degrees 03 minutes 18.00 seconds N

            89 degrees 22 minutes 06.30 seconds W

  1. 30 degrees 03 minutes 30.49 seconds N

            89 degrees 22 minutes 38.17 seconds W

Drum Bay (2013) – St. Bernard Parish

  1. 29 degrees 53 minutes 13.00 seconds N

            89 degrees 17 minutes 40.21 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 53 minutes 16.51 seconds N

           89 degrees 16 minutes 51.12 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 52 minutes 56.17 seconds N

            89 degrees 16 minutes 49.80 seconds W

  1. 29 degrees 52 minutes 53.99 seconds N

           89 degrees 17 minutes 40.43 seconds W

See maps above detailing these actions.

Closure dates will be determined by LDWF Secretary Barham, based on biological and harvest data, or if enforcement issues are encountered.  The Secretary is also authorized by the Commission to take emergency action to reopen areas previously closed if the threat to the resource has ended, and to open public 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.

Certain areas remain closed to commercial fishing and certain recreational fishing activities. To view those areas visit www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant 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 Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.

Shrimp Seasons

Fall Shrimp Seasons

Aug. 7, 2014 – Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission announced the 2014 fall inshore shrimp season opening dates.

The season will open as follows:

One-half hour before sunrise -  Monday, August 18 - inside waters from the western shore of the Atchafalaya River and the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line

6 p.m., Monday, August 18 – state inside waters east of the Atchafalaya River

For a map detailing today’s actions click here:

The Commission set the season based on recommendations presented by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments from the public. However, certain areas are still closed to commercial fishing and certain recreational fishing activities due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Maps of the areas that remain closed to recreational and commercial fishing are posted to the LDWF website at www.wlf.louisiana.gov/oilspill.

Preliminary Louisiana shrimp landings statistics provided by NOAA Fisheries Service indicate that approximately 17.7 million pounds of shrimp (all species combined/heads-off weight) were landed in Louisiana from January through June, 2014.

Tow Time Regulations Reminder

Federal Turtle Excluder Device (TED) regulations require skimmer net fishermen to limit tow times.  Maximum tow times are 55 minutes from April 1 to October 31 and increase to 75 minutes from November 1 to March 31.

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, contact Martin Bourgeois at (985) 594-4130 or mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

 

 

 

August 1, 2014 – Yesterday, officials with Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries annouced the re-opening of certain state inshore and Gulf of Mexico waters that were previously closed due to oiling from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
 
Although these waters will re-open ½ hour before sunrise on Monday, August 4, 2014, state rules, regulations and seasons for individual saltwater species are still effective within these areas. The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will meet August 7 to consider opening dates for the fall inshore shrimp season.
 
Shrimp harvesting remains closed in state inside waters except the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double–rig line in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2. and in the portion of Mississippi Sound as follows:
 

  • that portion of Mississippi Sound beginning at a point on the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary at 30 degrees 09 minutes 39.6 seconds north latitude and -89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west longitude due south to a point at 30 degrees 05 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and -89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west longitude; thence southeasterly to a point on the western shore of Three-Mile Pass at 30 degrees 03 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and -89 degrees 22 minutes 23.0 seconds west longitude; thence northeasterly to a point on Isle Au Pitre at 30 degrees 09 minutes 20.5 seconds north latitude and -89 degrees 11 minutes 15.5 seconds west longitude, which is a point on the double–rig line.

 
For a map that details the areas currently open to shrimp harvesting click here.

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 press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

 

Shrimp Season to Close July 21 in Remainder of State Inside Waters Except for Breton and Chandeleur Sounds and a Portion of Mississippi Sound

July 16, 2014 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2014 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 a.m. on Monday, July 21, in the remainder of state inside waters except for the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds and a portion of Mississippi Sound.

This action closes shrimping in inside waters within the Mermentau, Calcasieu and Sabine Rivers Basins extending from the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line and in Lake Borgne located in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin.

Effective with this closure all state inside waters will be closed to shrimping except for the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double–rig line in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2.  Shrimping will also be allowed in that portion of Mississippi Sound as follows:

 

  • that portion of Mississippi Sound beginning at a point on the Louisiana-Mississippi Lateral Boundary at 30 degrees 09 minutes 39.6 seconds north latitude and -89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west longitude due south to a point at 30 degrees 05 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and -89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west longitude; thence southeasterly to a point on the western shore of Three-Mile Pass at 30 degrees 03 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and -89 degrees 22 minutes 23.0 seconds west longitude; thence northeasterly to a point on Isle Au Pitre at 30 degrees 09 minutes 20.5 seconds north latitude and -89 degrees 11 minutes 15.5 seconds west longitude, which is a point on the double–rig line.

 

All state outside waters seaward of the Inside/Outside shrimp line will remain open to shrimp harvesting until further notice, with the exception of those areas outlined in the map linked below.

For a map that details today’s actions and all areas currently open and closed to harvesting shrimp click here.

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicate increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp within these waters. The decision to close these waters was made to protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes.
 

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission will meet August 7 to consider opening dates for the fall inshore shrimp season.

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 press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

 

Shrimp Season to Close July 15 in Terrebonne and Barataria Basins and Portions of Lake Pontchartrain Basin

July 8, 2014 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2014 spring inshore shrimp season will close at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, July 15, in the Terrebonne and Barataria Basins from the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River westward to the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the River Channel Buoy Line.  At the same time, shrimp season will close in the Lake Pontchartrain Basin except for the following waters:

  • that portion of Lake Borgne seaward of a line extending one-half mile from the  shoreline, and
  • that portion of Mississippi Sound north of a line beginning at 30 degrees 05 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 30 minutes 00.0 seconds west longitude; thence southeasterly to a point on the western shore of Three-Mile Pass at 30 degrees 03 minutes 00.0 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 22 minutes 23.0 seconds west longitude; thence northeasterly to a point on Isle Au Pitre at 30 degrees 09 minutes 20.5 seconds north latitude and 89 degrees 11 minutes 15.5 seconds west longitude, which is a point on the double–rig line as described in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2, and
  • the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line.

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicate increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp within these waters. The decision to close these waters was made to protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes.

The spring inshore shrimp season in the Vermilion/Teche River Basin closed on July 3 and all remaining state inside waters, as well as all state outside waters seaward of the Inside/Outside shrimp line, will remain open to shrimp harvesting until further notice, with the exception of those closure areas outlined in the map linked below.

For a map that details the areas currently open and closed to harvesting shrimp click here.

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 press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

 

Shrimp Season in Vermilion/Teche River Basin to Close July 3

June 27, 2014 – Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2014 spring inshore shrimp season will close at one-half hour after sunset on Thursday, July 3, in state inside waters extending from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the River Channel Buoy Line westward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal.

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicate increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small, juvenile white shrimp taken in trawl samples within these waters. The decision to close this area was made in an effort to protect these developing shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more marketable sizes.

All remaining state inside waters, as well as all state outside waters seaward of the Inside/Outside shrimp line will remain open to shrimp harvesting until further notice, with the exception of those closure areas outlined in the map linked below.

For a map that details the areas currently open and closed to harvesting shrimp click here.

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, contact Martin Bourgeois at (985) 594-4130 or mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at 504-286-4162 or aroth@wlf.la.gov

Louisiana WFC Sets 2014 Spring Shrimp Season

May 1, 2014 – The dates for the 2014 Louisiana spring shrimp season were set today at the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission based on information provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and on public comments.

LDWF provided projections of the dates when a minimum of 50 percent of the inshore brown shrimp population would reach 100 count per pound or larger.

The opening dates for the 2014 Louisiana shrimp season are as follows:

1. Monday, May 26, 6 a.m. - The portion of state inside waters from the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River westward to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal, and the portion of state outside waters extending three nautical miles seaward from the shoreline from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line westward to the to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at -92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude.

2.  Monday, June 2, 6 a.m. - The portion of state inside waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line westward to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River to open at 6 a.m. June 2.  However, the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line are currently open to shrimping.

3.  Monday, June 2, 6 a.m. - The portion of state inside waters from the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line.

State Outside Waters

In addition to the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds, all state outside waters are currently open to shrimping except for outside waters extending three nautical miles seaward from the shoreline from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island westward to the to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal.

The Commission granted authority to LDWF Secretary Robert Barham to delay or advance these opening dates if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so, and; to close any portion of Louisiana's inside waters to protect small juvenile white shrimp if biological and technical data indicate the need to do so, or enforcement problems develop.  The Secretary is further granted the authority to open any area, or re-open any previously closed area, and to open and close special shrimp seasons in any portion of state waters. 

For a map detailing these openings please click here:

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 press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov or (504)430-2623.

Shrimp Season In Portion Of Louisiana Offshore Territorial Waters To Open April 29

April 23, 2014 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the shrimp season in the portion of state outside waters extending a distance of three nautical miles, seaward of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line, from the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at -90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude westward to the eastern shore of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the channel red buoy line, will reopen to shrimping at 6 a.m. on Tuesday, April 29.  This area lies seaward of Terrebonne parish.

According to the most recent trawl samples taken by LDWF biologists, small white shrimp which previously occupied these waters since December have reached marketable sizes and the closure is no longer necessary.

Because significant numbers of juvenile white shrimp remain in state outside waters seaward a distance of three nautical miles westward from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel to the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal, these waters will remain closed until further notice.  Except for these waters, all remaining state outside waters will be open to shrimping.

The opening dates for the 2014 spring inshore shrimp season will be considered by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at the May 1, meeting.

Click here for a map detailing this opening

For more information please contact Martin Bourgeois at mbourgeios@wlf.la.gov or (225)765-2401 or Laura Wooderson at lwooderson@wlf.la.gov.

Shrimp Season To Close in Additional State Waters

(Jan. 9, 2014)– Today, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced a shrimping closure in a portion of state inside waters east of the Mississippi River and in outside waters off of western Terrebonne Parish effective Monday, January 13, 2014 at official sunset.

Specifically, those waters that will close to shrimping include:

  • The portion of state inside waters from the Mississippi/Louisiana state line southward to the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River except for the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double rig line in R.S. 56:495.1(A)2.
  • State outside waters extending a distance of 3 nautical miles seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line from the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at -90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude westward to the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line

The following state waters will remain open to shrimping until further notice:

  • The open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the double-rig line
  • All state outside waters east of the northwest shore of Caillou Boca at -90 degrees 50 minutes 27 seconds west longitude as well as all state outside waters west of the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal at -92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude
  • All fishery jurisdiction waters claimed by the state beyond the three nautical mile closure zone.

Regulations state that the possession count on saltwater, white shrimp shall average no more than 100 (whole shrimp) count per pound, with the exception of October 15 through the third Monday in December, when there is no minimum count size.   

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission provided LDWF Secretary Robert Barham with authority to close shrimping in both state inside and outside waters when biological and technical data indicate the need. Data collected from the most current biological samples conducted by the Department indicate that average white shrimp size within these outside waters to be closed is smaller than the minimum possession count. Additionally, water temperatures reached 4 degrees Celsius (39 degrees Fahrenheit) following the passage of the most recent cold front, leaving little expectations of additional shrimp growth in the immediate future. This action is being taken to protect these small white shrimp and provide opportunity for growth to larger and more valuable sizes.

For a map detailing today’s actions click here.

Louisiana continues to lead the country in shrimp landings.  In 2012, approximately 5,566 licensed Louisiana commercial shrimpers landed 100.3 million pounds of shrimp (all species combined/heads-on weight) that had a dockside value of $145 million. 

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/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Martin Bourgeois (985) 594-4130 mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286-4162.

 

Shrimp Season To Close in Portions of State Inside and Outside Waters

(Dec. 13, 2013) Today, Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Secretary Robert Barham announced a closure of the fall shrimp season in state inside waters west of the Mississippi River and in a portion of state outside waters effective Wednesday, December 18, 2013 at official sunset.

Specifically, those waters that will close to shrimping include:

  • The portion of state inside waters from the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River westward to the Louisiana/Texas state line
  • The portion of state outside waters extending a distance of 3 nautical miles seaward of the inside/outside shrimp line from the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line westward to Freshwater Bayou Canal at -92 degrees 18 minutes 33 seconds west longitude

The following state waters will remain open to shrimping until further notice:

  • The portion of state inside waters east of the eastern shore of South Pass of the Mississippi River eastward to the Louisiana/Mississippi state line.
  • All state outside waters east of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel red buoy line as well as all state outside waters west of the western shore of Freshwater Bayou Canal.
  • All fishery jurisdiction waters claimed by the state beyond the three nautical mile closure zone.

Existing data does not currently support shrimping closures in additional state inside and outside waters. However, historic data suggest additional closures may be needed in the near future and the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries will continue monitoring shrimp populations in these waters.

Regulations state that the possession count on saltwater, white shrimp shall average no more than 100 (whole shrimp) count per pound, with the exception of October 15 through the third Monday in December, when there is no minimum count size.   

The Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission provided LDWF Secretary Robert Barham with authority to close both the fall inshore shrimp season and shrimping in the state’s territorial sea when biological and technical data indicate the need. Recent sampling conducted by the LDWF Fisheries biologists indicates that average white shrimp size in those waters to be closed is smaller than the minimum possession size limit. This action, which characteristically takes place at this time of year, is designed to protect small, white shrimp and provide opportunity for these populations to over-winter and grow to larger, more marketable sizes.

For a map detailing today’s actions click here

Louisiana continues to lead the country in shrimp landings.  In 2012, approximately 5,566 licensed Louisiana commercial shrimpers landed 100.3 million pounds of shrimp (all species combined/heads-on weight) that had a dockside value of $145 million. 

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/ldwffbor follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information, contact Martin Bourgeois (985) 594-4130 mbourgeois@wlf.la.gov. For press inquiries, contact Ashley Roth at aroth@wlf.la.gov or (504) 286 -4162.

LWF Commission Moves Forward With 2012 Crab Trap Removal Program

Release Date: 09/01/2011

(Sept. 1, 2011)- Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission approved a motion to continue the abandoned crab trap removal program for 2012.  Two winter crab trap closures and clean-ups are planned for portions of St. Bernard, Plaquemines and Terrebonne parishes on designated dates in February and March next year. 

Since 2004, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, together with individual volunteers and organizations, has successfully removed and disposed of nearly 20,000 abandoned and derelict crabs.  The removal of these crab traps is especially important to boating safety and crab harvesting efforts. 

LDWF will partner with Louisiana Sea Grant for the 2012 crab trap removal efforts.  As the 2012 removal weekends approach, Louisiana Sea Grant will help organize volunteers, provide educational outreach on marine debris, as well as establish a recycling effort for crab traps.

St. Bernard/Plaquemines Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps will be prohibited in the following areas beginning at 6 a.m., February 25, 2012 through 6 a.m., March 5 2012:

•  From a point originating along the southern shoreline of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) at 89 degrees 36 minutes 00 seconds west longitude; thence southward along  89 degrees 36 minutes 00 seconds west longitude to 29 degrees 39 minutes 00 seconds north latitude; thence westward along 29 degrees 39 minutes 00 seconds north latitude to 89 degrees 38 minutes 30 seconds west longitude; thence southward along 89 degrees 38 minutes 30 seconds west longitude to 29 degrees 38 minutes 00 seconds north latitude; thence westward along 29 degrees 38 minutes 00 seconds north latitude to 89 degrees 40 minutes 30 seconds west longitude; thence southward along 89 degrees 40 minutes 30 seconds west longitude to 29 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds north latitude; thence westward along 29 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds north latitude to the eastern shore of the Mississippi River; thence northward along the eastern shore of the Mississippi River to 89 degrees 54 minutes 00 seconds west longitude; thence northward along 89 degrees 54 minutes 00 seconds west longitude to the southern shoreline of the MRGO; thence eastward along the southern shoreline of the MRGO terminating at the point of beginning.

Terrebonne Crab Trap Removal

The use of crab traps will be prohibited in the following areas beginning at 6 a.m., March 17 through 6 a.m. Mar 26, 2012:

•  From a point originating from the intersection of LA Highway 57 and Dulac Canal; thence east along LA Highway 57 to its intersection with LA 56; thence due east to the western shoreline of Bayou Little Caillou; thence north along the western shoreline of Bayou Little Caillou to its intersection with Lapeyrouse Canal; thence east along the northern shoreline of Lapeyrouse Canal to its intersection with Bayou Terrebonne; thence south along the eastern shoreline of Bayou Terrebonne to its intersection with Seabreeze Pass; thence southwest to channel marker number 17 of the Houma Navigation Channel at 29 degrees 11 minutes 11.3 seconds north latitude 90 degrees 36 minutes 44.5 seconds west longitude; thence southwest to the northern most point on Pass la Poule Island at 29 degrees 08 minutes 33.5 seconds north latitude 90 degrees 39 seconds 01.3 seconds west longitude; thence west to Bayou Sale channel marker at 29 degrees 06 minutes 31.8 seconds north latitude 90 degrees 44 minutes 34.2 seconds west longitude; thence north to the western shoreline of Bayou Sale; thence north along the western shoreline of Bayou Sale to its intersection with Four Point Bayou; thence north along the western shoreline of Four Point Bayou its intersection with the Houma Navigation Channel; thence north along the western shoreline of the Houma Navigation Channel to its intersection with Bayou Grand Caillou; thence north along the western shoreline of Bayou Grand Caillou to its intersection with Dulac Canal; thence east along the northern shoreline of Dulac Canal and terminating at the point of beginning.

All crab traps remaining in the closed area during the specified period will be considered abandoned. 

In the weeks leading up to the closure periods, LDWF will send notices to all licensed recreational and commercial crab trap license holders and crab buyers within these and adjacent parishes. 

These proposed trap removal regulations do not provide authorization for access to private property.  Authorization to access private property can only be provided by individual landowners. 

Crab traps may be removed only between one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset.  Anyone may remove these abandoned crab traps from within the closed area.    Abandoned traps must be brought to LDWF designated disposal sites and may not be taken from the closed area. 

Since its establishment in 1968, Louisiana Sea Grant has worked to promote stewardship of the state’s coastal resources through a combination of research, education and outreach programs critical to the cultural, economic and environmental health of Louisiana’s coastal zone. Louisiana Sea Grant, based at Louisiana State University, is part of the National Sea Grant Program, a network of 30 programs in each of the U.S. coastal and Great Lakes states and Puerto Rico/U.S. Virgin Islands.

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.

Interested persons may submit written comments relative to the proposed rule to Martin Bourgeois, Marine Fisheries Biologist, Marine Fisheries Section, P.O. Box 98000, Baton Rouge, LA 70898-9000, prior to November 3, 2011. 

For media inquiries, contact Olivia Watkins at owatkins@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-8660.

LWF Commission Sets 2011-2012 Louisiana Oyster Seasons

Release Date: 09/01/2011

Oyster

(Sept. 1, 2011)– Today, the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission set the 2011/2012 oyster seasons based on oyster stock assessments provided by Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries biologists and comments received from members of the public, including the oyster industry. 

The following opening dates were set for the upcoming oyster season:

  • The Little Lake Public Oyster Seed Grounds will open at one-half hour before sunrise on Wednesday,  September 7, 2011.
  • With the exception of Calcasieu and Sabine lakes, all remaining public oyster seed grounds and reservations, including the Machias Fortuna    sacking only area and the American Bay/Bay Long sacking-only area, will open at one-half hour before sunrise on Monday, October 17, 2011.
  • The oyster season in the west cove portion of the Calcasieu Lake Public Oyster Area (Department of Health and Hospitals’ harvest area 30)   will 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 east side of Calcasieu Lake (Department of Health and Hospitals’ harvest area 29) and the Sabine Lake Public Oyster Area will remain closed for the entire 2011/2012 oyster season.

For a map detailing the 2011/2012 oyster season, click here

Closure dates will be determined by LDWF Secretary Barham on an “as needed” basis, based on biological and harvest data.  LDWF biologists will closely monitor harvest and continue to collect biological information from public reefs as the season progresses. 

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.

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 media inquiries contact Olivia Watkins at owatkins@wlf.la.gov or (225) 610-8660.

 

Louisiana Officials Continue to Investigate Pearl River Fish Kill

Release Date: 08/26/2011

August 26, 2011 – Louisiana officials continue to investigate the impacts of the Temple-Inland discharge of “black liquor” on the Pearl River’s fisheries resources. Numerous levels of assessment are underway by the Louisiana departments of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF), Health and Hospitals (DHH), and Environmental Quality (DEQ), including seafood safety testing, waterbody quality tests, testing of private water wells, evaluation of baseline species and efforts to determine the of effects on fish and other aquatic life as a result of the wastewater discharge that occurred on Tuesday, August 9, 2011. State officials continue to work together to assess the incident impact and long-term recovery plans.

Seafood Testing

Fisheries biologists with LDWF collected seafood samples throughout the Pearl River and at the mouth of the river in the Rigolets. DHH sanitarians also collected oyster samples from areas near the mouth of the river to be tested. All of the samples were sent to an independent laboratory in Metairie, La., contracted by DHH.

Eurofins Central Analytical Laboratory, the company which helped test Louisiana’s seafood during the Gulf oil spill, is testing samples from this incident for volatile and semi-volatile organic contaminants. These types of chemicals don’t typically build up in seafood tissue, however, state officials are having these tests conducted out of an abundance of caution.

Determining Fisheries Impacts and Restitution Claims

LDWF is also working with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services (USFWS), Louisiana State University fisheries experts, and officials with the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to determine the loss of aquatic life, including fish and freshwater mussels.

Initially, more than 26 species of freshwater fish were identified in the fish kill.  They include Paddlefish, American eel, catfish, bass and bluegill. Species with similar characteristics were grouped together in some cases due to the massive volume of fish and the expansive range of the kill.   There are, for example, numerous specific species of darter fish in the Pearl River only distinguishable by variations on the dorsal fin, small color variations or other minute differences.  Experts with the Tulane University Natural History Museum are working with LDWF fisheries biologists to establish a baseline for species native to the Pearl River. That baseline will serve as the “before” picture for restitution claims.

A total restitution value for the fish kill will be compiled once the investigation is complete.  LDWF officials are working with USFWS in their investigation into the deaths of federally listed threatened and endangered species.   More than 26 threatened gulf sturgeons were involved in the incident.  Work is currently underway to determine its status of the inflated heelsplitter, a threatened freshwater mussel species.  In addition to state restitution values for fish and freshwater mussel deaths, Temple-Inland may be subject to civil or criminal fines for those species covered under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

Officials with LDWF are also developing a three-year monitoring plan to monitor the re-establishment of Pearl River aquatic resources.   Selected sampling gears, including electrofishing and nets will be employed under standardized protocol to ensure that results accurately represent the status of recovery.   LDWF plans to continue to pursue an agreement with Temple-Inland by which the responsible party would pay for the necessary fisheries resource monitoring.

Waterbody Safety, Monitoring and Ongoing Investigation

DEQ’s Incident Command post is still up and running at Temple-Inland and serves as a central point for DEQ staff to coordinate sampling events and record data. An overflight of the impacted area by DEQ occurred on Wednesday, August 24; during that overflight no dead fish were observed. Overflights will continue to determine if any additional fish remain. If additional fish are located, they will be cleaned up and disposed of by a team on standby for that purpose.

The compliance order and amended compliance order for Temple-Inland have been issued. This is the first step in the legal process for issuing penalties and for ensuring upgrades are in place to better treat and monitor discharges from the facility.

The company has been given permission to begin a limited discharge, which will commence today, August 26. Yesterday, DEQ staff was on site walking through the plan with the company in preparation for the discharge.

DEQ continues to collect water samples along various portions of the river.

The survey will gather water quality information that will be used to restore and protect the waterbody. Data gathered from the survey will be used to identify suspected pollutants in the waterbody that may cause or contribute to low oxygen levels in the water.

Citizens are asked not to tamper with the equipment that will be mounted on rebar, fence posts, white PVC poles or buoys. During the survey, a bright red, non-toxic dye will be injected into the water. Citizens who notice the red coloration of the water should not be alarmed. The water body will return to its normal state and color by the end of the day. The dye is used to determine flow and distribution patterns of the bayou. These patterns are used to establish sampling points for the survey.

DEQ will also install electronic monitoring equipment in conjunction with a water sampling survey on Pearl River in Washington and St. Tammany parishes.

Water Safety Measures

DHH has tested 18 privately owned domestic water wells located near the Pearl River. Results showed that water from these wells is safe to drink under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s safe drinking water standards. DHH collected and tested samples from these private water wells chosen by St. Tammany and Washington parish officials and were within a quarter of a mile of the Pearl River. In Louisiana, the individual well owner is responsible for maintaining and testing their private well. However, in this instance, Temple-Inland is paying for the state’s testing.

Public Health Resources

The Louisiana Poison Center has received 13 calls in the past week regarding the Pearl River spill. Callers are generally requesting details on public health, consuming fish and swimming in affected water. Anyone with questions regarding potential health effects can call the Louisiana Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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, Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov.

LDWF Biologists Continue to Investigate Crab Mortalities in Lake Borgne

Release Date: 08/26/2011

August 26, 2011 – Fisheries biologists with the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) are investigating reports of crab mortalities by fishermen in Lake Borgne. The reports, which began on Sunday, August 21, were made by commercial fishermen pulling dead fish and crabs from traps through much of the lake. Initial reports indicate that areas of hypoxia, as a result of limited exchange of oxygen from the surface to the bottom layers of the water column, are the cause of these mortalities.

Hypoxic areas in the Gulf of Mexico, sometimes called “dead zones” can cause mortalities for those species unable to quickly relocate to areas where there is oxygen in the water for them to “breathe.” Hypoxic zones can be common along Louisiana’s coast in the summer months. Current hypoxic zones have been occurring in the northern Lake Borgne, the Mississippi Sound, Chandeleur Sound, Breton Sound, Black Bay and the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO) for approximately the last month, as well as the more well-known areas offshore west of the Mississippi River. Some of these areas have been experiencing some levels of hypoxia for the last two to three months.

While the current series of crab mortalities from hypoxia are in the general region at the mouth of the Pearl River where a dramatic fish kill was reported on August 13, fisheries experts do not believe the two events to be linked.  However, out of an abundance of caution, LDWF fisheries biologists collected crab samples and sent them to the independent laboratory, Eurofins Central Analytical Laboratory, contracted by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals for both volatile and semi-volatile testing.  

LDWF fisheries biologists report that high levels of freshwater that have inundated Lake Borgne and other waterbodies near the mouth of the Mississippi River likely created hypoxic areas that crab fishermen have encountered.

Unusually large amounts of freshwater has reduced the ability of the water to mix from top to bottom in many areas, affecting dissolved oxygen levels in the lower part of the water column.  In addition,high water temperatures further reduce the amount of oxygen the water can hold. Also, the large input of nutrients has led to increased organic production whose decomposition in the bottom layers further reduces oxygen concentrations.

Fisheries biologists with the state will continue to investigate crab and fish mortalities as they are reported. Once results of the tests are made available with DHH, they will be made available for the public. Fish kills are common occurrences in coastal Louisiana during the summer months. LDWF cooperates with other state agencies in monitoring these occurrences on an ongoing basis.

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 Olivia Watkins at 225-610-8660 or owatkins@wlf.la.gov.  

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