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L.D.W.F. Announces Reopening of Commercial Fishing Areas

Release Date: 07/28/2010

Today, the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) - in coordination with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) - has ordered an emergency reopening of commercial fishing areas that were previously closed due to the BP oil spill. Specifically, commercial fishing will reopen for finfish and shrimp in portions of state waters east of the Mississippi River in Orleans, St. Tammany, St. Bernard and Plaquemines parishes effective immediately today, July 29.

LDWF Secretary Robert Barham ordered these reopenings following the completion of comprehensive testing by the FDA.  The FDA has advised that following extensive sensory testing and analytical chemistry results, the fish samples tested from previously closed areas are safe for consumption.

Details on Commercial Fishing Reopening

The opening includes all state waters inside east of the Mississippi River north of the northern shore of Pass a Loutre and all state outside waters north of 29 degrees 12 minutes 40 seconds north latitude

The areas detailed below will remain closed to commercial fishing until further notice due to continued presence of oil:

·         the portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude and south of the Mississippi/Louisiana state line from the Louisiana territorial sea boundary westward to 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

·         the portion of state inside and outside waters north of 29 degrees 36 minutes 30 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude from the Louisiana territorial sea boundary westward to a line extending 1 mile west from the western shore of the Chandeleur Islands, and

·         the portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 45 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 59 minutes 30 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 09 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude, and

·         the portion of state inside waters north of 29 degrees 47 minutes 00 seconds north latitude and south of 29 degrees 51 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 89 degrees 15 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 89 degrees 22 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

These openings do not include the commercial harvest of crabs and oysters.  The FDA testing method for crabs takes significantly longer to process; as such LDWF Secretary Barham chose a phased approach for opening commercial fishing.  It is also important to note that the spring inshore shrimp season remains closed except in Lake Pontchartrain, portions of Pass Manchac, Rigoletes and Chef Menteur Passes, portions of Mississippi Sound and the open waters of Breton and Chandeleur Sounds as described by the "double-rig" line.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more contact Marianne Burke at mburke@wlf.la.gov or 225.765.2917

2010-229

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L.D.W.F. Opens Mississippi River Delta to Recreational Fishing

Release Date: 07/28/2010

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) Secretary Robert Barham announced the opening of recreational fishing in a portion of the Mississippi River Delta in Plaquemines Parish effective, today, July 29 at 6:00 p.m.

Description of area open is as follows:

The portion of state inside and outside waters south of the northern shore of Pass a Loutre westward to the western shoreline of Southwest Pass of the Mississippi River shall open to recreational fishing.
The spring inshore shrimp season in these waters ended in early July. These waters will remain closed to shrimping.

For more information related to the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

For more information contact Marianne Burke, 225-765-2917 or mburke@wlf.la.gov

2010-227

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Agenda Announced for Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission August Meeting

Release Date: 07/28/2010

The next regular public board meeting has been scheduled by the Commission for 9:30 A.M. on Thursday, August 5, 2010, at the Wildlife and Fisheries Building, 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA.
1.         Roll Call
2.         Approval of Minutes of July 8, 2010 and July 14, 2010
3.         Commission Special Announcements/Personal Privilege
4.         To receive and hear Update on Oil Spill and Current Response Efforts
5.         To receive and hear Enforcement & Aviation Reports/July
6.         To receive and consider Tentative Dates on Waterfowl Season and Public Comment on Canada Goose Closure Zone
7.         To receive and consider Contingency Plan for Waterfowl Season due to Oil Spill
8.         To receive and hear General Information Presentation on WMA Forest Management
9.         To receive and consider Declaration of Emergency on Setting Opening Dates for the 2010 Fall Inshore Shrimp Season
10.       To receive and consider Declaration of Emergency for the 2010-2011 Oyster Season on Public Oyster Areas
11.       To receive and consider Declaration of Emergency and Notice of Intent on Fisheries Closures due to Oil Spill
12.       Set December 2010 Meeting Date
13.       Receive Public Comments
14.       Adjournment
2010-226

Sixteen Birds Saved from Deepwater Horizon Oil Impacts Released at Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge

Release Date: 07/27/2010

State and federal biologists today released back into the wild 13 laughing gulls and two royal terns and one sandwich tern rehabilitated after rescue from oil impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Rockefeller State Wildlife Refuge (SWR) in Grand Chenier, LA, was selected by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as the release site because it has not been impacted by oil and it contains natural habitat for these species.

"This refuge and nearby natural areas provide these birds the best chance of survival and success," said Robert Barham, LDWF secretary. "We hope to release more rehabilitated birds in state in coming weeks."

The birds released today were treated at the Bird Rehabilitation Center in Hammond.  To date, over 550 birds have been treated and released in this massive wildlife rescue and recovery effort.  Two other birds not injured from the spill, but rehabilitated at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine, were released at Rockefeller SWR as well.

Rockefeller SWR, located in eastern Cameron and western Vermilion Parishes, is managed by LDWF's Coastal and Non-game Resources Division.

The 76,000-acre refuge area borders the Gulf of Mexico for 26.5 miles and extends inland toward the Grand Chenier ridge, six miles from the Gulf.

For more information related to Louisiana's response to Tropical Storm Bonnie and the oil spill, visit http://www.emergency.louisiana.gov. Connect with us on www.facebook.com/GOHSEPGOHSEP and on Twitter as @GOHSEP. View photos from the state's response efforts at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lagohsep.

2010-225

Louisiana Oyster Task Force to Meet July 27 in New Orleans

Release Date: 07/26/2010

The Louisiana Oyster Task Force is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. at the UNO Advanced Technology Center located at 2021 Lakeshore Drive, Suite 210 in New Orleans. The agenda for the July 27 meeting is below.

I. Roll Call

II. Approval of  May 25, 2010 minutes

III. Treasury Report

              a. Oyster Tag Sales

              b. LOTF Financial Report

IV.   Committee Reports

a. Public and Private Oyster Grounds Committee

b. Enforcement

c. Legislative

d. Research

e. Coastal Restoration

f. Marketing

g. Department of Health and Hospitals

h. Department of Wildlife and Fisheries

1. Public Oyster Seed Ground Stock Assessment Report and Possible Oyster Season Framework-Patrick Banks

i. Department of Natural Resources

j. Governor's Office of Coastal Affairs.

V.   Old Business

A.   Oyster Lease Surveying Delays ? Dan Coulon

B.  LDWF update on experiments request at the LOTF May 25, 2010 meeting to have the DWF Oyster Biologists test growing water and oyster meats for contaminants, and check for spawning capability of oysters using contaminated growing water as well as using the reef the oysters came from, to check spat catch ability in the new DWF lab at Grand Isle.- Al Sunseri

VI.  New Business

B.   Deep Horizon Oil Spill Update, Response, and Actions

                       A.   Proposal for revised DHH closures-Dan Coulon

                       B.   Oyster Crop Insurance - Robert Cerda

                       C.   Discussion of Farm Bureau Meeting-Buddy Pausina

VII.  Set Next Meeting

VIII.  Adjourn

For additional information, please contact Ashley Wethey at 225.765.5113 or awethey@wlf.la.gov.

2010-224

Last Day for Recreational Fishing for Red Snapper Friday, July 23

Release Date: 07/20/2010

Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the recreational fishing season for red snapper in state and federal waters will close at 12:01 AM on July 24, and will remain closed until June 1, 2011.  LDWF chose to enact the same action for Louisiana waters to enhance the effectiveness and enforceability of NOAA regulations and to ensure the recreational red snapper quota is not exceeded in the 2010 fishing year. 

All red snapper must be landed and on shore no later than 12:01 a.m. July 24, no possession on the water after that time is allowed. 

NOAA continues to monitor the recreational catch statistics for the Gulf of Mexico, should additional fish be available for recreational harvest under the established quota, an additional season could be announced in federal and state waters. 

Approximately 97 percent of all red snapper landed in Louisiana are caught in federal waters.    

Secretary Barham was authorized by the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Commission at their January, 2010 meeting to change or modify opening and closing dates for the recreational red snapper season in Louisiana waters to comply with changes or modifications in season dates in federal waters.  This action ensures that regulations in state waters will be consistent with regulations of NMFS for federally managed waters.

For more information contact Laura Deslatte at 225.610.2363 or ldeslatte@wlf.la.gov

2010-223

The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board to Meet Thursday, July 22

Release Date: 07/20/2010

 

The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board will meet Thursday, July 22 at 9 a.m. at the UNO Advanced Technology Center, 2021 Lakeshore Drive, suite 300 in New Orleans, LA.

The agenda is as follows.

I. Roll Call

II.  Approval of Agenda

III.  Approval of Minutes

IV.  New Business

A. Speaker: Gary Shigenaka-NOAA

            B. Jon Bell Introduction

            C. Speaker: Dr. Steve Otwell, Director of the Aquatics Food Laboratory, Professor in Food Science, Univ. of Florida

D. Directors Update

a. Update on upcoming events, GASCO, Seafood Fitness Challenge.

b. Proposal from Spaeth Communications

c. Grocery Chain Subsidies

d. Boston Seafood Show location

            E. Review Budgets

            F.  Board Member Items          

                        a. Back to the Dock-Kim Chauvin

V. Set Next Meeting

VI.  Adjournment

Ashley Roth, Ashley@LouisianaSeafood.com or 504-286-8735

2010-222

WHITE LAKE PROPERTY ADVISORY BOARD TO MEET

Release Date: 07/18/2010

 

The next regular Advisory Board meeting will be held on Thursday, July 22, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, Louisiana Room (first floor), located at 2000 Quail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70808.  

The following items will be discussed:

1.    Roll Call

2.    Approval of Minutes of October 15, 2009 Meeting

3.    Department Financial Report

4.    Report on Marsh Maneuvers Held at White Lake ? Dr. Steve Linscombe

5.    Update on Whooping Crane Re-Introduction ? Ms. Carrie Salyers/Mr. Bob Love

6.    Status of Agricultural and Hunting Leases ? Mr. Buddy Baker

7.    Ongoing and Potential Research Discussion ? Dr. Eddie Lyons

8.    Consider a proposal by Armond Schwing to amend the White Lake Property Advisory Board Bylaws to deal with absentee board members ? Mr. Armond Schwing

9.    Consider a Resolution Pertaining to the White Lake Fund ? Mr. Sean Gayle

10. Other Business

11. Public Comment

12. Adjournment

2010 -221

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

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  • 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

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  • 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

Water-Control Structure at Catahoula Lake now Automated

Release Date: 07/14/2010

 

The Vicksburg District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACOE) has upgraded the water-control structure on the Diversion Canal at Catahoula Lake so that it can be operated remotely during periods of drawdown, reflooding, or in response to rainfall events.

The objectives in automating the structure operation were to eliminate the need for on-site personnel from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?s (USFWS) Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge and reduce the response time when an operation is deemed necessary.

The public can expect more responsive management of water-levels at Catahoula Lake. Local citizens are encouraged to report any observed damage to the structure or associated equipment to the Corps of Engineers at 318-339-7839 or Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) at 318-487-5885.

Catahoula Lake is managed through a tri-party agreement between the USACOE, USFWS and LDWF with an established management plan. Operation of the water-control structure is an important component of that management plan, and remote operation will now take place from the Jonesville Lock and Dam on the Black River.

In addition, Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge will no longer be providing information on water levels on the lake via telephone. Catahoula Lake users are encouraged to use the data from the gauge located at the center of the lake which is posted at:

http://www2.mvr.usace.army.mil/WaterControl/stationinfo2.cfm?sid=CE5EEFD8&fid=&dt=S

For more information, please contact Steve Smith at 318-487-5885 or ssmith@wlf.la.gov.

2010-216

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