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LDWF Sets 2011 Season for Gag Grouper

Release Date: 06/27/2011

June 27, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries announced the 2011 season for the recreational harvest of gag grouper.  The season is set to begin on September 16, and will remain open until November 15, in both state and federal waters. 

The bag limit for gag grouper in Louisiana state waters is up to five gag grouper within a five grouper aggregate bag limit at a minimum size limit of 22 inches total length.  Federal regulations allow only two gag grouper within a four grouper aggregate bag limit with a minimum size of 22 inches total length.

The recreational gag grouper season is set based on rules issued by the National Marine Fisheries Service as recommended by the Gulf of Mexico Fisheries Management Council. 

Captain and crew of vessels operating as charter vessels have a bag limit of zero.  For further information on gag grouper regulations please visit

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana’s abundant natural resources.  For more information, visit us at on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information contact Jason Adriance at or (504)284-2032.  For press inquiries contact Laura Wooderson at or (225)610-2363.

Shrimp Season to Close Saturday in Portion of Zone 2

Release Date: 06/22/2011

Shrimp Season Closure - Portion of Zone 2


June 22, 2011 – Today the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) announced the 2011 spring inshore shrimp season in a portion of Shrimp Management Zone 2 will close at 6 p.m. Saturday, June 25. 

This shrimp season closure includes state inside waters from the western shore of Bayou Lafourche westward to the eastern shore of the Atchafalaya River Ship Channel at Eugene Island as delineated by the Channel Red Buoy line, with the exception of the following waters north of the Inside/Outside Shrimp Line:

•             Those inshore waters south of 29 degrees 13 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 18 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude

•             Those inshore waters south of 29 degrees 06 minutes 00 seconds north latitude from 90 degrees 34 minutes 00 seconds west longitude westward to 90 degrees 46 minutes 00 seconds west longitude.

Data collected in recent weeks by LDWF biologists indicates increased quantity, distribution and percentage of small juvenile white shrimp within this portion of Zone 2.  The decision to close this area was made in an effort to protect these developing shrimp.

Shrimp Management Zones 1 and 3, 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 areas still closed to recreational and commercial fishing due to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

The Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at, on Facebook at, or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information on this contact Marty Bourgeois at or (225)765-2401.  For press inquiries please contact Laura Wooderson at or (225)610-2363.

LDWF Enforcement Division Cooperating In Operation Dry Water June 24-26

Release Date: 06/22/2011

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Law Enforcement Division (LDWF/LED) agents will take part in Operation Dry Water from June 24-26 with increased patrols for operating or driving a boat while intoxicated (DWI) enforcement and boating safety.

During the Operation Dry Water weekend, LDWF agents will be out in force patrolling state waterways for boat operators whose blood alcohol content exceeds the state limit of .08 percent.

"We want people to be safe and have fun while boating recreationally," commented Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, LDWF’s state Boating Law Administrator.  "But alcohol use has become the leading contributing factor in fatal recreational boating accidents.  We recommend that boaters avoid drinking alcoholic beverages at all times, and we will have zero tolerance for anyone found operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs on our waters."

Alcohol can impair a boater’s judgment, balance, vision and reaction time.  It can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of cold-water immersion.  Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion intensify the side effects of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

Louisiana had 32 fatalities from boating crash incidents in 2009.  Alcohol was again the leading primary cause of those boating fatal incidents leading to 24 percent of the fatalities.  Nationwide, statistics from 2009 reveal that 16 percent of all boat incident fatalities were a direct result of alcohol or drug use.

Impaired boaters caught this weekend can expect penalties to be severe.  In Louisiana, a DWI on the water carries the same penalties and fines as on the road and includes jail time, fines and loss of driving and boating operator privileges.

LDWF agents issued 216 DWI citations to boat operators in 2009.  Anyone cited for a DWI on the water or on the road will lose his or her driver's license and boating privileges for the specified time ordered by the judge in the case.  Also, each offense of operating a vehicle or vessel while intoxicated counts toward the total number of DWI crimes whether they happened on the water or road.

In Louisiana a DWI can be issued to anyone operating a moving vessel or vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.  First offense DWI carries a $300 to $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.  Second offense DWI brings a $750 to $1,000 fine and between 30 days and six months in jail.  Third offense DWI carries a $5,000 fine and between one and five years in jail.

“There will be arrests this weekend and some boaters will face the consequences of operating a boat while impaired," added Lt. Col. Mayne.  "But we'd much rather arrest someone than to have to tell their friends and family they're never coming back."

Operation Dry Water was started in 2009 and is a joint program involving the LDWF/LED, the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and the U.S. Coast Guard.  More information is available at

For more information, contact Adam Einck at

LDWF Schedules Drawdown for Lake Bruin in Tensas Parish

Release Date: 06/21/2011



June 21, 2011 – The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in conjunction with the Lake Bruin Recreation and Water Conservation District, will drawdown Lake Bruin in Tensas Parish beginning September 6, 2011.

The water level will be lowered 4 1/2 feet below pool stage and will remain lowered until December 15, 2011.  The drawdown is being conducted to allow for replacement of a disabled water control structure, vegetation control in the Brushy Lake area, fisheries improvement and also to allow homeowners to conduct shoreline and property maintenance. 

All homeowners are advised to take appropriate prepartory measures as boat access into the lake will be limited. 

For further information regarding the drawdown, contact Ryan Daniel, LDWF Biologist Manager, at (318) 343-4044 or Gary Smith, President of the Lake Bruin Recreation and Water Conservation District, at (318) 766-4252.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For press inquiries, contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-5113. 

Crab Task Force Scheduled to Meet June 23, 2011

Release Date: 06/21/2011


The Louisiana Crab Task Force will meet Thursday, June 23 at 4:30 p.m. at the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries headquarters building located at 2000 Quail Drive in Baton Rouge. The agenda for Thursday’s meeting in the Louisiana Room is as follows:

  1. Call to order Roll call
  2. Approval of minutes/agenda
  3. Receive public comments
  4. Senior Commercial Fisherman’s License
  5. Whitespot disease (general information and discussion) 
  6. Reports of blue crab mortalities and laboratory findings
  7. Trade Adjustment Assistance Program for crab fishermen
  8. Impacts of freshwater flooding on the blue crab resource
  9. Exports of live blue crabs (opportunities and regulations)
  10. Status of Derelict Crab Trap Removal and Crab Promotion and Marketing Accounts
  11. Blue crab processing and solid waste disposal
  12. Update on MSC Certification of the blue crab fishery
  13. Indirect effects of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill on the blue crab industry
  14. Task force vacancies and recruitment efforts
  15. Travel reimbursement for task force members
  16. H-2B visas and labor issues
  17. Status of HB 584
  18. Crab education day planning
  19. Other Business
  20. Next Meeting / Agenda
  21. Adjournment

For more meeting information, contact Carl Britt at (985)882-0027 or  For press inquiries contact Laura Wooderson at (225)610-2363 or

Local Anglers Take Home Top Prize at Louisiana Saltwater Series Fishing Tournament

Release Date: 06/21/2011

(Left to right) Tournament Director Dwayne Mills, Kory Matherne, Jason LeBlanc, Becky Chaney.


June 21, 2011 –Last Saturday, the second annual Louisiana Saltwater Series made its third stop on the tournament trail at Sweetwater Marina in Delacroix, La., with 44 boats entered and over $7,000 awarded in cash prizes.

The series was developed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) in conjunction with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries Foundation to promote conservation of Louisiana’s saltwater sport fish resources and targets one of Louisiana’s most valuable sport fish, redfish.  

Taking home first place overall were Jason LeBlanc and Kory Matherne, of Marrero, with a two fish total weight of 16.57 pounds.

A total of 109 redfish were tagged and released during Saturday’s event.  The results of the tagging will aid conservation efforts for redfish in the future, helping to ensure healthy populations and a successful recreational fishing industry.

Visit for more information, including event photographs and a complete listing of results. Each series includes two-man teams with a $200 entry fee for each event. For teams consisting of three members, only two of the members may be 16 or older.  The tournament is a 100 percent payout series.

Mark your calendars for our next tournament on July 23 at The Dock and Dockside Bait and Tackle in Slidell.  The Disney Radio Road Crew will be on-site to entertain kids of all ages with interactive, hands-on, music and contest-filled events, so be sure to bring the entire family. 

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is charged with managing and protecting Louisiana's abundant natural resources. For more information, visit us at on Facebook at or follow us on Twitter @LDWF.

For more information contact Ashley Wethey at (225) 765-5113.

Events, Workshops, & Resources


Learn more about the U.S. Army STEM Competition! 
Join us and your colleagues for an informative webinar on eCYBERMISSION, a free, web-based, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) competition for sixth through ninth grade students. Sponsored by the U.S. Army, eCYBERMISSION is designed to share the importance of STEM education with the leaders of tomorrow and encourage them to understand the real-life applications of these subjects. Students compete for State, Regional and National Awards by working in teams to identify a problem in their community and use scientific inquiry to propose a solution.
During this webinar you will:
          • Learn how eCYBERMISSION can be implemented into your schools
          • Discover the benefits of participating in eCYBERMISSION
          • Interact with eCYBERMISSION staff and colleagues in STEM roles within the Department of Education
To register for the webinar, please select the date and time that accommodates your schedule and click on the link below:
Thursday, June 30, 11:00 a.m.
Thursday, June 30, 3:00 p.m.
Once registered you will receive an email confirming your registration with information you need to join the webinar. If you have any questions, please contact eCYBERMISSION Mission Control at 1-866-GO-CYBER (462-9237) or

2011 Leopold Education Project National Conference Travels West – July 28-30, 2011
See details in attached LEP Newsletter - Strides Summer Special

Free Training Opportunity
The National Health Environmental Association is offering CEUs, CNEs and CECH for individuals who completed the revised version of the CDC’s EPHT course which is offered on their website. This is a 12 module webinar where participants have the opportunity to complete at their own pace. Please visit  to obtain additional information regarding this opportunity. Please share this information with anyone who is interested in environmental health and may need some CEUs.


Mississippi Marine Debris Removal and Prevention Project
Middle School and High School teachers and students are invited to participate in this workshop to increase the awareness of marine debris impact on coastal ecosystems while fostering improved stewardship of coastal habitats.
          STEP 1 – Two-day teacher workshop July 7-8, 2011.
          STEP 2 – Students and teachers take a guided field trip to Deer Island to remove and learn about marine debris. The participants will learn about the effect it has on the environment and the organisms that inhabit these areas. Field trips are scheduled during the fall of 2011 and spring of the 2012 academic year.
          Where: Gulf Coast Research Laboratory - Marine Education Center. The clean-up sites are located on Deer Island. Transportation to Deer Island will be aboard the R/V Sea Explorer. All equipment, supplies and lunch will be provided.
Marine debris is harmful to our environment and its inhabitants, our economy and is preventable…it’s time to make a difference so get involved TODAY! Students will remove, weigh, record and recycle marine debris from Deer Island.
For more information: Becca Mathias, 228-818-8889,; 703 East Beach Drive, Ocean Springs, MS,


Next Generation of Science Standards
The NRC is putting the final touches on the new science standards framework and it would appear that they will release it in late June or early July. We do not have a set date as yet, but it would appear we are close. The Next Generation Science Standards will begin development as soon as the Framework is released.

Louisiana Boaters Can Take Free Boating Safety Course at Home

Release Date: 06/21/2011


The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries (LDWF) is now offering a new online boating safety course provided by the BoatUS Foundation.  The course can be found at or

The new online course is approved by LDWF and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) and allows Louisiana boaters to get their safe boating certification at no cost in the comfort of their own home.

"The department wants to provide as many opportunities as possible for people to get their boating safety certification," said Lt. Col. Jeff Mayne, the state's boating law administrator.  "Since the course is free and people can take it at home, we want to encourage everybody to give it a try even those that don't need their certification.  This free online course will teach new boaters how to become safer on the water and old boaters some new tips."

Louisiana boaters born after Jan. 1, 1984 must complete a NASBLA approved boating education course and carry proof of completion to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower.  LDWF initiated the state's boating education program in 2003 and has certified over 40,000 boaters during that time.

Studies have shown that states with a mandatory boating education program have fewer boating incidents that result in fatalities than states that have no boating education program.  States with a boating education program for more than 20 years had 3.67 fatalities per 100,000 registered boats, and states with no boating education program had 6.61 fatalities per 100,000 boats.

With the free online course, those looking to get certified now have three options to choose from: the traditional classroom course taught in one day, the free online course from and an online course for a small fee from

The free online course and exam is recognized by the U.S. Coast Guard as exceeding the minimum requirements for the National Recreational Boating Safety Program.

“We’ve loaded the course with interactive animations, videos and photos to give boaters, sailors and anglers an education that goes well beyond the basics of boating,” said BoatUS Foundation Director of Boating Safety Chris Edmonston. “It includes videos that demonstrate important safety devices such as visual distress signals, how to get help in an emergency, how to prevent and extinguish fires aboard your boat, and the best way to fit a life jacket to a child so they will not slip out.”

Upon successful completion of the course, boaters print out their own certificate of completion as proof of boater education.

About the BoatUS Foundation:
The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. Funded primarily by the half million members of BoatUS, it provides innovative educational outreach directly to boaters and anglers with the aim of reducing accidents and fatalities, increasing stewardship of America's waterways and keeping boating safe for all. To make a tax-deductible donation to this 501(c)(3) nonprofit, go to

For more information, contact Adam Einck at

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